Top 5 recruiting and hiring mistakes that HR often makes

April 25, 2016

Top 5 recruiting and hiring mistakes that HR often makes

By Elsbeth McSorley April 25, 2016

By Elsbeth McSorley

Hiring mistakes not only waste time and money, they can contribute to low company morale. Having a refined recruiting and hiring process is crucial to the success of any organization. It’s important to know what pitfalls to avoid when selecting candidates and ultimately bringing the best employees on board. The following are the 5 mistakes human resources most often make when recruiting and hiring.

1. Failing to prescreen candidates

This goes beyond doing background checks or calling references. It means checking to make sure candidates actually have all the degrees listed on their resume and that their work history is accurate. If there are more than a dozen candidates seriously worth considering it’s important to conduct phone interviews. Spending 20 or 30 minutes on a phone interview could eliminate several candidates before the face-to-face interviews even begin. Having 3 or 4 candidates to actually interview is not enough, while 15 to 20 is too many. That’s why a good prescreening process is indispensable to narrowing down the field to 8 to 10 of the best candidates. 

2. Inadequately preparing for the interview

It’s just as important for human resources to prepare for an interview as it is for the candidate. Those who will be doing the interview need to meet ahead of time to discuss what type of candidate they’re actually looking for and what kind of questions they’ll ask during the interview. Various members of the interview team should be responsible for asking different types of questions and for assessing different attributes of the candidate.

3. Rejecting overqualified candidates

Rejecting a candidate for fear he or she will get bored or will leave the company for a better position is usually not a smart move. An employee with a higher level of skills will be a positive addition to the organization and will likely save money on training costs. It’s important to keep in mind that the potential exists for this employee to be promoted more quickly to higher level positions. This is especially true when hiring for a large company.

4. Relying on team votes for hiring

This too often turns into a popularity contest instead of finding the most qualified candidate for a position. Team voting can be especially dangerous if the votes aren’t private. This could mean not hiring the best employee because one influential member of the team didn’t like the candidate. Following a team approach when coming up with creative recruiting methods is a good idea. Having multiple people in on the interview and evaluation process can even be productive. However, with the exception of the most senior positions in a company, the final hiring decision should normally be limited to the hiring manager.

5. Putting too much emphasis on the interview

The interview is obviously an important aspect of choosing an employee, but it shouldn’t be the only factor taken into consideration. A candidate will often tell those conducting the interview what they think they want to hear. Putting too much emphasis on an interview can also be applied to years of experience and an impressive amount of education. Degrees, years of experience, and interview performance all need to be balanced alongside traits such as enthusiasm and potential for growth. 

Learn more about avoiding a bad hire in our eBook 7 Tips for Avoiding the Mistakes that Lead to a Bad Hire.

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