It’s no secret that attracting talent is crucial to the success of your business however, hiring the right candidate for the right job can be challenging. Hiring a bad fit can be a costly and time-consuming ordeal.
The first step to hiring the right candidates is not only knowing what to do, but also understanding what mistakes to avoid. Here are six common mistakes frequently made when hiring, and how you can avoid them.

Your job description is not detailed

The era of dry and generic job descriptions is long gone. Today, candidates will quickly lose interest if your job description is not well-crafted.

A great step in ensuring you keep your audience engaged and informed is making the job description creative and exhaustive.  All the desired qualifications and specific qualities that you are looking for in a candidate should be clearly defined. Resist the urge to settle for generic qualifications that entail bullet-list qualifications and duties.

There is no definitive timeline for your hiring process

When the hiring process is either too quick or too slow, the chances of losing out on top candidates is increased. If the hiring process is rushed, it’s easy to overlook critical steps such as reference checks - this can be a recipe for disaster. Alternatively, if you drag your feet, most potential candidates usually end securing a job elsewhere.
It’s beneficial to create a definite timeline for your hiring process; determine the amount of time that will be spent on reviewing applications, make follow-ups with the applicants, and figure out the possible time span for the entire interview process.

The interviewers conduct is not up to standard

Punctuality and professional etiquette are commonly emphasised on the interviewee’s side while little attention tends to go the interviewer. As a result, you will find that some interviewers show up late for interviews, rush the candidates through the process or give them little time to answer questions.  Other interviewers have also been known to answer phone calls and emails whilst conducting interviews – crazy, we know.

Unsurprisingly, these are deterrents to a strong candidate and will damage your reputation. After all, if the interviewers are showing contempt for professional etiquette, it is likely that this is reflected throughout the company. 

Interviewers should uphold professional ethics and etiquette to ensure that the candidate is left with a positive impression and excited to hear about the next steps.

Not being thorough with references

References shouldn’t be overlooked despite your candidate’s professional experience, gender, race, origin, age and socioeconomic background. 

A minimum of two references should be completed prior to hiring to ensure that everything presented by the candidates is legitimate. Even though most companies today reveal little about their former employees, recruiters need to have good knowledge of the candidates’ skills and conduct. Here are three key areas that you should focus on when questioning the references of candidates:
  • Responsibilities- knowledge of the previous responsibilities of your candidate can help determine how well they can handle the responsibilities of the open job position in the event they are hired
  • Strengths – this will give you an idea of what your candidate can bring to the table when hired. In addition, the question should factor in any possible pay raise or promotion that the candidate has achieved as a result of their strengths
  • Weaknesses – while most references will rarely highlight the candidates weaknesses, a good reference will give you some constructive feedback or area’s to discuss when moving forward with your candidate

Forgetting to follow up with candidates

Following up is an essential part of the hiring process, and hiring managers need to ensure that there is a follow-up for every applicant where possible.
Over and above everything, a polite follow-up with candidates (even if they don’t end up being selected for the job) is a clear and sincere way of telling them that you value them and appreciate their time irrespective of the final decision. Protect your company brand and put yourself if the candidates shoes, it works both ways.

In conclusion

The recruitment process can be a costly and time-consuming affair. By ensuring you hit all the small 1 percenter’s, you will give yourself the best chance of securing the top talent whilst protecting and excelling your company brand.

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