Updated October 3, 2019

7 Hiring Mistakes That Businesses Make

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While most business owners would no doubt like to retain good employees for years to come, it is not always possible. People leave jobs every day, for various reasons. Sometimes employees leave for better paying jobs, sometimes for personal reasons, and sometimes because the job just wasn't working out for either them or their employer.

Increase your odds of getting people who want to stay and will stay. In this case, the way to pull off that feat is to consider what not to do when you're in recruiting mode. CreditDonkey.com compiled seven hiring mistakes that businesses commonly make. Learn from them so that your favored employees don't end up as one of the statistics.

Hiring Mistake #1: Hiring Out of Desperation

Desperation hiring is just that, desperate. The scramble begins when one employee gives notice and the company has no chance to find and train someone new before the two-week notice ends. A shortage of manpower often leads managers to hire too quickly, just to fill the position.

Avoid the pitfall:
Unless you already have the perfect employee lined up for a promotion, turning the hiring process into a rush job will only hurt your business down the line. Instead, do your due diligence and give yourself time to fully review resumes. Fill in for your existing employees who have to work extra as the open position is filled or look into using a temp service as you search for the right permanent person.

Hiring Mistake #2: Insisting on the "Perfect" Candidate

On the flip side, you can do yourself a disservice if you go to the other extreme and wait forever as you search for a certain person type of person, who may not even exist. You'll be discouraged and so will your employees.

Avoid the pitfall:
Use the interview process not to look for reasons to get rid of a candidate but rather reasons why you might want to hire the person. As long as someone shows a strong level of aptitude and skills, with some training and time to adjust to the new role, a new employee could become "perfect," or at least close to it.

Hiring Mistake #3: Hiring the Competition

The third hiring mistake can really go either way. Many companies would like nothing better than to "steal" an employee from the "competition." After all, bringing that person onto your team will likely hurt your competitor's bottom line, right? Not necessarily. You need to look past your envy of your competitor and look deeper at a candidate, who may not be a key player in the other company's success.

Avoid the pitfall:
If a business is not willing to make a go at retaining an employee, there may be a reason why. You need to ask yourself if this candidate is one you would hire if he or she did not work for your competitor. If the answer is no, you may want to keep looking for the best candidate out there.

Hiring Mistake #4: Not Finding Someone Who Fits In

You may easily find candidates who have a wealth of experience and skills to match. Their resume may be outstanding, but you always need to consider your current work environment. If you are looking to change your existing company culture, is this potential employee drastically different? Or do you need someone who will fit right in? Not all of your employees need to be best friends, but it is a lot easier to run a successful business when everyone gets along to a certain extent. Employees need to be able to work together in order for your business to thrive.

Avoid the pitfall:
Make it a point during the interview process to give candidates time to sit and talk with current employees. They will often feel more comfortable with someone they consider a peer and may provide some valuable information about themselves to another employee. After the candidate has left the office, invite your current employee to share any feedback. This will likely help you in your decision, as well as provide a sense of teamwork within your current staff.

Hiring Mistake #5: Not Listening

When it comes to doing your part in the interview process, make sure you are really listening. Do not just go through the motions with a few courtesy nods and such. If you do, you will come across as the one not being honest. Take time to learn about the applicant, and ask relevant follow-up questions.

Avoid the pitfall:
When you ask applicants about their experience and background, go past the surface questions and answers. For instance, if applicants lost their previous job, do not assume it was only because they are a bad employee. Many people have lost jobs in recent years, some of them simply due to a poor economy or an underperforming company. You will get a truer sense of the people in front of you if you make a point of listening.

Hiring Mistake #6: Not Being Honest

Just as you hope that an applicant is honest with you during an interview, you need to be honest as well. This does not mean airing all of your company's dirty laundry. What it means is being honest about what the job is and what the requirements are. It is your responsibility to "sell" the job to applicants, as much as it is their responsibility to "sell" themselves.

Avoid the pitfall:
Be upfront about any aspects of the job that may be a challenge. New employees are more likely to stay on if they have had a chance to consider all the issues before agreeing to take the job, and they won't feel betrayed by untruths. So, for example, if the job requires a lot of overtime or traveling, you should bring it up. The right candidates need to know the job expectations from the very beginning.

Hiring Mistake #7: Bypassing Background and Reference Checks

That brings us to the final hiring mistake. Although it is the most obvious mistake a business can make in hiring a new employee, it happens time and time again. Failing to do a thorough background check can be a big mistake. Anyone can say anything during a job interview, and you need verify that what you are told matches with how this person is in real life. Similarly, if the person turns out to be an awful hire, you can salvage your mistake by at least showing others that you did indeed do your homework.

Make sure to cover all the necessary info when you make the job offer. Jessica Eastman Stewart explains how to maximize trust and transparency so your ideal candidate says yes.

Avoid the pitfall:
At the very least, make simple background checks a part of your hiring process. Some employers go as far as looking into a potential employee's credit history. We're not saying you need to go that far - that may actually give you inaccurate or misleading information - but do take the time to search for the person online, verify the info included in each person's resume, and ask for references. See if you have any mutual LinkedIn connections and check with those people as well. Consider using an outside firm to help you with this process, if you can afford it, to do a thorough job. Wouldn't you rather find out something that disqualifies a candidate in the very beginning, rather than deal with an even bigger issue once that candidate is one of your employees? Most people would.

Hiring employees who are good and will stay can be a long, tedious process, but your patience and the work involved can pay off. Avoiding these top seven hiring mistakes will help put your company on the road to success for years to come.

Lori D is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Lori D at lori@creditdonkey.com

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