Five Common Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Gina Deveney
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Being tasked with recruiting and hiring new talent is no short order, even when the hiring process for your company is fairly straightforward. Adding a new member to your team is a job that requires you to rely on all your knowledge as a human resources professional to make a decision that will benefit the company and help it meet its goals. Choosing candidates that have the skills necessary and who seem to meld with the company's culture can be tricky. Even the best HR personnel sometimes fall victim to the top five common mistakes when hiring new employees, and avoiding these mistakes can help you hire only the best from the candidate pool.

In our increasingly high-tech environment, more and more applicants are catching the eye of recruiters via an online hiring process, which normally begins with an online application. While this is definitely the contemporary way to find new talent, hiring mistakes can ensue if you rely too much on the impression you get from a digital application. Qualifications listed on an online application should be fully vetted to get a complete picture of the caliber of candidate being interviewed. It is easy to falsify information in cyberspace, so always follow up on any online applicant information as stealthily (or even more so) than you would a candidate who walks in off the street.  

Failing to take advantage of social media to vet a candidate during the hiring process can be another big mistake. Although it is a controversial—and in some states, possibly illegal—practice, asking applicants for their Twitter handles or Facebook usernames may give you a viable venue to get an idea of how your candidate might mesh within your company. It is becoming more common for hiring managers to be influenced by the information found on candidates' social media networks when it comes to making a hiring decision.

.Overlooking candidates based on age can be a hindrance to finding the right talent for your company. At first glance, experienced candidates may seem out of touch, but the truth is that they can actually bring valuable skills to the table, including professional expertise. If you're discounting older candidates, you may be missing out on talent while also breaking age-discrimination laws during the hiring process.

One of the most common mistakes made during the hiring process is going with your gut. Making snap judgments based solely on first impressions can be rash and detrimental to the process of claiming fresh talent for your company. Instead, call references and verify education—make sure you know whom you're dealing with for sure before you make your choice.

Finally, hiring family and friends can be one of the most regrettable mistakes that you'll make as an HR professional. While it is a nice perk to work for a company that permits you to hire relatives or buddies if you choose to do so, the potential problems that can arise when working with those closest to you in real life can be complex and hard to overcome. If the hire doesn't work out, you stand to lose a friend and a coworker.

Finding the best candidates for the job requires a mix of utilizing modern technology and common sense. The hiring process should be a logical and methodical one that allows for a 360-degree view of potential candidates to find the best fit for your company's particular needs.


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