Some common recruiting mistakes to avoid making

It has been said and proven time and again that the most precious resource for an organization is its people. Recruitment is undoubtedly the most important process by which this all-important resource is brought into the organization. Hiring is the means by which the organization gets its people. However; when it comes to carrying out this most critical of all functions, many organizations end up making errors that could turn out to be expensive and hence need to be avoided. A properly planned and executed interview gives the organization the right fit, but getting this process wrong can deny it of the best resources, denting the ROI eventually.

These are some of the more common mistakes many organizations make when they hire people:

  1. 1.       Not being clear about the requirement:

This should be the gravest error any organization can make. If it is not sure that it is looking for, it shows up a very confused thinking process among the management team members. It shows an organization that has no clue to what it is doing and where it is heading.

First, the organization has to be clear about why it wants a resource. Is the person going to be a senior, middle or junior hire? What role is that person going to carry out when recruited? What are the expectations from that person? What is the company going to provide him with to help him carry out his goals? What is the education, skills and experience level that the organization thinks will be required to handle the job with élan? Most important of all; what is the role it sees for him in the organization in the years ahead? These are among the many questions an organization needs to ask of itself when it is about to commence a hire.

At this, the most important aspect should be the candidate’s suitability for the present requirement. The decision makers have to size up the candidate in relation to the requirement by being intuitive. There could be a seemingly well suited candidate who has got good experience and track record, but from a slightly different industry. This could sometimes turn out to be a wrong hire because that industry’s dynamics could be slightly different. It is not likely that the absolutely perfectly suited candidate could come along; what needs to be assessed is the candidate’s potential to deliver in the new job, rather than a perfect track record of the same. If the management merely assumes that one level or kind of experience is good for others too, it could be making the first important mistake.

  1. 2.       Lack of coordination between different decision makers:

Another major error organizations tend to commit at the time of hiring is when there is poor coordination between different departments or individuals that should be involved in the hiring. The department head or manager is ideally the one who knows whom he is looking for and why. The practice is to tell HR about the requirements, so that it can start scouting for the candidates. When this is not properly conveyed; there can be a terrible mess in the process, leading to calling the wrong person for the interview. There has to be complete sync between his level of expectation and what HR understands of it.

  1. 3.       Looking for Mr. Perfect

Many organizations waste considerable time looking out for the one that could completely fulfill each and every of its criteria. An organization needs to assess the capability of the person to deliver at the new job. While it can be a mistake to assume that altogether different roles can be performed based on experience in one field; it needs to understand that the candidate who is most suited in every sense of the term is not likely to come along. Try to understand this from the candidate’s perspective: if he were required to carry out the same tasks in the new organization, why would he like to make the shift? There should be something in him that motivates him to join, learn on the job and go up the ladder.

  1. 4.       Assessing too quickly at the interview

Many managers who take the interview come to a very quick conclusion about the candidate, often within the first few minutes of the interview. Why don’t we think of it this way –what if we were judged in the first couple of minutes of our first meeting with our future life partner? How much ease could we possibly be at with a new environment, facing new people and being required to talk to them to please them to the best of our ability, all within a few seconds? Isn’t some level of apprehension natural to all of us? This happens even to senior professionals.

  1. 5.       Judging by emotion rather than by reason

This is another common trait we are all prone to. After all, deep down, we are all emotional beings. If we were to hire a candidate based on a few pleasant interactions; we may have overlooked serious flaws. This would be because of our own clouded reasoning. We have to look at the person very objectively. In case we are unable to do this; there is no harm in referring to another colleague, whose perspective could be different. A conclusion can be arrived at based on his assessment.

  1. 6.       Expecting miracles

Well, now that the ‘Mr. Right’ has come in; why not hop all the way to the bank? Wrong. Even the best suited and best performing resources need time to settle in at their new job to start showing positive results. Nothing happens overnight. A new office is like a new school with a new teacher and new classmates, even for the one with the best available talent and the right experience. Give a period of at least six months –not for the new hire to show concrete results –but for the organization to start getting a solid impression about him. This is the time anyone needs to reasonably settle in into the new job. An organization will be making a big mistake if it looked at the new hire as someone who could be a rock star from day one.

References:

http://www.gautamblogs.com/2006/03/hiring-mistakes.html

http://www.ere.net/2012/10/04/7-ways-to-minimize-perception-driven-hiring-mistakes/

http://www.startupnation.com/business-articles/9550/1/hiring-mistakes-5-common.htm

http://www.asktheheadhunter.com/hatenmistakes2.htm

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