Hiring missteps: They cost companies a lot of time and money — and in the end, create a lot of extra work for HR. Here’s some help for guiding managers to make the best hiring decisions possible.
No manager’s going to make the right decision 100% of the time. But avoiding these common mistakes will help them increase the odds:
At the start of the process
The recruiting effort should start with a good job description and decent pool of candidates. Without those, you’re likely to end up hiring the wrong person. Here are two manager mistakes that can get in the way:
- Requirements are too narrow. It’s a common mistake for a manager to list too many “requirements,” or focus too much on the less-important criteria. Often, too much emphasis is placed on skills that can be taught quickly in on-the-job training anyway — as long as the candidate is a good learner and can adapt quickly.
- They don’t help HR prep the candidates. Since HR managers or recruiters are generally the first people to talk to applicants, it’s usually up to them to tell candidates what they need to know before the interview. Make sure you ask hiring managers if there’s any important information you should pass on to help the candidate prepare. That’ll make sure the interview time is well spent.
During the interview
Given how subjective the art of interviewing can be, it’s no surprise a lot of faulty decisions are made based on a candidate’s interview. Still, there are ways managers can get more out of the process.
Some common interview mistakes you can help them avoid:
- They give first impressions all the weight. Obviously, first impressions are important and will always make a difference. But too often, managers make a decision immediately and won’t be swayed either way, no matter how great — or awful — the rest of the interview is.
- They go too easy on people. A common mistake people without much interviewing experience make is speaking up during long periods of silence. Usually, the manager asks a tough question, the candidate pauses for too long to think of an answer, so the manager jumps in and lobs a softball question or gives a hint on how to answer. But managers need to learn to use silence to their advantage and wait to hear what the candidate has to say.
When the decision’s made
Here are two more behaviors that can lead to the job offer being handed to wrong person:
- Candidates are only rated comparatively. After seeing a few obvious duds, the next mediocre candidate that walks in the door might seem like your next superstar. But that doesn’t mean he or she is the best choice, or even a good choice. It’s important for managers to have established criteria and hold off on the offer until they find someone that really meets them.
- The decision takes too long. Granted, the manager should never rush into a decision. But if the process takes too long, the best candidates are more likely to accept other offers or decide to stick with their current employers.