Having covered the Onfi-DOs of hiring in last week’s blog article, Zac Williams – founder and operations director of GradTouch, one of the UK’s fastest growing graduate recruitment companies – returns to guide us through five big mistakes to avoid when hiring for a position.
Rush to fill the position
This is the number one reason stated by employers for making a bad hire. While the need to fill a position may be urgent, mistakes made by hiring the wrong person will ultimately prove a lot more costly than taking extra time to find a candidate suitable and passionate about the role. Interview a range of candidates and discuss all options thoroughly before hiring someone. Indeed it should be recognised that it is always an option to reject all the current possibilities and increase resources being allocated to finding someone more suitable for the position.
Get tied up in assessing a candidate via Social Media
Although there is no doubt that social media is being used by some companies as part of their screening process (at least 20% in 2013 according to SHRM) there are some serious potential legal pitfalls to this process.
Even if by accident an employer happens to see information on a candidate’s page that provides details on legally protected data, such as religion, race, age, or disability this could jeopardise the recruitment process. While a subsequent decision not to hire may be made on entirely legitimate grounds, after viewing protected information, you may be left vulnerable to claims of discrimination.
Make your job out to be something it’s not
Again this relates back to the theory of balance; while you don’t want to sell the company or the job opportunity you have short, you don’t want to dress it up in such a way that your candidates think they’re stepping into a Louis Vuitton, when it’s more like a Reebok classic.
While the office table tennis table, ‘relaxed atmosphere’, casual Fridays, beer fridge and fancy job title (who doesn’t love one) may all be good selling points for the HR department, don’t let these aspects sucker unsuspecting candidates into a position they’re not ready for.
Outline clearly what is expected of an employee on a day-to-day basis, the tasks they will be undertaking and for how long they will be expected to work. A major factor in bad hiring can be naivety on behalf of the prospective employee; they need to know exactly what they’ll be up against. Only when a candidate fully understands and accepts the demands of a role are they suitable for hire.
Come to the table without your own answers
Any good candidate will regard the interview process as just as much of an opportunity to discover more about the company and potential job role, as a chance to impress the employer with their own skills, experience and charm.
When questions about remuneration, bonus structure, perks and office lifestyle start firing, you need to have the answers at your finger-tips and be able to deliver them with confidence. If you are unable to give what should be fairly straight-forward responses, the company risks missing out on the best candidates who will be enticed by more professional, organised outfits.
Leave candidates hanging in the ether for too long
While rushing the recruitment process is obviously something to be avoided, you don’t want to let the best candidate for the role slip through your fingers. If they’re good, the chances are that their job search won’t drag on forever.
Drawn out interview stages, absent decision makers and other looming deadlines can all delay the hiring process. When a position needs to be filled make sure that everything is in place to allow for a smooth hire. Dedicate several days or a week in advance to conduct all the interviews, make sure the important decision makers are present for at least a good proportion of the time and keep candidates up to speed with your own decision-making progress.
The worst thing you can do is to keep good candidates in the dark. Keep them up to date with proceedings via email and give them a date on which a final decision or next round of the assessment process will take place.