Hiring is hard work, even in the best of times—and times are tough right now in this candidate-driven market. Perhaps you’ve made one or more (YIKES!) of these five hiring mistakes. It’s difficult to know who the right fit will be. Even if you do know who that person is, finding them seems nearly impossible.
Let’s look at the 5 hiring mistakes I frequently see and learn how you can avoid making them.
1. Lacking Clarity
Starting with the proper perspective is critical if you want to find the right people. This is one of the most serious hiring mistakes. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? Here’s a great example: a client needed to add a mid-career team member. However, the client made the mistake of hiring a less-experienced person because one of their more junior staff was going to be out on a medical leave.
Why is that a mistake? Because they hired for a short-term need and ignored the more important long-term goals. The junior staff member needed more time and training which took the owner away from business development and serving important clients. If they had remained focused on the long-term goals instead of hiring to relieve short-term pain, they could have hired a mid-career employee who was willing to pitch in and do lower level work during the junior person’s time off.
2. Ignoring Culture
Your business has a unique culture that must be part of your hiring process. When people share your values, beliefs, and mission, they are more productive and happy. Who doesn’t want happy, productive employees? We’ve all worked with that person with exceptional technical skills and knowledge who failed to get along with the team and continually caused problems. Hiring mistakes are expensive!
When you hire, make cultural fit a top priority. Design Insightful Interview™ questions to learn whether your candidates would be a good cultural fit. It’s okay to say no to a great technical candidate you know will not fit it. Do yourself—and them—a favor and wait for the right fit.
3. Maintaining Consistency
Inconsistent practices produce inconsistent results. It’s impossible to compare candidates and choose the right one when you are asking them different questions or have no defined means of evaluating their answers to your questions.
Creating a consistent hiring process is one of the best things you can do for your business. An efficient and effective process takes less time, improves the quality of your hires, and shortens the time it takes to hire.
4. Verifying Good Communication
This quote from George Bernard Shaw captures the essence of good communication: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Have you ever thought you and an employee both understood what the task was and how it was to be done? Then, you were surprised, shocked, or angry when you found out you were miles apart.
Here’s how to correct this. As you are interviewing candidates, describe the job and the outcomes expected from their work. Then, ask the candidate to summarize what they heard. You will learn how well this person can listen and absorb information and, most importantly, whether you are effectively communicating with them.
5. Waiting for Perfection
As Winston Churchill said, “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” Please stop waiting until you have a 100% perfect match before you hire. Change is happening faster than ever. While you are waiting for the perfect match, you are falling behind your competitors who are hiring more quickly and getting great employees.
As you review resumes and talk with candidates, you will gain valuable knowledge about the talent available. So use this knowledge to determine when you reach an acceptable mix of skills and experience. For example, you may have to hire for 80% of the technical skills and train for the other 20%.
Hiring the right employees takes an investment of time and strategic thinking.
Decide today to take the first step to hire great employees and stop settling for average or subpar employees. Perhaps it’s time to grab a copy of The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business. It’s packed with tools, templates, and step-by-step instructions. Purchase your copy here or on Amazon.
Or, you might need some help from an expert. Click this link to schedule a complimentary Insight session. It’s an investment of 20 minutes of focused coaching that will pay huge dividends.