Recruitment can often feel like a relentless hunt for some mythical creature. It’s a very complex and often laborious undertaking. While it’s tempting to take shortcuts to speed up the process, giving in to the urge will frequently end in disaster. Here are some of the most common mistakes made in the recruitment process, and how you can avoid them.
- Relying Solely on the Resume – Credentials from reputable schools are great, but they don’t always trump relevant experience. Likewise, some candidates have poor resume writing abilities, but would still make a substantial asset to the organization. Resumes are great for giving a high-level look into a candidate’s skills and qualifications, but they don’t paint the full pictures. Be careful that you don’t automatically put the MBA into your “yes” pile without digging a little deeper first.
- Missing Internal Referrals – Top candidates aren’t looking for a job, they are being sought after by the best recruiters in the industry. Often, your best resource for finding candidates isn’t through a job posting, but rather through the employees already on staff. Don’t fail to ask your superstars who they have in their network that might be a good fit for your open position.
- Failing to Plan – All too often, hiring managers are printing off a candidate’s resume while they are sitting in the lobby waiting for their interview. Failing to plan for an interview is a sure way to make a hiring mistake. Before the day of the interview, spend time reviewing the candidate’s resume. Also, come armed with some well-thought-out, behavioral based questions that are pertinent to the position and the culture of your company. A good candidate will have put some time into preparation, and you should, too.
- Weak Interview Questions – About those behavioral-based questions you prepared…use them. Simply asking, “Can you handle conflict?” will most always be answered with a “yes”, whether the candidate can actually do it or not. If conflict resolution is an integral part in the role, you’ll need to probe deeper. A better question might be, “Tell me about your approach to conflict?” or “Tell me about a time when you were unable to reach resolution during a conflict, and how you would have handled it differently?” Don’t be afraid to make candidates think critically.
- Desperation – When an employee leaves, HR professionals and hiring managers are often caught flat-footed. The disruption in the work-flow can be a strain, but moving too quickly to find a replacement can make things worse. The old adage rings true here: “Hire slow; fire fast.” While you may have to order-in lunch for the team, it’s worth the cost of pizza to take your time and find the best fit for your organization.
Making good hiring decisions requires more work and due diligence than many expect. It’s important to go into the process of recruiting new talent knowing that it’s going to take time to find that unicorn among the horses. But as long as you avoid these 5 mistakes, you’ll find that you save time in the long run and have a much stronger team to show for it.