5 Most Common Recruiting Mistakes

If you’ve ever hired a candidate whose work ethic turns out to be totally different from what was presented or lost a promising candidate to another company, you’re not alone.


Many organisations make mistakes in the recruiting process—and oftentimes, the same mistakes over and over without realising it!


Here are five of the most common recruiting mistakes that companies make and how to avoid them:


  1. Recycling job descriptions and job requirements


Reusing old job descriptions for a role you’ve hired before might seem like a good way to save time but this often results in having to sift through many unsuitable applicants!


Job roles change over time so recycling an old job description means you’ll end up hiring against an outdated criteria that doesn’t meet your organisation’s real needs and being vague about job requirements makes shortlisting candidates more difficult than it should be. 


  1. Not checking references provided by candidates


The Society for Human Resource Management in the UK reports that 25% of employers never check references provided by candidates in their resumes. Not checking references leaves you with only the candidate’s own perspective of their skills and work ethic to gauge how well they fit the job.


While a candidate’s self-perception is important, it is easily distorted and difficult to see through. However, someone who has worked with or observed the progress of this person will be able to give you a better sense of who they really are.


  1. Asking predictable interview questions that reveals nothing about the candidate


With so many resources available on the Internet and through the grapevine revealing what questions get asked during job interviews, candidates often have a rehearsed answer prepared when predictable questions are asked.


Hence, template questions like “What do you think your weaknesses are?” and “Why should we hire you?” don’t truly reveal much about a candidate’s character or thought processes. Instead, ask questions that candidates can’t prepare for or have to think about in order to answer so you know they’re really thinking on their feet.


  1. Not recruiting for company culture fit


Company culture fit isn’t for picking out candidates who have educational backgrounds or even similar perspectives of life but for finding people who align with your company’s core values and whose life experiences can help you advance your business goals.


When there’s too much focus on ensuring the people you hire have the same qualifications and problem-solving methods, you’ll end up with a team that lacks diversity and innovation. You might also end up hiring people who don’t share your values and goals.


  1. Not staying in touch and contacting the candidates throughout the hiring process


The hiring process is often a long one with a lot of waiting and uncertainty on the candidate’s part. Thus, most people won’t just apply to your company and patiently wait for a response before they make the next move. They’ll most likely apply for multiple jobs and accept the first one that offers a favourable outcome.


But even if there’s nothing you can do to speed up your organisation’s hiring process, you can maintain contact and update your candidates on the developments of their application. This helps to position your company in their minds and get promising candidates to wait a bit longer.

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