Hiring a new employee is a big decision, especially if you have a small company. Mistakes can be time-consuming, costly, and damaging to the business. They can also be easy to make – particularly if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The first step to avoiding a hiring mistake is to be prepared. Knowing the common pitfalls of recruitment is key to avoiding them.
Hiring at the wrong time.
It’s important to hire at the right time. Waiting until your current employees are struggling to cope with the workload is a big mistake. Not only will the quality of work suffer, but your new hire will truly be thrown into the deep end, and will most likely be overwhelmed. However, hiring without the need should also be avoided. Make sure that your new hire will actually have work to do. Hiring a new employee is a considerable annual investment – if they spend most of their time sitting around doing nothing, you’re essentially wasting money.
Writing the wrong job description.
The quality and skill-set of the candidates that apply to a job should roughly correlate with those asked for in the job description. If it’s not been written carefully and accurately, your candidate pool will be disappointing. Each interview takes up a considerable amount of time – and money – which is wasted if the candidates aren’t suitable. Before you advertise, you need to decide which skills you’d like your new hire to have. Identify the roles and responsibilities of the position, and include these in the advert.
Rushing the hiring process is rarely a good idea, and can lead to employing the wrong person. Don’t put an end-date on the recruitment process – removing time constraints will help you to take your time. Similarly, don’t limit yourself to one round of applicants. If the perfect candidate doesn’t show up when you advertise, don’t settle for the best of a bad bunch – advertise for new applicants.
Talking too much.
Interviewers often find themselves talking too much, rather than hearing what the candidate has to say. You only have a short amount of time – use it wisely. Rather than giving the interviewee a long preamble about the company and the position, provide them with information before the interview. Ask them what they know about the company – if they’re a viable candidate, they’ll have done their research.
Hiring for personality.
During the interview process, you may discover that you get on well with a particular candidate. However, don’t let this form the basis of your hiring decision. Rather than getting side-tracked into a conversation about shared interests and opinions, make a list of things you’d like to find out about the candidate beforehand – and stick to it. You may like the candidate with a great sense of humour, but if they don’t actually possess the skills they need to do the job, you shouldn’t hire them.
Forgetting the company culture.
Although you shouldn’t hire based on personality alone, it’s important to consider how your candidates will fit into the company culture. Co-worker clashes can reduce overall productivity, and an unhappy office is never a successful office. Be sure to describe the company culture in your job advert, as this should filter out some of the unsuitable candidates.
Not having a probation period.
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that no matter how hard you try, hiring mistakes do happen. Your new employee could, for example, have lied about their skills and experiences. Therefore, it’s vital to include a probation period in your new employee’s contract. This gives you the power to remove a new hire with minimum fuss, if they don’t measure up to your expectations.
A domain name expert, Mark Potter of Namecheap.com – a leading ICANN accredited domain registrar and web host –is passionate about creating seamless user interfaces, and providing top-level support to clients. Mark is a fan of social media, and can often be found on Twitter, keeping up with the latest developments in web hosting and SSL certificates.