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3 Huge Hiring Mistakes That Repulse Great Candidates

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A gaffe. An aberration. A blunder. A flub, a misstep, an omission, a typo. An oversight, a lapse, a miscalculation of epic proportions.

A mistake.

Everyone’s made one or two in their lives, but you’re making some right now. Not just one, but three, and they’re stacking up to undo all the good steps you take in your hiring process.

Do you know what the most common hiring mistakes are? More importantly, do you know what to do to combat them, or how to fix what they’ve ruined? Only one way to find out!

1. Hiring For The Present

You’re on a time crunch. You’ve just had this position open up at a critical time. You need somebody filling that empty desk as quickly as possible.

Everyone has short-term and long-term goals. It can be tempting to hire somebody who meets the short-term checklist, and plans for later be damned. But this is one of the worst things you can do for your company. You’re looking for Mr. / Ms. Right, not Mr. / Ms. Right Now.

Look at your company’s goals for six months out, a year out, two years out. Consider the long term requirements of the position, and the things that someone in this job could manage over time. Hire the person who can meet those goals, not this month’s goals.

A bad hire is going to set you back even more than waiting on the perfect applicant. Keep this in mind and take your time when hiring. Let yourself be thoughtful and focus on the future.

2. Putting Personality First

Company culture is important, even vital. But it shouldn’t be the focus to the extent that unqualified applicants get the job.

We like people who are similar to ourselves. This a well-documented fact, and it goes so far that we unconsciously choose to be closer friends with people who are genetically close to us. That’s just science. What does that have to do with hiring?

It means that you might be more likely to hire someone just because you like them, not because they’re actually the best fit. It may seem weird to hear: but you don’t have to like the people you hire. You’re hiring for a work position, not for a new best friend. That doesn’t mean you should go for the person you like the least or that liking a candidate means they’re not a good choice. What it does mean is that you need to be aware of your own bias and try to be as objective as possible.

3. Ignoring Candidate Feedback

Odds are, the majority of your new hires hate your hiring process. Why is this a problem? Because if your applicants hate your process, they’ll tell people. They’ll warn their friends, they’ll inform their network in your industry, and they’ll leave you poor reviews on Glassdoor. They will scare away candidates who might have been a perfect fit.

You can’t blame them. They had a bad experience, and they’re not being spiteful so much as trying to give other people a heads-up that your company’s hiring process is awful, since, frankly, it is.

How can you fix a bad experience? You need to be constantly checking in with each applicant who goes through your system. You need to test your system and figure out if it gives a bad user experience. Consider using survey software or, even better, getting an applicant tracking system that handles the candidate check-ins for you. Make sure that you aren’t alienating people with your process.

Have you committed one of these hiring sins?

How did you recover? What did you learn? Share your story in the comments.

Looking for Talent Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Talent Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Halden Ingwersen

Halden Ingwersen writes about HR and eLearning at Capterra. She’s a graduate of Agnes Scott College and a TEDx presenter. You can follow her on Twitter @CapterraHalden, just don’t get her started about her zombie survival plan.

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