The 7 Most Common Hiring Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

If you’re like most founders or heads of talent at tech startups or scaleups, you’re probably always on the lookout for top talent. But as your company grows, it can be tough to keep up with the demand. And as you race to fill open positions, it’s easy to make hiring mistakes.

In this blog post, we’ll share seven of the most common mistakes we see founders and heads of talent making when hiring for their scale-ups as well as some tips on how to avoid them.

This article is for business owners and hiring managers interested in implementing the most effective hiring strategy possible.


1. Not Knowing What You Really Need


You know you need more hands, and I’m sure you have an idea of what that looks like. But do you have a hiring plan? You don’t want your awesome talent to go to waste, or flounder because of a lack of detailed direction.

Make a list of the business areas that need development, outline the positions that would cover those tasks and use this information to craft a detailed job description for each role – create a hiring strategy you can refer back to as a guiding principle.


2. Lack of Sourcing Strategy


So you know you need to hire, maybe you know who you want to hire and how quickly. But before it’s all systems go, pause and take a moment to consider your sourcing strategy. It’s not a good use of company time or resources if senior management are spending their days looking for juniors. Nor should you be spending money on expensive LinkedIn InMails for positions that could be filled by inbound applicants.

Take a look at the Framework we’ve put together for some example roles here to help you allocate resources in the best possible way.

Decide how you’re going to tackle each role before you begin and your capacity modelling and go-to-market strategy will become scalable and repeatable. 


3. Hasty Hiring


As your company grows, you need to be careful not to sacrifice quality for speed.  The best way to avoid this mistake is to take the time to write a strong role-level employee value propostion, build a diverse pool of candidates, and take your time interviewing each one.

Take the time to interview multiple candidates, check references, and do your due diligence before making an offer. Yes, it might take a little longer to fill the position, but it’s worth it in the long run.


4. No Visibility Into the Hiring Process


You can’t improve what you don’t track which is why we ask all of our clients to adopt an Applicant Trackign System (ATS). And ATS makes it easy to set up important hiring metrics that allow you to:

  • See how you’re doing overall (metrics: applicant numbers, number of candidates per stage) 
  • Understand how much effort and money it takes you to hire one person (metric: number of applicants and interviews per hired)
  • Assess the effectiveness of your interview stages (metric: pass-through rates)


5. A Biased Approach


We all have unconscious biases that can impact our decision-making, and these biases can be magnified when we’re under pressure to hire quickly.

Try to be aware of your own personal biases and how they might be affecting your ability to objectively assess candidates. If you need to, go for coaching or use tools that help to point out bias in language that you might be unaware of.


6. No Standardisation


Standardisation not only addresses personal biases, but saves a lot of time and energy throughout the hiring process.

Structured, standardised interviews are easy to scale and easy to replicate. They allow you to gain a sense of the skills of different candidates much faster and assess who’s the best fit for the job.  

You also won’t miss or forget crucial questions and the interviews can be distributed across the team more easily, and interviewers can fill in for each other if needed. 


7. A Poor Onboarding Process


Another common mistake is failing to properly onboard new hires. Once you’ve made an offer and a new hire accepts, it’s easy to breathe a sigh of relief and move on to the next thing on your to-do list.  But the onboarding process is crucial to setting new hires up for success.

Make sure you take the time to orient them to the company culture, their team, and their role. Give them the resources they need to be successful and check in with them regularly during their first few weeks on the job.

Make sure you take the time to orient them to your company culture, introduce them to their team, and give them the resources they need to hit the ground running. A little effort upfront can go a long way in ensuring that your new hire is productive from day one.


Final Thoughts


Avoid the cost of making a bad hire by taking heed of these mistakes and avoiding them, you’ll be well on your way to building a strong team for your business.


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