20 Biggest Hiring Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

Biggest hiring mistakes to avoid

20 Biggest Hiring Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

In Australia alone, staff turnover costs businesses up to $20 billion a year, according to an AHRI HR pulse survey.

As people are the centre of most businesses, the ability to hire the right staff can make or break an entire operation.

We’ve compiled some of the biggest hiring mistakes a business can make to help you avoid them:

1. Hiring for skills, rather than attitude:

You can’t train enthusiasm, work ethic or interpersonal skills. Many taught skills, on the other hand, can be transferred relatively easily from experienced to non-experienced staff.

2. Making promises you can’t keep:

Know ahead of time what you can and can’t promise a candidate. Promising the wrong thing can have massive implications further down the road.

3. Not conducting a good job interview:

A common misconception is that it is the role of the candidate to prepare for the interview. Effective hiring relies on the ability of the interviewer to ask questions that elicit informed facts and information, rather than just opinions from the candidate.

4. Expecting too much:

Many employers think the best way to find a candidate is having an exhaustive list of qualifications. This can lead to finding a candidate with generalist experience, as opposed to something with very developed skills in key areas.

5. Asking the wrong questions:

Interviewers need to be aware of particular sensitivities that may arise in the interview process. Asking a question about what sports a candidate plays may discriminate against a handicapped person. Be wary of these when crafting interview questions.

6. Rushing the hiring process:

There is always a rush to fill vacant positions, which can lead to the candidate being vetted poorly. To avoid this, make sure to set a realistic time frame on the hiring process.

7. Engaging in intuition based hiring:

Having a personal preference of one candidate over another will often shape a hiring decision. It is best to keep an objective scorecard to make sure you are hiring with your brain and not your heart.

8. Not performing adequate background checks:

False resumes, fraud degrees and exaggerated technical skills are not uncommon in the business word. Failure to complete adequate background checks could not only land you the wrong candidate, but also tarnish your company’s image.

9. Placing too much emphasis on the interview:

Some candidates are “interview stars” but their performance may fizzle after being hired. The trick to avoid this is asking questions that uncover the candidates true personality. Try asking them about influencers or how they would deal with a situation, rather than simply talking about the job and resume.

10. Hiring “whatever comes along”:

When you run job ads or go to a job fair keep in mind that you are only accessing candidates actively searching for a role. Sometimes the best candidates might be the ones you have to go after, not the ones who come to you.

11. Failing to fully prep a candidate for the interview:

Some people think fast on their feet and don’t need much preparation. Others prefer to take their time preparing for situations. If you want to enable all candidates with the opportunity to shine, make sure they are all prepped when coming in to the interview.

12. Spending too much interview time talking:

A job is about doing, not talking. Instead of sitting down and talking for hours, consider taking the candidate on a quick tour and getting them hands on to see how they work.

13. Hiring your own image:

It’s natural that you might want to work with people similar to yourself, but take a moment to consider if that’s the best thing for your business. Sometimes having a variety of personality types within a team covers more bases.

14. Not being clear about what you want:

Until you have written a clear job description of what you want, you shouldn’t even consider starting to hire. A good place to start is thinking about purpose, duties, qualifications and next steps.

15. Not having a long term plan:

The amount of time a candidate will work for you is a very important factor to consider when hiring. A short term role is suited better to a fast learner whereas a long term role is often more appropriate to an experienced, reliable candidate.

16. Hiring a sales team too early:

Many business owners think their business will rise or fall based on the ability to get customers. This leads them to hire a sales team early to accomplish this – often before the product is entirely ready.

17. Hiring friends and family:

When a position opens up many business owners will look to hire a family member or friend as a favour. This is particularly dangerous as they are often not the best candidate for the role and may lead to personal conflicts.

18. Not having a clear hiring process:

By establishing a defined hiring process you can be sure that each candidate is being provided with the same information and opportunity. This should make the decision-making process more simple and efficient.

19. Offering someone the job on the spot:

Whilst tempting, it is nearly always better to walk away and think about how the interview went. This reduces the likelihood of intuition hiring and makes the process more objective and reliable.

20. Hiring before determining why the last person left:

Possibly the most overlooked hiring mistake. Before you hire someone new it’s important to work out why the last person left. If it’s a persistent problem you may experience the same problem with the next candidate.

Are you looking to start hiring? Found is dedicated to matching employers and job-seekers fast


Are you looking to start hiring? Found is dedicated to matching employers and job-seekers fast.


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