Executive Education

The 24 Biggest Recruiting And Hiring Mistakes Most Entrepreneurs Make

When it comes to hiring and onboarding, most businesses blow it. In fact, so many organizations do such a poor job of facilitating the process that many new hires get frustrated their very first day on the job. In order to finish the hiring process on a strong note, you need to prioritize onboarding just as much as interviewing and vetting candidates.

Practical Ways to Improve Onboarding: If your company lacks a directed onboarding strategy, you aren’t alone. Very few companies have actually taken the time to formalize the onboarding process. While you don’t necessarily have to sit down and write out a plan, you should identify some areas where you can take action.

Here are 24 of the most common recruiting and hiring mistakes most entrepreneurs make

Avoid these pitfalls and build a team of talented employees.

  1. Being overly influenced by advanced degrees: Imagine you get two applications, one from an applicant that studied at the London Business School and one from a university you have never heard of. Of course, it is super tempting to hire someone that comes from a university you have already heard of.

    A name is just a name and a person just a person. Try to avoid stereotypes.

  2. Not knowing market compensation
  3. Looking for another you: many employers are tempted to hire someone who is just like them.
  4. Thinking experience always counts
  5. Not looking into candidates’ backgrounds
  6. Not considering internal candidates
  7. Pirating from your competitors
  8. Choosing a paper tiger: an impressive resume does not necessarily equal a great employee.
  9. Not involving the team in hiring decision
  10. Not having a long-range plan, beyond your immediate need
  11. Making promises that are not well thought out
  12. Not knowing what job you want to hire for, hiring for an unspecified Role
  13. Rejecting overqualified candidates
  14. Hiring someone just because you know them, unqualified relatives and friends
  15. Not conducting a good hiring interview
  16. Not looking for a good fit
  17. Hiring a “Jack of All Trades”
  18. Expecting way too much
  19. Be honest about the job opening
  20. Ignoring diversity
  21. Not writing or updating a job description
  22. Not having a structured hiring process
  23. Ignoring previous hiring mistakes
  24. Waiting for the “Perfect” Candidate

Here are a few practical suggestions:

  1. Send Documentation Ahead of Time

From the new hire’s perspective, one of the biggest points of friction has to do with what’s expected of them on the first day. Nothing is more frustrating than wondering about what to wear, where to park, what to do about lunch, where to show up in the morning, etc. You can relieve a lot of the pressure related to these sorts of things by sending out documentation ahead of time.

“Once the offer is accepted, send new hires a welcome email outlining the most important things they will need to know when they show up for that first day: address, floor number, who to ask for, key cards, parking directions and whatever else will help them to arrive with confidence, ” suggests Becky Krill of SchoolKeep.

This allows the new hire to focus less on administrative issues and more on digesting the important information they really need to know.

  1. Let Everyone Know About the Hire

The last thing you want to do is have a new hire show up and none of your employees know who they are. It’s awkward for everyone involved and reveals the inner workings of a pretty poor communication strategy.

As soon as a new hire is made official, you should send out an announcement to your employees letting them know about the hire. (Here are some sample templates.) In the announcement, be sure to tell your current employees who the person is, what they’ll be doing, and perhaps even a bit about the new hire’s background. This ensures everyone is on the same page and gives them something to talk about when they meet.

  1. Provide Digestible Training

Did you know that 22 percent of employees leave their jobs within the first 45 days of employment? When you consider all of the resources that go into onboarding a new hire, that’s a rather expensive error rate.

While it’s not possible to prevent all premature turnover, you can reduce your risk by providing effective training from day one. But instead of subjecting new hires to a boring corporate training program that consists of them sitting in a boardroom, clicking through PowerPoint slides, consider giving them a task in lieu of training.

“Not only will employees learn a lot while they work on the task, you will have something done by the end of it [and] it will help them to make the most of the follow-up training (as they can relate it to their own experience),” explains Przemyslaw Radomski, CEO of Sunshine Profits.

  1. Give Opportunities for Interpersonal Development

New hires feel like the new kid at school. They don’t know which lunch table to sit at, who to talk to, or how to carry themselves. While training can go a long way towards helping them understand their job, you need to provide opportunities for interpersonal development.

Encourage employees to invite the new hire out to lunch during the first few days. This will help them feel like a part of the team and allows for personal conversations outside of work.

It’s also a smart idea to assign a couple of “mentors” to guide the new hire through the first couple of weeks. This gives them someone to ask questions, without having to ask the boss.

Finish Strong: When you look at the hiring process from the top-down, there are essentially four major components.

There’s the (1) application phase, (2) interview phase, (3) selection phase, and (4) on-boarding phase.

Most businesses spend a lot of energy focusing on the first three phases to ensure they find the right person for the job. However, very few take the time to see the job through and finish strong.

If you want to be a business that puts employees first, then you owe it to everyone to put just as much time and energy into the on-boarding process. As a result, you’ll get more out of your employees and naturally create a strong work environment where everyone feels like part of the team.

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Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. He is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur, Social Media Week, CEOWORLD Magazine and the HuffingtonPost among others.