Wondering if there’s better candidates that your business could be hiring? It’s time to cut out cold-calling, relying on “gut feeling”, GPA requirements, and more. Here’s our list of the worst hiring mistakes to make when hiring potential new employees and how to get the top-performers in the market working for you.
Growing your small business requires expanding your workforce. With an influx of job-seekers, you need to learn how to weed out the wrong candidates while practicing the most effective hiring techniques. With the right vetting processes, you’ll be able to land the top-performers of the market, meaning your business will have a leg up over the competition.
Hiring Mistake #1: Refusing to Go Digital
If your business is still putting out newspaper ads to attract employees, you’re doing it wrong. With the emergence of online tools such as Glassdoor, job-seekers are incredibly wary of the reputations maintained by employers. Bad reviews can easily deter high-performance workers from applying to your business. That’s why it’s crucial to keep track of your online presence, which means relying on social networking sites to build professional relationships, thus becoming a brand among potential employees.
It’s time to digitize your job-postings. Start by developing an appealing LinkedIn profile not only for your company, but for yourself. If your business doesn’t have a credible online presence, job-seekers will often stay away. Additionally, make sure your current employees start creating their own profiles. When job-seekers look at your business’s LinkedIn, they’ll usually check out the people working there to get an idea of the workforce. That’s why it’s key to keep up the image that your business has a team of professionals who are devoted to the company.
Hiring Mistake #2: Cold Emailing Needs to Go
While we’re talking about using digital tools to aid in your hiring process, cold emailing should not be one of them. This was a great tactic years ago, when the job market was soft, and people took anything they could get. However, with so many employers actively looking to fill up positions, job-seekers don’t need to rely on cold emails. In fact, they usually ignore them.
Think of cold emailing in the same way as you would spam. It’s an aggressive tactic and generally tends to turn people off.
Instead, by using the network you’ve started building, whether it be online or through personal connection, use referrals to scope out the best talent. Oftentimes it’s a good idea to simply turn to your current employees and use them as ambassadors to reach out to mutual professionals that they think might be best for the job. This strategy is so widely used, in fact, that some companies even offer bonuses to current employees who can refer other new employees.
It’s up to you to setup an easy referral process for your employees. Make sure there are as few roadblocks as possible in order to make employees more willing to become ambassadors. Outline the specifics of what your company is looking for and have contact information available. From there, resumes will start pouring in from trusted professionals and top talent.
Hiring Mistake #3: GPA Requirements
There’s a reason many employers have already begun to minimize their focus on an applicant’s GPA-it doesn’t actually mean they’ll be a good employee. Past behavior is oftentimes a lackluster indication of what’s to come in the future.
Instead, look for workers who are staying up-to-date in the field. This includes being active in social media groups among the industry. You’ll be able to determine who is actually savvy and interested in the latest trends. These workers will often bring in way more value than someone who has a 3.5 GPA and no experience.
While looking at GPA may be a good baseline when examining an applicant pool of college graduates who have little experience, it proves useless among those who have established themselves in the industry and have been working for years.
Hiring Mistake #4: Your “Gut feeling” is Not an Accurate Way to Determine the Best Candidate
Recruiters and interviewers often go with their gut instinct, AKA getting the right “feeling” when they think they’ve stumbled across the perfect candidate. Trusting a gut feeling is just one of the many psychological fallacies that can mean big mistakes for your company.
Yes, of course instinct based on experience plays a pivotal role in company decisions, especially among leaders and executives. But it’s important to use objective strategies to break down the pros and cons of your candidates. Keeping track of data and using objective analysis can help you examine key characteristics of what a successful candidate should possess while avoiding those that lead to hiring mistakes.
Start by keeping track of data that builds a comprehensive outline of your small business’s hiring objectives. For example, if employee retention is a recurring problem, you should focus on common denominators that lead to employees dropping out. This will, in turn, help you weed out potential candidates who are at a high risk of dropping out of the company shortly after being hired.
Hiring Mistake #5: Not Asking “Natural” Interview Questions
While it may seem efficient to use the same interview script for every candidate, the opposite is true. When interviewers have a limited scope in what they can ask, it can mean sacrificing the ability to really get to a know an interviewee. While scripted questions have the intent of creating an equal playing field, you’ll instead be hiring employees when you don’t really know anything about them.
Skilled hiring managers often know how to maintain a conversational flow, which can lead to candidates revealing key character information about themselves. By not sticking to a script, employers have the chance to truly get a sense of the person they’ll be potentially hiring.
Rather than scripted questions, just make a general outline for the interview process. This will cover key topics to touch on while staying within a loose structure to keep the questions in. Also, depending on your budget, try to delegate the task of interviewing employees to someone who has the skills to successfully get to know candidates. If you’re doing it yourself, you’ll have to be wary of forgetting the crucial concepts of interviewing.
Ian is a student of Business at the Honors College at the University of Alabama.
Contact Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org
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