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Lead Your Team Managing

Hiring? Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes

Hiring? Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes
Credit: RawPixel/Shutterstock

The hiring process is not an easy one. Acquiring the right employee is contingent on the level of skills, cultural fit and ability to be a team player, and the high cost of a bad hire means you'll want to limit mistakes.

Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, noted that the "real cost" of losing an employee is threefold, and includes the cost of hiring a replacement (advertising, interviewing, screening, hiring), onboarding the new employee, and training that person. Similarly, Zane Benefits reported that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs six to nine months of that person's salary on average. 

These combined factors increase the importance of a strong hiring strategy for companies of all sizes. Whether you're hiring for a large or small company, you should take these factors into consideration and avoid the following common mistakes.

One of the biggest mistakes in hiring is not having a diverse slate of candidates, according to Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of human resources at Indeed.

"Think of diversity of age, experience, background, race and gender, all of which help bring diversity of thought," Wolfe said. "[This] can make organizations more successful and keep organizations growing and progressing."

According to American Express OPEN, having a diverse workforce makes your company more interesting, people can expect to learn more from your employees and you can attract better talent from around the world. [See Related Story: Is Subconscious Bias Affecting Your Hiring Decisions?]

With a diversified workforce, you stand a better chance of attracting different types of people who wouldn't normally apply for positions at your company. A company that has a strong diversity program will have a good reputation because it will be seen as having fair employment practices, AMEX reported.

"Donꞌt look for someone exactly like you or the rest of your team — you shouldn't be afraid to bring in someone who will challenge you; an outside perspective is what can help move the needle in your company," Wolfe said.

Ted Karkus, the CEO and chairman at ProPhase Labs, noted that employers frequently judge candidates on whether or not they like them, as opposed to matching their strengths with the responsibilities of the position. While you can't know for sure how a new employee will perform once hired, you can mitigate the risk of a bad hire by not factoring first impressions into your decision.

"It's so easy to assume that a firm handshake and good eye contact means someone is competent across the board," added Jason Berkowitz, business development executive at IBM Smarter Workforce. "Don't use the interview to try to validate a good or bad snap judgment [of a candidate]. Hiring managers should actually try to disprove their initial impression. If you like someone off the bat, look for reasons they aren't right for the job. If you dislike someone, look for reasons why they are right for the job."

Don't hold the expectation of interviewing candidates with a clear frame of what they want, when you might not. Being misleading or unclear about any part of the job can lead to a potentially bad hire.

"It's important to detail the specific job requirements and desired personal characteristics, creating a 'hiring scorecard' that can be used in screenings and interviews to determine if a candidate can fulfill the requirements of the job," Burton Goldfield, president and CEO of TriNet, wrote in an Entrepreneur article.

Make a list of the job responsibilities and a corresponding list of the skills, knowledge, experience and talent the person needs to do those tasks to your expectations. With a clear idea of what you need, it will be easier to see those skills in the candidate.

One of the most critical mistakes a company can make is failing to define its hiring policies before beginning an employee search. An unclear policy can confuse the hiring managers and candidates at best, or invite legal troubles at worst, especially when it comes to contract workers and exempt versus nonexempt employees.

"Employers should all have an employee handbook and a hiring policy in place," Kaufman said. "This helps identify issues to avoid and serves as a legal shield to potential liability in the future."

Make the selection wisely to continue to pursue business growth while providing a positive work experience for the entire team.

One of the biggest errors you can make is not showcasing a companyꞌs style and culture, which can include benefits, salary, perks and flexibility, Wolfe said.

"Most of us are spending more time at work than we are with our families and friends, so people are seeking an environment where they feel comfortable or certain benefits that will work with their personal lives," Wolfe added. "This can be a big differentiator for candidates and is especially important when you are trying to find people in a competitive industry or function."

Be concise with your hiring intentions, it could be the difference between a great hire and a financial gamble.

Additional reporting by Nicole Taylor. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article. 

Shannon Gausepohl
Shannon Gausepohl

Shannon Gausepohl graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a degree in journalism. She has worked at a newspaper and in the public relations field, and is currently a staff writer at Business News Daily. Shannon is a zealous bookworm, has her blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, and loves her Blue Heeler mix, Tucker.