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Here’s what not to do when hiring

Posted by Neha De

July 27, 2021    |     5-minute read (993 words)

Are you looking to hire staff members for your company, but have repeatedly ended up with the wrong kind of employees? As most small business owners can testify, finding the ideal candidate for any role can be hard, especially in today’s fast-paced, highly competitive recruiting environment. The hiring process is complicated, and requires a lot of time, effort and resources. Add to that the current remote work scenario, and the challenges almost double.   

As a startup owner, you want to do everything you can to bring in the right candidates for your organization. Hire well and you are highly likely to have happy, productive and high-performing employees.   

On the other hand, hiring the wrong candidate can cost you dearly. As per estimates by the U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hiring decision is at least 30% of an employee's first-year expected earnings. For example, if you consider an employee with an annual income of $50,000, the cost to your organization can be $15,000.   

Keeping in mind the costs of the hiring process, salary and retention, the Undercover Recruiter puts the cost of a bad hire at $240,000. Poor hiring decisions not only add to monetary expenses, they end up wasting your company’s time as well as slow down the progress of conducting business.  

That said, organizations continue to hire based on emotion without having any strategic recruitment plans in place.  

Given in this article are eight common hiring mistakes companies make and then spend a lot of money, time and energy trying to fix. Use these pointers to adjust your hiring strategy, rectify mistakes, improve your hiring process and boost talent acquisition outcomes.  

Mistake 1: Lacking a structured hiring process You need to be vigilant and forward thinking when hiring new employees — you must know what you need in the long term. To be able to do so, you must have a clear understanding of what your firm aims to achieve in, say, the next five years, and how you will be using the potential hire(s) to get there.  

In order to hire strategically, a methodical recruitment process with order and structure can go a long way. Otherwise, you end up hiring the wrong candidates, which lowers productivity and often results in a high employee attrition rate.  

Never choose speed over quality under pressure in order to fill positions quickly, as you do not want to skip essential steps in the recruitment process.   

Mistake 2: Having vague job descriptions  Attracting the right candidates from a large pool of applicants is an extremely challenging part of the hiring process. In 2020, PageUp conducted research that found only 4% of applicants across all industries are hired. This means, for every 100 applications received, only four people were hired. This figure has remained consistent across the world from the year before.   

One of the main reasons for this is the prevalence of incomplete, inaccurate or vague job descriptions, which can inadvertently result in an extremely high volume of applications. A job description should be concise and clearly describe the role, responsibilities and qualifications required.  

Mistake 3: Not casting a wider net Another common mistake hiring managers often make is that they keep posting all sorts of job openings on the same job portals. The problem with this is that they end up attracting the same type of candidates every time. Also, not all job promotion boards are relevant for all types of openings.  

Mistake 4: Making the hiring process longer or shorter than necessary A recent study found that 60% of recruiters say that they typically lose candidates before they are even able to schedule an interview. A lengthy hiring process can greatly affect a recruiter’s ability to fill positions deftly and quickly. The top candidates are either quick to accept offers from other companies that move faster or they simply lose interest in your company.   

Rushing through the hiring process, on the other hand, can hurt your organization, especially if you have to look for candidates for the same position over and over.  

Mistake 5: Not engaging with candidates While recruitment tools and other technological advancements have simplified the hiring process by taking care of tasks such as scheduling interviews and others, it is not smart to rely on them completely. This can make the process feel impersonal to candidates looking for a personal connection.  

In addition, lack of response from potential employers can cause frustration in job seekers during the overall job search. Candidates believe that a generic response is better than no response. However, shockingly, only 23% of job applicants receive any communication from the company after applying for an advertised position.   

Mistake 6: Not taking company culture into account While finding a candidate with all the required skills and experience is great, it is extremely crucial to account for cultural and personality fit. Unless every employee works toward a common goal, the company cannot progress.   

Mistake 7: Making hiring decisions reactively Most human beings operate on emotions and biases can creep in at any time, even while making hiring decisions. You must ensure that such decisions are made based on pure merit, as it will allow you to match the candidates’ job profiles with the skill sets required for a specific position and ultimately find the best-suited employees for your firm.  

Mistake 8: Refraining from getting candidate feedback Feedback from candidates, selected or otherwise, can help improve the recruitment process manyfold. If handled properly, candidates may offer suggestions on how to improve the processes you use.  

A rising attrition rate has made the job market tougher than ever, hitting small- and medium-sized businesses especially hard. However, with a strategic approach in the form of full-cycle recruiting, companies can get a better return on investment when it comes to managing talent.  

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