6 mistakes that can lead to a bad hire

27 Jul

Hire right the first time.

Hiring mistakes cost companies serious money. Replacing a hire is always expensive, especially when you have to do it more than once within just a few months. It's not always possible to prevent bad hiring decisions, but by performing due diligence, you significantly reduce the likelihood of them. Avoid these mistakes in the hiring process:

1. Focusing too much on culture
Company culture is often a key consideration in hiring. However, as Business Insider pointed out, looking too hard for a cultural match may cause you to overlook someone with the right skills. In addition, hiring for culture may lead to homogenous work environments where employees all share very similar backgrounds. Greater diversity among workers gives you the benefit of more points of view.

2. Having a vague job description
Too many companies fail to put together an adequate description of what they're looking for in a position. Often these descriptions are too vague or too narrow; few are just right. You need to make sure the person has experience similar to what they would do on the job, but you can't always expect one candidate to meet 100 percent of your specifications. Instead, consider making your requirements less rigid and training the right person to meet your standards if necessary. 

3. Not checking references
Every human resources manager knows the importance of checking references, but somehow, it doesn't happen. Too many employers skip this vital step and miss out on red flags that would have prevented a bad hire. Another related mistake is calling references but not digging for the answers you need. Be ready to ask follow up questions to ensure references are being entirely truthful, otherwise you can still overlook important information.

4. Failing to check credentials
So your new hire's resume claimed she increased Web traffic 40 percent over her time as marketing manager in a previous role. That sounds great, but unfortunately, you can't assume it's the truth. According to HR Morning, it's important to fact check candidate resumes in the final stages of the hiring process. Applicants sometimes lie. Also verify the degrees listed. Even the most high profile employees have lied about their education. Remember when it came out that Former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson fibbed about his college degree? These things happen.

5. Lacking a formal process
According to Business Insider, organizations that lack a formal hiring process are more likely to make mistakes. If you rush through recruiting and hiring you are likely to pick someone who is an imperfect match. Gather stakeholders, sit down and establish hiring guidelines and you will prevent great talent from slipping through the cracks. 

6. Using the wrong recruiting and onboarding tools
Without the most up-to-date recruiting and personnel management software, you are unlikely to get in touch with candidates before competitors snatch them up. According to Society for Human Resources Management, the best applicant tracking systems provide a seamless workflow and easy customization for unique recruiting needs. Onboarding is equally as important to ensure the new hire sticks around.

Make the above mistakes and you set yourself up for trouble. Avoiding a bad hire is simply good business.

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