Avoiding Hiring Mistakes

Recruitment and selection are important HR functions and hiring the right resource is equally significant as it helps in developing a stronger, competitive and productive organization. Effective Hiring
For this reason, interview scheduling and screening candidates are important phases in order to shortlist competent applicants. However, it is often seen that companies make mistakes during this phase and are not able to hire the right resource as per the requirements of the company due to multiple reasons. For e.g. not doing proper background check, setting irrelevant criteria of selection or setting too many selection criteria, evaluating candidate’s personality more than his / her aptitude etc.
Human resources play a pivotal role in achieving organizational objectives therefore companies need to be careful with their hiring process in order to achieve positive results.
What are the common hiring mistakes that a firm usually makes? Moreover, what tips would you give in order to avoid these mistakes?


  • Guy Battaglia

    this sounds as though you are asking about India’s hiring mistakes in a forum that represents people from all over.
    Hence, you are going to get some local qualities and responses that may or may not fit your design.
    Typically, using any technology, exclusively, to screen out or pre qualify is the first and biggest mistake. Machines are not humans and humans are not machines…
    Secondly, it is okay to let someone not experienced to do early assessments and evaluations, that is how they learn. But you must always have a second pair of eyes on everything all the time, not just to prevent mistakes but to increase accuracy.
    Hiring mistakes are going to happen from hiring a boss’s kid to being over impressed by a degree.
    Characteristics of a bad hire are obvious:
    Short term employment
    Too much movement and not enough stability.
    Too high of salary requirements
    Not enough creditable references
    Misrepresentation on line and on paper
    the list can literally go on and on…
    To error is human, to forgive is divine…mistakes happen.

  • Evien Tjabbes

    Above all it is essential that the vacancy is analyzed meticulously and that the results are presented in a clear job description. Too often the contents of a job are not considered when the hiring process starts, so this is where many hiring mistakes get started. Depending on the function and its requirements the procedures should be adapted etc. Looking at people that work for a company or apply to a job as resources is another mistake. They are people, just like the recruiters and should be treated as such. Procedures have been dehumanized too much over the past years, so please let’s humanize it again.

  • Peter Gruben

    Not sure what a hiring mistake is and I believe it is not really common. The issue is somewhere else. We never had more sophisticated recruitment methods than today but still they seem to fail. Retention and satisfaction levels (that can clearly be linked to customer satisfaction and retention) are significantly worse than they have been years ago. Excellent potential candidates are not even bothered to apply when they read some job descriptions (looks like the print out of a shopping list or compliance policy).
    Maybe we have not converted applicants to match the advanced profiling methods yet. Also the best recruitment efforts are often destroyed within weeks of employment due to lack of management skills and lack of quality during on boarding. Many companies have cut their resources for genuine development activities. Technology is great and sometimes I wonder if it has created gaps in some people’s mindset that only human interaction can fill.

  • Wallace Jackson

    Hiring Friends and Relatives.

  • David V.

    Being just lazy or wanting to save time and money and always going for an internal candidate that may or may not be truly qualified for a leadership/new position.
    Just because you get up one morning and call someone boss does not make it so
    I can call a cow a duck all day…it doesn’t change the cow to a duck,hire the best of the best; be it from outside or inside an organization and ask your self am I making the best match for the company/position or just giving a buddy an ego boast.
    Problem areas this causes. Peter Principal/Favoritism.

  • Cheryl Roshak

    In my experience my clients do a fine job of interviewing and screening their candidates for in all my many years of recruiting I’ve had very few fall-offs and far more successes that actually stay way beyond guarantee period and became vital assets to the company that hired them.
    Each company has its own interviewing and screening process, but as a recruiter it is our job to understand the needs of the jobs, its requirements, and the company’s culture and only then submit those candidates that we feel will truly be a successful fit for the open position. We may not present many candidates but we are confident that in those that we do submit, there is a very good likelihood within a small percentage of error that are right for the position, intangibles unforeseen, such as personality clashes at times, undisclosed issues that may never have surfaced, or clients who really never quite told us the whole complex nature of the position or ended up low balling the salary.
    So with what I think is an extraordinary track record, it all comes down to getting as much information from the client as you can find out, leaving no stone unturned, and developing an intimate relationship with the client to get inside his head. Knowing your industry and the skills and processes also helps a great deal to weed out the wheat from the chaff.
    The only real mistake I really find are unrealistic expectations of wanting too much from one person, such as trying to get two different people in one for one job. That is always doomed to failure.
    A good recruiter should be almost smarter than his client is understanding what the position requires from experience, either from having been hands on within his or her industry, or from learning what it takes for the various positions he or she recruits for. I like to think of my relationship with my clients as that of one of being an adviser, and I have no difficulty in telling my client when his expectations and salary restrictions are unfeasible. I tell them you can’t have all that in one person for than salary, so pick out what is most important to you at this time. And I will get fair and good answers after careful probing.
    The best scenario is to be able to deal with the direct hiring manager and often times by-pass HR if you can. The person who knows best as to what they want in a candidate is the person who wrap it up quickly and move om too your next set of problems. Hopt this helps somewhat!

  • Al Costa

    There is no such a thing as a “hiring mistake”: you may find yourself in a situation of not being able to hire the PERFECT person, only the LEAST WORSE. And that’s especially true in places where there’s a shortage of capable, or hardworking, people.
    I remember a particular a situation where, after collecting resumes for 2 months, we ended up with just 2 people who minimally “hireable” One at the end found something else and we were stuck with the other. This was then hired, only to just disappear.
    In another occasion, there was NO ONE in town who had the certification the customer wanted, so the best we found was someone who was studying it. Who turned out to be quite weird and almost a lunatic.
    So, if the market is just not right you can’t feel too bad for not being able to find proper help and thus there are no “mistakes” to be done.
    It is like expecting to get milk in a desert and feeling bad for not finding it.

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