When it comes to hiring new employees, it’s easy to end up making snap decisions, especially when you’re in a rush. This can result in hiring the wrong people, which can have a negative impact on your company. Here are the five most common hiring mistakes and how you can avoid them:

Hiring without having a strategy:

While meeting and interviewing candidates for the job, it becomes all too easy to hire someone based on your gut feeling. Whilst this may work for some people, it is ultimately not what’s best for your company, it is also highly unprofessional.

You need to ensure that you have a set process in place, not just ‘see what happens’. Without a process or strategy in place, your recruitment process can go on for too long, become expensive and result in the wrong people.

One way to ensure that things go smoothly is to bring on a specialist recruitment team to manage your process. After all, it is what they are experts at.

Have a specific job role:

Not knowing exactly what kind of person you need to hire often leads to hiring someone who is good at everything, but not necessarily what you need for your company.

When you are planning on hiring, it is important that you make it crystal clear what kind of person you need for the job and what the job position entails. This also lets potential candidates know what you need and saves both you and the candidate a lot of time, energy, and money overall.

Throughout the screening and interview process, it is also handy to have a scorecard system. This enables you to be able to properly rank your candidates and specify their strengths. This will speed up the overall process and it will help you to eliminate the candidates that don’t have the specific criteria that your job role demands.  

Hiring without testing candidates:

It is easy to believe everything that a candidate says and it can often lead you to expect too much from them. But how can you be sure that they are telling the truth?

A good way to really understand how good a candidate is to give them a series of tests. There are lots of online tests available, as well as testing them in a presentation situation, a group work task, or a series of technical questions that someone with their skill set should know.

An example would be asking a developer to write some code on the whiteboard and you can access how they structure their code and discuss why they do things the way they do.

Other clients ask developers to complete mini projects, developing a prototype or a website front end as part of the assessment process.

Just make sure you test your IT candidates one way or another so that you can really determine who can do what they say they can do.

Not asking the right question when taking reference:

In addition to the above, another way to confirm if a candidate is as great as they claim they are is to ask for references. Simply calling a former boss or two may seem like enough, but most of the time candidates will withhold the details of managers who they left under a cloud.

Also, there is a growing trend for companies just who just want to confirm the dates of employment, plus companies are not allowed to give a poor reference in the UK these days.

To avoid this trap, ask for their former managers’ details, get them on the phone and ask the right questions. Rather than the standard reference questions on email, get creative!

“Were there any times when Candidate X struggled to deliver on a project?…” then ask why? Dig into the team interdependencies, relationships with colleagues / managers to get a picture of the wider stakeholder management skills

“If you had a relevant vacancy on your team right now, would you have them back?” If the answer is not an immediate YES then you need to dig quickly onto why.

Can you give me an example of when Candidate X demonstrated their ability to…..  (take initiative / showed resilience / or any other core competencies outlined in your job spec),  then question and dig again.

Relying purely on job posts:

They say that the best candidates for the job are rarely ever looking for one. Don’t just post an advert on your website or a job board and hope for the best.

Take a blended approach, while Job sites are helpful and can sometimes come up trumps, social media can often be much more powerful, especially when it comes to specific roles. As well as posting the job be more proactive; Speak to people in your field, people you know, ex-colleagues from previous employers and folk you know on Linkedin. Ask them if they know anyone fit for the job, and chances are one of those recommendations will turn out to be your next best employee!

Alongside this multifaceted approach to recruitment is also good to engage with a good recruitment company such as Greenfield IT Recruitment who will advertise, network extensively, headhunt, use social media avenues and have 10 years market experience and contacts to help identify the best candidates.

If you are seeking a new role or your company needs help with recruitment, Greenfield IT are here to help! Our hiring managers go the extra mile every day. Contact us for more info.