Five Common Hiring Mistakes and how to avoid them!

With media reports of a growing economy and three out of four businesses in the region looking to hire over the coming year, it’s time for businesses to perfect their hiring technique.

Despite it being widely acknowledged that an organisation’s most important assets are its people, many businesses still are not dedicating the appropriate time and resources to the hiring processes.

The fact remains that in many areas skilled candidates are in high demand and in short supply, but there’s also a chance that the recruiting challenges that a company is facing can be overcome by changing just a few things.

Here are the top five Hiring Mistakes that companies are making.


  1. Looking for a candidate that doesn’t exist

One of the most common hiring mistakes is setting an impossible bar for candidates, if the requirements are too specific or there are just too many ‘must haves’ you are risking losing the top talent to competing companies.

When defining the criteria for the new role holder it is good to list out the required experience, skills and education but it is also worth asking yourself – ‘does a professional like this even exist?’ be prepared to refine your list of minimum requirements to 3 or 4 that are absolute must haves to be able to perform the role effectively with ‘nice to haves’ defined in order to assist with pre-screening.


  1. Not properly defining roles and responsibilities

In comparison to number 1, we often come across companies who know that they want to fill a role but haven’t yet defined the ideal candidate.

Being vague about the roles and responsibilities that the employee will do often means that a company will end up seeing a wide variety of candidates and waste precious time interviewing too many people and only then do they distil their list of requirements. Often, however, by this stage the good candidates have grown tired of waiting around and found another position elsewhere, causing the employer to go back out to market.

By properly defining roles and responsibilities with a robust job description and a solid brief for the recruiting agency before searching for employees, companies are able to get it right first time.


  1. Not making hiring a priority

Despite it being a well-known fact that delaying hiring or getting the hiring process wrong ends of up costing companies a great deal of money (link to article), we still encounter organisations that do not make time for hiring.

Drawing out the process by delaying interviews, not prioritising time in hiring managers diaries specifically for hiring activities or dragging feet over decision making all adds time to the hiring process, resulting in candidates shifting their focus elsewhere.

Whilst HR can manage some of the process, it is imperative that business leaders also make time for recruitment, without making time it simply will not happen.


  1. Not providing a great first impression

The best candidates plan and prepare for an interview to make sure that they are creating the best impression. However, it is just as important that a company does this too. Keeping a candidate waiting, answering phone calls mid-interview, insisting on excessive numbers of interviews, being unprepared are all common feedback we get from candidates from their interview experience.

When candidates come for an interview they are taking in the office environment, the company culture and that tone is set during the interview. By showcasing the unique and positive aspects of working for your company, the candidate can see that will be in a supportive and collaborative work environment if they are hired for the job. After all the recruitment decision is made by both parties.


  1. Hiring the right person for the wrong role

Another common mistake companies make is hiring the right person but placing them in the wrong role. They love the candidate and want to find a way to make the hire work, so they put them in a position similar to the original role they were hiring for.

This just leads to the company not properly resourcing the position they needed to fill, and the new employee is frustrated because they aren’t doing the kind of work they thought they were going to be doing.

Occasionally, the perfect hire can walk into the office and it’s possible to find a way to make it work. Maybe they’ll present a new position the company wasn’t even considering, and they become worth the risk.

But in most cases, hiring someone simply because they’re liked, or because they’ll be a great personality within the company just doesn’t work. The decision needs to be brought back to the original goal: filling a specific role to work toward a desired outcome.


Hiring takes time, it takes resources, planning and investment. If you are looking to add to your team contact Inspire Selection here to help you win that war for talent!

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