5 Deadly Sins of Hiring

little devilThe hiring process can be loaded with pitfalls — even when you do everything right! Here are the five most commonly made mistakes, or the “deadliest sins” in hiring.

flame SIN #1 — Not Knowing What You Want

It’s hard to believe that companies actually start the hiring process without having a clear vision of what their new (or replacement) employee will be doing, what they are responsible for and how they will fit into the organization. (Think starting to build a house without having architectural plans!)

  • So, make a JOB DESCRIPTION! Start with the end in mind and describe everything you want your new employee to do.

Use this description when you are interviewing — make it your roadmap and compare what your candidates have done with the description.

flame SIN #2 — Not Working With A Deadline

The hiring process is like any other project in your company. It has a beginning, middle and end. If you asked one of your managers when a specific job would be finished and he replied, “Well, whenever it’s over, it’s over” you’d probably be very disturbed.

  • Set a deadline date for that new employee to start work and then make your plan with that deadline date in mind.

flame SIN #3 — Not Having A Plan To Find Your New Employee

Make a plan for finding your new employee. Map out your tactics.

  • Will you use a job board? Or a recruiter?
  • Will you use your own network? If so, how long will you wait to gather candidates?
  • How will you evaluate what is working and what is not?

Think these strategies through and set some guidelines and timeframes for success. You may try one method to start, but set guidelines so you can change or augment your candidate acquisition process.

flame SIN #4 — Not Having An Interview Process

Now that you have gathered likely candidates, have a plan for your interviewing. Think about how you want to proceed.

  • Will you do a phone interview first?
  • When will you bring candidates in to your company?
  • Who will they be meeting with?
  • What’s the evaluation process? If multiple people are involved in the hiring, how will you evaluate the candidates?

Think these elements through very carefully. There’s nothing more telling about your company than what the candidates experience once they walk through the door. Many a company has lost a highly qualified candidate because things weren’t in place once the process started. Don’t let that happen to you.

flame SIN #5 — Making An Offer They Can Refuse!

Don Corleone probably didn’t end up in heaven. And, you certainly won’t be in hiring heaven if you let your hiring fall apart at the end! Now that you’ve chosen your #1 candidate, the most important thing you can do is to make sure that your offer is in line with the position as you have stated it and the past earnings of your candidate.

  • Make a Solid Offer — While protecting your budget by not overpaying, make your first offer a solid one. Be prepared to explain and defend your offer to the candidate. For example, if your candidate does not have quite the breadth of experience you had originally expected for the position, your offer may be lower. Let the candidate know that and provide an opportunity for review and bonuses based on performance.
  • Don’t Low-ball the Offer — Nothing is more deadly than making a lower offer than your candidate was expecting. Not only will the candidate feel you don’t want them, but also they may feel they might have to “fight” for more money — not a good way to start a relationship. Remember, you are not bartering for a rug in a bazaar — you’re buying someone who you believe can contribute significantly to your company.
  • Make Your Offer Verbally and in Writing — You may choose to give your offer verbally but then put your offer in writing. Remember to put a deadline date for the signing of the offer. Include all elements of the compensation and all employee benefits. If you are hiring a salesperson, include his or her annual quota. Make yourself available to your candidate for clarity or discussion of the offer until the time that it is signed and returned.

If you can eliminate these sins from your process, you’ll go a long way towards smoother hiring and landing your ideal candidate. So, be an angel and try!

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