When building a team, you want to surround yourself with people you can trust. These include competent professionals who do their job and help you build the business you want, while creating an awesome company culture.
While the hiring process is never easy, it generates stress for both parties involved: you and the candidate.
But, a hiring mistake can be very costly – it can cost you money, time, energy and focus.
If you’re an established business, you won’t feel the hiring mistakes as painful as a startup would, where losing a team member could mean losing 25 percent or more of the work force.
This can be a huge problem for your startup.
We all know the theory behind hiring mistakes, however, there still are many leaders and HR managers who make these 5 mistakes:
1. Lacking a Hiring Plan or Policy
When looking to fill the position of an accountant, it’s not as simple as thinking, “I will look for someone with accounting skills.”
You have to define and create a job description for the position you need to fill. On top of this, you need to draw a plan and develop a hiring policy to go with it.
The good news is once you outlined a hiring policy, you just have to update and modify it every few years, as your business grows.
The bad news is it’s your responsibility – as a business owner – to define and create the process for the industry and culture you envision.
With a hiring policy in place you are covered against any complaints a candidate might have, plus it gives your hiring manager the clarity he needs when screening potential employees.
2. Not Checking References
Bringing a new employee into your company is like inviting a stranger into your home. You wouldn’t do that, would you?
Therefore, why not go the extra mile and run a thorough background verification on potential candidates?
Check references with former employers and ask for work samples. If you are looking for a certain skill, then make sure the person you consider hiring actually has those skills. Give them a test if you are in doubt.
All in all, having an in-depth background check and performing a skill verification test will save you time and many headaches.
3. Lack of a Clear Interview Process
Though it may seem easy, an interview is more than a question or two about “what do you know?” or “what did you do at your former company?”
While Mark Zuckerberg is known for asking these types of questions when interviewing future employees during long walks, you may not have the time or resources to do same.
Instead, you can draw up a clear interview process that consists of more than just basic questions. You want to know who you’re trying to hire, so:
- Ask unexpected questions that don’t elicit a generic answer
- Ask how he or she would react if…(your worst case scenario happens)
- What he or she is passionate about outside work
In addition to these questions, don’t forget about team synergy.
The person you bring in will work with your team side-by-side, day after day. Make sure the potential candidate has a round or two of interviews with your team before making a final decision.
In the end, you can put together everyone’s opinions, along with yours and make the final decision.
4. Define a Timeline for the Hiring Process
Some leaders take a while before making a hiring decision, while others hire on a whim. Neither is good for business.
When you take too long to decide, you might lose valuable people. But, not taking enough time to know the person might be disastrous and it can end up costing you more than just your time.
Define a timeline for the hiring process and make it known to your team and to potential candidates. This ensures everyone will know what to expect.
5. Team Dynamics
One of the biggest and most costly mistakes a business owner can make is trying to find an employee just like him with the same skills, vision and approach.
You see, when you hire someone, it’s not about you – it’s about your team and the internal culture you’re building.
Besides the skills you look for in an employee, you have to know how he or she will integrate with the rest of your team. Will there be chemistry?
Try looking for people who will complement and bring balance to your team, and always keep in mind your main goal – to create a team that will work together as one.
Now that you know what not to do, go look for the right attitudes, personalities and skills to fit your company’s mission – and to help you build a company culture people will strive to work for.