Six recruitment mistakes to avoid

Recruiting new staff can be very challenging. Use these six tips to avoid the most common recruitment mistakes and ensure you get the best staff possible. The selection of the right candidate can make a significant difference to your firm’s future success, but getting it wrong can have long term and costly repercussions. The Dos and Don’ts below will help you avoid the main recruitment mistakes and will help you recruit the best person for the position.

1. Don’t look for an exact replacement

Often you are filling a position previously held in your business. You may expect to recruit an employee who has done the exact same job elsewhere. Be prepared to take the opportunity to recruit outside the square. There may be candidates who are perfect for the position, but can bring other skills as well. Be prepared to look for potential, innovation and creativity, then write the ad and conduct the interview accordingly.

2. Take the right amount of time for the recruitment process

When you are going through the recruitment process, its important to think about the long term effects that getting the right candidate will have on your business. This means that you take the time to develop a fair and balanced recruitment process, with clearly defined outcomes. It’s not something which can be done in a few hours or even a few days. You need to give yourself time to define your idea of the perfect candidate, advertise appropriately, wait for applications and then take the time to see multiple applicants. Taking this approach means you will reap the rewards of using a fair and well structured recruitment process.

3. Clearly explain the interview process

If an interview process requires additional steps such as practical tests, skills testing and sub-interviews, make sure this is clearly explained up front. All candidates should be equally informed about the entire interviewing process. This should include how long it will take for a decision to be made, what selection criteria will be used and what type of feedback will be given.

4. Don’t overstate the qualifications required

Job advertisements often ask for specific backgrounds, experience and qualities. This is important in the selection process, but if too many criteria are specified as essential, good candidates might not apply for the role. In effect, you may limit the number of applicants if the requirements are too specific and too narrow. Use your advertising to look for candidates with balanced skill sets and the right attitude, not superstars who might not exist.

5. Give clear information for the job description

On the other hand, don’t fall into the trap of putting out unclear job advertisements. You will most likely end up with way too many applicants applying for the job. This makes the task of sifting through the applications and short listing expensive and time consuming. Without a clear job description, many applicants may be unqualified for the job. Being explicit about the tasks, expectations and skills required will filter the candidate responses at the application stage. This will save you time and allow you to interview only suitable applicants.

6. Don’t offer the job right after just one interview

You might be tempted to offer a job right after an interview because you feel that candidate is ideal for the role. This is neither prudent nor fair. All the shortlisted candidates should be interviewed and everyone should be given an equal opportunity. You never know until you have interviewed all candidates if there is better candidate than the person you think is ‘the one’. Working through the entire process is the right thing to do for both your business and for the candidates who have applied.