You are here


Top Five Hiring Mistakes

October 2, 2013

Mistake No. 1.                       Hiring for skills, attitude or culture

You have to hire for all three.  In today’s fast-paced, collaborative culture we need people with shorter learning curves who can play in the sandbox with others, work with the grain of the Company and help energize others. In essence, we have to look at the whole person when hiring.  To do this we need a strong selection process with multiple components.

Mistake No. 2.                       Selling the job or business

If you want someone to quit within a few months sell them in the interview process. It is like a movie that cannot live up to the trailer. If you want to identify people that will want the job and will stick around, share with them the challenges of the job and working at that organization. Most importantly, use that process to help make the candidate make a decision about whether or not they want to work there. A structured, consistent and productive way to do this is to use a tool for this process called a realistic job preview.

Mistake No. 3.                       Trusting your intuition

Most research has demonstrated that when we hire using our gut feeling we have about a 50/50 chance of hiring the best person for the job. Those are lousy odds. We want to do better than flip a coin. We want to make sure that we are hiring the very best person, that we have confidence in them and they have confidence in our organization and us. The only way to breed that confidence is to use a structured process to help us make the very best decision possible.

Mistake No. 4.                       Ignoring your intuition

Now that seems counter intuitive because I just talked about it being a mistake to trust your intuition, and now I am saying ignoring your intuition is a mistake. I never want you to ignore your intuition. I want you to use your intuition as a vehicle to understand that you see, hear or identify a red flag. Now your key issue must be to verify your gut feeling and understand why it is there. It may be a bias or it may be something real.  If it is a bias we obviously want to avoid using our bias in selection decisions. But if it is something real we want to follow that gut feeling, get good information about it and verify it. So, don’t completely ignore your intuition.

Mistake No. 5.                       Not training people on how to hire

Too many companies rely on picking a set of questions.  They even use some form of behavior-based interviewing.  However, they really are not using the true process of behavior-based interviewing.  To do that people need to be trained and there’s an entire process on how to define what a role looks like and what questions would specifically be used for that role.  There’s a certain way to probe for more information and a very specific way to rate the information that you collect from your candidates.  If you don’t go through training and learn the entire process and learn it well you’re bound to make mistakes which will cause you two challenges:  (1) hiring people who are not necessarily appropriate for that position, and (2) putting yourself at a legal risk.