Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes With These Five Essential Tips

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Employees are the driving force behind any business. That’s why even one bad hire can cause your company to sputter and stall.

According to The United States Department of Labor, a hire who turns out to be a lemon can cost a company upwards of an entire year of that employee’s salary.

And finances aren’t the only casualty of a faulty hiring process. Office morale and productivity also suffer, as unfit employees tend to spread bad vibes throughout the ranks.

While it’s challenging to get it right every time you hire a new staff member, there are some common interview mistakes you can avoid, putting you in a better position to make the right choice.

Related: ‘Quiet Hiring’ Is on the Horizon – Here’s What Employers and Employees Need to Know

Don’t rush to fill the position

In today’s fast-paced business culture, companies often race to put an employee in a chair, prioritizing filling the position over finding the right person for the job. This can lead to hasty, rushed hiring decisions that result in long-term headaches.

“When we were a young startup, we typically looked at the pool of respondents and hired the best person,” says Ross Kimbarovsky, Founder and CEO of crowdSPRING and Startup Foundry. “After making a few hiring mistakes, we now hire only when a candidate is the right fit for us.”

The bottom line: Hiring is not about headcount—it’s about making your hire count.

Don’t procrastinate on the prep

Managers often go through hiring process steps with the attitude that they’ll know the right candidate when they meet them. This lack of pre-game preparation before the interview process can cause a bottleneck in hiring and slow everything down.

Hiring managers go wrong by not putting time in up-front to really consider what they’re looking for in a replacement or a new hire,” says Barbara Mitchell, co-author of The Big Book of HR. “If work is done before the hiring begins, it will go quicker.”

Don’t have time to interview dozens of applicants? CandidateView is an online platform that allows you to use AI to pre-interview people on video. Candidates’ answers are recorded and can be reviewed by hiring managers before deciding whether or not they want to schedule in-person interviews.

Don’t hire the most experienced candidate

Experience is important, but it’s not everything. Too often, hiring managers look to fill positions with the most qualified candidates, overlooking that they may be a bad fit for the company culture.

When interviewing people for a job, try to gauge if this person will align with the company’s values. Will they feel comfortable in their role, and will you feel comfortable working alongside them?

A strong company culture leads to productive outcomes, but a cultural mismatch can negatively influence your entire team, resulting in reduced productivity, diminished morale, and an unsatisfactory customer experience.

Related: Recruiting and Hiring Top-Quality Employees

Don’t only focus on technical skills

Hiring someone proficient at getting the job done quickly and efficiently can be tempting. Those so-called “hard skills” are essential for performance as they determine a candidate’s ability to execute specific tasks.

But they’re only half the story.

A mastery of soft skills is also crucial. These are the non-technical skills that make a person a pleasure to work with. We’re talking about interpersonal skills such as good communication, the ability to work well with others, a positive attitude, and cultural sensitivity. Basically, everything we learned in kindergarten.

Don’t ignore red flags

Did the candidate show up for their interview late and unprepared? Did they speak disrespectfully about their former employer or have a long track record of short stints at previous jobs? These are warning signs that hiring managers ignore at their peril.

In their attempt to be fair and give someone the benefit of the doubt, they sometimes don’t want to see the potential train wreck that’s careening right in our direction. They’re also under a lot of pressure to fill jobs quickly with a limited talent pool, causing them to make interview mistakes.

The key is to trust your instincts rather than ignore them.

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