Managing a Team

8 Recruiting Mistakes To Avoid In The Hiring Process

Recruiting the wrong candidate is a costly mistake for small businesses. Avoid these mistakes and find your next new hire.

Blog Author - Adrienne Smith
Adrienne Smith
Sep 4, 20154 minutes
Blog Author - Adrienne Smith
Adrienne Smith
8 postsAuthor's posts

At Justworks, we understand the importance of finding and hiring exceptional people. Beyond simply getting the job done, great employees can actualize the company culture and values integral to becoming a company for the ages.

Small businesses who want to become leaders in their industry must have the right people in place. And although it’s sometimes clear when a candidate is the perfect fit, oftentimes there are mistakes and pitfalls that get in the way of recruiting who you need.

We’ll break down some common mistakes when recruiting, as well as recruitment mistakes to avoid when growing your business.

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Common Employee Recruitment Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid These Common Recruiting Mistakes

Not Recruiting Strategically

Don't jump into recruiting without determining what resources are most needed within departments or the organization as a whole. This failure to plan can lead companies to make hires that aren’t in line with the business’ needs - which eventually can lead to company downsizing.

Hiring any position starts big. Your small business needs to identify what you want to accomplish as a company. Build a road map for making that happen. Then, identify the specific needs you need to fill in order to make that happen.

Setting these priorities can also ensure that your new hires are getting the opportunities to make a meaningful impact at your company, which can build employee loyalty early on.

Delivering a Poor Candidate Experience

A hiring process where the candidate is left in the dark about next steps can be bad PR for your company culture. Whether or not you have a lengthier hiring process does not preclude you from setting the right expectations up front with the candidate. You can lose really great candidates that way. Make sure you show the best side of your company through transparency and honest communication.

Sticking to What Looks Good on Paper

Traditional indicators of what’s considered a “good” candidate — top-tier schools, picture-perfect resume, and years of experience shouldn’t preclude you from seriously considering candidates whose backgrounds don’t look like the rest of the pack.

For one, top-tier schools don’t automatically signify that a candidate is the right hire or a good culture fit. In a similar vein, experience specific to your industry shouldn’t always be a prerequisite for a candidate unless they’re applying for a highly specialized role.

What’s most valuable is that the candidates you hire bring a unique perspective that rounds out your team. Research shows us time and again that diverse teams will outperform homogenous ones. Deloitte, for instance, found that diverse workforces are 30% more likely to spot mistakes. And data findings from McKinsey & Co. correlate a team’s diversity and better financial performance.

The bottom line is that prioritizing candidates whose resumes look good on paper can close you off from the voices who can help your company innovate.

Recruiting Mistakes When Scaling Your Company

Not Defining Your Culture And Values

Don’t focus exclusively on the job responsibilities in your job description. Aside from holding the skills to meet the role's responsibilities, the ideal candidate should also embody your company’s culture and values.

In addition to identifying your needs for the role, make sure you’ve communicated your culture and what you value in your employees. Hiring an employee who has the right skillset but isn’t a culture fit can be just as detrimental to your business’ growth as hiring an employee with no experience.

If you’re a growing company, you’re going to run into more complexity no matter what. Whether it’s more levels of management, another office, or remote employees, “growing pains” will make maintaining your company culture more difficult.

Learn more about how to maintain company culture in a rapidly-growing business in our blog post.

Relying on Obvious Places to Find Candidates

Beyond LinkedIn and online job boards, recruitment channels haven’t truly changed much over the past few decades. Maybe LinkedIn and Greenhouse get the job done, but there are more exciting ways to build out your recruitment pipeline.

If you continue to rely on the same recruiting channels, you're likely to get the same types of candidates. By expanding your network to include those beyond traditional recruiting channels, you’re bound to get candidates that will surprise you with their abilities.

How can you cast a more inclusive net? Consider creating an upskill educational program for current employees who show interest in different roles or teams. This reinforces loyalty and retention, while ensuring that your candidates are already great culture fits.

Not Creating an Employee Referral Program

Along the lines of upskilling employees, you should also consider setting up an employee referral program. If you’ve put in the work towards bolstering your company culture and values, employees should already feel energized about having their network join your team.

Of course, providing a financial incentive on top of that doesn’t hurt. This is an easy way to communicate to your team just how valuable their input is toward meaningful company decisions.

Forgetting to Put Diversity Front and Center

Diversity is much more holistic than what more simplistic hiring advice might tell you. It’s inextricable from equitable policies and procedures, and a culture of inclusion. In your recruitment process, you should be making clear what your equity and inclusion initiatives are:

  • How does your company establish inclusion policies that are attentive to all races, ethnicities, and gender identities?

  • What professional development opportunities do you offer to all employees to ensure they are advancing in their careers?

  • What sort of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are available to your team? And how do you compensate ERG leads for the work they do?

  • How does your company practice anti-racism and broadly communicate its stances on anti-racism?

Walking the walk, and then communicating that commitment in your hiring process will do more than willing diversity to simply happen.

Related article: Want Diversity in the Workplace? Rethink Your Recruitment Process

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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Written By
Blog Author - Adrienne Smith
Adrienne Smith
Sep 4, 20154 minutes

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