The most common mistakes people make when hiring

Jul 10, 2023
Posted in TALENT
Jul 10, 2023 Agata

Throughout the recruitment process, from planning to offering, there are numerous potential pitfalls that may arise. While many of these errors have been previously identified, it is crucial to collect and expand upon them in one location. Due to the abundance of possible inadequacies, this chapter could easily span multiple pages.

Methodological mistakes

One of the most detrimental and unhealthy assumptions is that a good recruiter can rely on undefined abilities such as a “gut feeling” to evaluate a candidate. This vague term refers to basing judgments on initial impressions, personal feelings, or fleeting emotions. If an organization adopts this approach, the entire hiring process becomes dependent on the subjective and untested skills of an individual. In reality, recruitment should be treated as a scalable process that can be mastered through the use of specific tools and by avoiding common superstitions.

  • uneven basic conditions

When planning your recruitment process, it’s important to decide beforehand whether it will take place online or in-person at the office. Once you’ve made this decision, it’s crucial to stick to these rules and not be tempted to break them. Online communication is different from face-to-face communication, which is more natural and traditional. While first impressions largely depend on personality, meeting someone in person can help break the ice and move towards a less formal interaction more quickly. Additionally, in an online interview, clothing and non-verbal cues may be harder to notice compared to in-person communication. Generally, people tend to approach and judge others differently depending on whether they meet them online or offline. It’s important to treat all candidates equally regardless of their location, even if they happen to live in the same city as your company.

  • lack of standardization in the process

It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the entire process from start to finish in order to accurately evaluate and compare the skills of candidates. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that all applicants for the same position go through the same stages. This ensures fairness and consistency in the recruitment process.

  • lack of standardization in the interviews

Often, a “gut feeling” is associated with disorganized screening calls and interviews that lack consistency across all candidates. To ensure that you hire the best candidates for your organization, it’s crucial to treat all applicants equally and evaluate them based on consistent criteria. A standardized script for screening calls and interviews is essential for making accurate comparisons. The same applies to special tasks given to candidates in later stages of the hiring process. Consistency, repetition, and clear guidelines are crucial for successful hiring.

  • aversion to numbers

No matter how badly you, as a recruiter, would want to escape from the mathematical world and devote yourself to working with people, you have to face the bad news. Only by basing your work on regular statistics, you are able to achieve full professionalism. Detailed documentation on every aspect of conducted processes is the best way of noticing, and afterward improving, all your imperfections or shortcomings. How would you know whether your searching methods are efficient if you don’t know how many candidates you’ve messaged? How would you know if your messages are interesting if you’re not keeping score in response rates? No matter how big your aversion to numbers and digits is, write down and count everything and you will see huge improvement afterward.

Candidate’s experience mistakes

  • lack of personalization and mediocrity

Recruiting can be challenging when dealing with multiple processes and trying to approach candidates with the same level of enthusiasm and personalized attention in each message. It’s common for recruiters to have a few go-to messages they use when reaching out to potential candidates through LinkedIn. However, it’s important to strike a balance between providing specific information and adding a personal touch. Personalization doesn’t mean invading someone’s privacy or creeping them out by asking about their personal life. It’s better to keep it professional by acknowledging their latest projects or workplaces. While recruiters may not always have time for detailed communication, it’s crucial to avoid careless mistakes, such as forgetting to change the candidate’s name in the message. In today’s job market, candidates are more selective and aware of their rights, so it’s better to keep messages simple, precise, and authentic. Candidates can easily sense artificiality, so it’s crucial to avoid it and ensure that messages appear to be written by a human and not an automated system.

  • ghosting the candidates

One of the most common patterns in recruitment is related to feedback. It is expected that recruiters prioritize their top candidates who are still in the selection process and hold high potential. However, it can be challenging to devote the same level of attention to other candidates. It is important to emphasize that most individuals will not advance to the next stages. As a recruiter, it is your responsibility to acknowledge and appreciate the time and effort they have invested in the process and keep them informed. This applies not only to candidates you have interviewed (as explained in the chapter “The role of feedback in the recruitment process”) but also to all individuals you have reached out to in your search for the ideal fit. Even if someone responds to your initial message weeks or months later, it is crucial to provide an appropriate update on the position, whether it is closed, paused, or still open.

  • nonsense continuation of the screening call/interview

Finishing the recruitment process and saying goodbye to the candidate in the middle of the phone screen is definitely one of the most unpleasant and hard things a recruiter has to do. Even though at first it might seem rude and quite brutal, if you take some time to think of it, you can actually acknowledge that it’s a harsh method of showing your respect towards him/her and towards his/her time. Continuing a conversation you already know is not leading anywhere and simply does not make any sense. 

  • lack of preparation for the screening call

Often, candidates – particularly those in IT – express dissatisfaction with the quality of screening interviews. Failing to adequately prepare is a significant mistake, especially in today’s competitive job market where candidates receive numerous offers. In order to effectively sell a company, it’s crucial to understand its values, culture, and products. Similarly, lacking knowledge about the specific role can lead to embarrassing situations and even become the subject of memes about unprofessional recruiters. To be taken seriously and seen as an expert by potential candidates, thorough preparation is necessary.

  • no regular contact with the Hiring Manager

In order for the process to work well and efficiently, it is necessary to ensure regular contact between the recruiter and the Hiring Manager. Without established rules, without systematic feedback sessions, the entire recruitment process will be ineffective and irritating for all of the sides. That is why the contact scheme has to be prepared before opening a certain role, and feedback from Hiring Managers should be given no later than 24 hours after receiving the recommendation.

  • changing the requirements during the process

In the end – one of the worst and most unforgivable mistakes one can make in the recruitment process. Frequently, the decision to hire a new person is made so late, that there is not enough time to properly prepare and think about who we are really looking for. Mindless and overly hasty opening a role almost always leads to a situation in which you have involved candidates in the process that you are not really looking for. Not only do you build an image of your company as incompetent and full of chaos, you also waste the time of the potential candidates and the time of recruiters.

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