4 Common Hiring Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Hiring can seem a bit like gambling sometimes.  Sometimes you get lucky and come out on the winning end, but more often than not you end up losing all your money and getting a little too tipsy.  However, unlike gambling, fortunately there are ways to make your hiring process more predictable and guarantee more winning streaks.  Here are 4 Common Hiring Mistakes to be aware of and how to avoid them so that you can come out on top.

1) Love at First Sight

We’ve all been there. A guy walks into an interview with an extra posh suit jacket and an immaculately designed resume and instantly grabs our attention.  He appears to have all the right credentials and seems to be a “perfect” fit on paper.  However, you have to remember that you’re not hiring for a professional resume designer (or maybe you are, in which case, hire that guy.)

First Advantage, a global provider of background screening analytics, found that nearly one-fourth of 2,882 job candidates admitted to exaggerating the truth on their resumes. Of course not everyone lies on their resume, but many people have become skilled at manipulating information and framing it in a way that makes them look like the next Steve Jobs. Relying on only this source and an initial gut-feeling is risky because a resume doesn’t provide you with any insight on a person’s natural behaviors and aptitudes.  There’s nothing worse than hiring someone who may have an immaculate resume, but isn’t naturally inclined to succeed within the position and your company’s culture.

2) Not Knowing Exactly what you’re Hiring for.

It’s hard to find the right person when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.  Hiring managers usually have a general idea of what the job requires, but have not thought through the specifics skills, abilities, knowledge, experience and behavioral attributes needed to be successful in the job. Let’s say you need to fill a position for a customer service agent. Sure anyone can answer phones or greet customers, but not everyone is effective in doing so You certainly don’t want someone with a high aggression score to be dealing with customers, but you’re probably not going to pick that trait up on a resume. When trying to fill this position, you need to map out the behavioral traits of people within your company who have been successful in that role and be able to compare candidates to that benchmark. Once you have identified a few core behavioral traits and specific skills they will need to perform the job, you’re well on your way to making a more predictable and successful hire.

 3) Improvised & Uninspired Interviews

We’ve all gone to a job interview that is less than inspiring. “What is your biggest weakness? If you were to be someone famous who would you be?” The problem with these cliché questions is they don’t really get to the heart of anything.  If someone’s asked their biggest weakness when they’re applying for a job they really need, they’re not actually going to tell you what that is, let’s be honest.

The most effective way to connect with others is by asking good questions. Questions are a critical piece of any conversation and can build depth while communicating within an interview. Don’t ask customary questions just because you always have, or use questions as a way to show your own creativity to candidates. Instead, consider the essential behavioral traits your new hire must possess for the position and craft your questions accordingly.  Instead of using Leading questions (ex; Our employees are required to do a lot of multi-tasking. How do you feel about multi-tasking?) which lead the candidate directly to the answer you want them to say, use truly open-ended questions that give you insight into their natural inclinations.  Let’s go back to our customer service agent. A common behavioral trait found in many successful customer service agents is support.  They care about people deeply and are sensitive to the physical and emotional needs and wants of others. They should not only have a technical understanding of the customer’s problem, but should also have a deeper understanding of why this problem is effecting them.  Therefore, try asking a candidate for a customer service position to describe how they would go about choosing a birthday present for a friend. It’s unexpected, open-ended and asks candidates to put themselves in the shoes of someone else. Done, done and done.

4) Not Taking Advantage of Technology

Are you still sifting through a mountain of resumes on your desk?  Using our Behavioral Assessment in the Selection stage can reduce the time your spending sifting through resumes and offer instant predictive validity when compared to traditional means of gathering information on candidates. It has the advantage of providing objective and standardized data on a person’s natural inclinations that hiring managers can use to make more informed and effective hiring decisions. Instead of spending hours going through that unorganized pile of papers on your desk, you’re moving right to scheduling interviews and getting that position filled with a person who’s hard-wired to do it.

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