Top 10 Hiring Mistakes Employers Make (Part 1)

oh manThe hiring process is the golden gateway in to your organization, and handled well it will deliver a timely and constant stream of good quality, loyal talent to the doorstep of your business.  This is why it’s so important that you ensure your hiring process is in tip top shape and following industry best practices. However, many hiring processes are falling below standard in some areas; there are many reasons for this, it could be standards have slipped due to various issues and pressures in the business or that those standards were never really put in place. It may just be that the business does not have the resources or time to sit back and take a clear look at their ailing hiring process.

Whatever, the situation, I always think it is worthwhile to conduct a regular audit of your hiring processes to see if they still measure up. And to help you with this, I have developed a list of the top 10 hiring mistakes (5 of which are below and 5 of which will follow in part 2 of this article) which many employers are making. Addressing these hiring mistakes will result in a more efficient and effective hiring process.

  1. Relying exclusively or heavily on jobs boards; there is nothing wrong with jobs board, but have you looked outside recently? There’s a whole new world of sourcing opportunity out there in the form of crowd-sourcing and employee social referrals. These days, you can turn your own workforce into talent scouts using crowd-sourcing software like Zao, BullHorn Reach, Meshhire and Jobvite. In fact, employee referrals have proven themselves to be the most influential form of hire with 28% of jobs being filled by this channel versus just 20% being filled by jobs boards. Hiring via employee referrals has been shown to be faster and it also yields longer serving staff.
  1. Thinking that the unemployed are unemployable; this is a very outdated mindset which is still held by many employers today, as research from Bullhorn Reach shows that 44% of recruiters find that unemployed candidates were the hardest type of candidate to place, even harder than those with a criminal record. This is a mistake, because as a result of mass redundancies and high unemployment, today’s unemployed workforce is perhaps the most highly skilled, competent (yet unemployed) workforce that we have ever seen.
  1. Thinking that older workers will be less productive; yes, research from Wharton Business School suggests 36.5% of 50 year olds face age discrimination in the workplace. It is the silent sin, and it seems to be more common than race or gender discrimination. However, adopting this attitude is a mistake and not justified as research shows that older workers have higher engagement levels than younger workers, they waste less time and they stay longer. Older workers can be just as productive as younger workers and should be considered a valuable addition to any work-force.
  1. Not assessing for culture fit; research from Leadership IQ tells us that 46% of new hires fail during the first 18 months and the main reason for this is not due to lack of technical skills but due to lack of cultural fit to the organization, department, team and managerial style. Therefore in order to ensure that your hiring process chooses effective employees you should also include a serious amount of cultural fit assessment in your hiring process. At its most basic level this involves measuring your current culture as well as identifying your target culture and hiring people to suit.
  1. Not acknowledging applicants; a survey by Startwire of over 200 jobseekers found that over 70% of applicants would either think less of a company that didn’t respond to applicants or they would be deterred from recommending or promoting a company that did not respond to applicants. If you fail to respond to applicants you will be damaging your employer brand, making it harder to attract new recruits and the resulting ill will that is generated around your company will make it harder to close on ideal candidates also. Therefore, set up processes to acknowledge applicants. Auto-responders and some form of basic ATS, with automated mass mail features, should go some way to remedying this problem.

Good luck with hiring and, if you found these tips useful, please watch out for part two of this article, which outlines 5 more common hiring mistakes and outlines how to fix them.

in Hiring Process]
Kazim Ladimeji
Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.