The 4 Worst Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

“Hiring”: the most important word in any business owner’s vocabulary. And yes, even more important than words like “revenue” or “market value”. And that’s because a company’s hiring practices can make or break its overall success.

Done right, you will hire the most suitable and qualified applicants who are committed, hardworking individuals that will help you push your company forward. Done wrong, however, and you could potentially run your business into the ground.

Even with the best interests at heart, the wrong move, the wrong decision can cost you dearly; and it is those mistakes that are most often than not the hardest to fully recover from.

See Also: How Hiring Managers Make Decisions

1. Talking Too Much

Young woman talking on phone


Talk is cheap. And if you spend the entire interview talking, you end up missing out on a fantastic opportunity to gauge a candidate’s abilities and potential suitability for the position. While job interviews should be about providing the candidate with all the necessary information, hiring managers sometimes get so excited about the job and the company that they get carried away and end up talking continuously about how awesome everything is for the entire interview.

Make sure that you ask the applicant open-ended questions that require thoughtful answers like “Tell me about your experience with Excel”, for example, rather than questions that elicit simple yes or no answers like “Have you ever worked with Excel?” As a general rule of thumb when interviewing candidates, follow the 80-20 rule: spend 80% of the interview listening and only 20% talking.

2. Leaving Your Team Out of the Loop

While the person you’re interviewing might indeed be the best candidate for the job, and their unique skill set and impressive qualifications could be an exact match to those listed in the job advertisement, their ability to succeed in the job and in the company depends on how they fit into the team they’ll be directly working with.

During the interview, offer the candidate a tour around the office and introduce them to the people they will be working with if they were to get the job. This will allow you to make a hiring decision much easier as you’ll be equipped with your team’s feedback, a broader perspective, and more insight after their brief meeting with the potential new hire. Also, team members will feel more valued and an integral part of the development of the organization while the candidate will be given a more up-close-and-personal insight into his potentially future coworkers, team, and the company culture.

3. Hiring Family and Friends

Twin brothers taking a selfie


Sometimes, when a new position opens up in your company, you might find that a certain group of people will start recommending family and friends for the job, citing their strong work ethic and leadership qualities. And while the recommendation may come from one of your best employees, their close relationship with someone does not typically mean they will make a good employee. This is especially true if the phrase “they’re in desperate need of a job” is used during their sales pitch.

And while every business meeting will start to look awfully like a family reunion, that will be the least of your concerns. For one, the odds of personal conflict between employees seemingly double as both professional and personal issues arise in the workplace. You also run the risk of being accused of nepotism when those family members or friends start receiving recognition for their work, even if rightfully deserved, especially if they’re your family and friends. After all, there’s a very good reason behind the saying: “Family and business don’t mix”.

4. Not Providing Closure to Unsuccessful Candidates

While responding to every unsuccessful applicant may be a very time-consuming and lengthy process, it does have its benefits. And we’re not just talking about responding to only those applicants who were invited in for an interview; we’re talking about everyone who ever applied for the job.

Not only is it incredibly rude to ignore someone’s application to your company (after all, they’ve paid you and your company the highest compliment by applying for the job and, therefore, saying that they’d like to work for you), it’s also especially damaging to your reputation. Keeping unsuccessful applicants waiting, or worse: never getting back to them at all, can lead to a loss in customers. And we’re not just talking about the candidates you didn’t get back to – we’re also talking about their family and friends. On average, people tell 12 friends about a negative experience and just one person about a positive experience.

The least you could do is say “thank you” for taking the time to apply.

See Also: Reducing the Risk of a Bad Hire

Can you think of any other potentially disaterous mistakes hiring managers should avoid? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!