5 Hiring Mistakes You Must Avoid!
Desperation – I see that most HR folks though talk about careful validation through the entire hiring process however are caught up in meeting the hiring targets. When they push resumes to the line managers, they act more as salesmen for the candidate and seem to provide subtle hints to the manager as to why he/she should be hired. They also end up using assessment tools and other popular methodologies to fool-proof their case. Many I see are just trying to meet their numbers. The problem is while you might be having an immediate vacancy to be filled and the pressure to meet the numbers, you might end up getting loads of profiles on your table just in case something clicks. At times you see managers end up hiring out of sheer fatigue of the whole process and want the whole pain to end. This desperation can get in lot of junk into the system which you will find hard to cope with. You also end up at times ‘justifying’ your hiring decisions even though you know that you have made a mistake. There is a great reluctance to ‘fire’ after a lengthy hiring cycle therefore you end up compromising till it gets to a point where the costs of a wrong hire start hitting you directly. In an organizational context by the time you come to realize this, the damage is done.
Familiarity – While employee referrals are a good way to quickly get people it may not get you a diverse range of people in your team. The problem is accentuated when you incentivize your employees for referral hires. The said employee may create enough background conditions and share information with the referred candidate which may fog the hiring decision. In fact I’ve seen it becomes counter productive at times as at times you end up hiring cause you don’t want to offend your current employee with many rejects of his referrals.
Cultural misfit – In pursuit of meeting business numbers you may end up highly skilled and experienced workers from diverse background who may not necessarily be a culture fit. While it looks all good talking about having a culture and looking for people who fit into it, organizations most often succumb to the pressure of hiring and give the softer aspect of culture a pass. They believe that they can groom the person towards their culture after hiring. Rarely does it succeed. Values are not formed and internalized through a 2 day workshop. It is years of conditioning which you cannot remove soon. When you get cultural misfits you will in the long term face high levels of conflicts and disengagement from the employees. How many of you really hire for a cultural fit and not just provide lip-service?
Reference check as a formality – I get many calls from prospective employers about a candidate and the kind of questions they ask always gives me a feeling that they have already made their decision. Reference check is mostly a formality and waste of time both for them and myself. They rarely ask questions which direct towards ‘the challenges I have faced working with this person’ or the difficulty which I would have seen in the candidates work. The other challenge is that most of the references given by the candidate are the ones who know them well and the candidate is himself confident that they will get a great referral. The problem is that all of us know about this but still succumb to the same mistake. It is preferring ‘slow-death’ over ‘deep-change’ in our approach to background checks.
Interviewer bias – I for one advocate that the Managers in whose team the prospective candidate is to be hired should not be interviewing the candidate. You find that most Managers are biased towards people who they connect with personally or are either like them or inferior to them in skills. I’ve seen especially when the candidate is seemingly more experienced or skilled than the Manager, he will surely feel threatened and may not be comfortable hiring. The organization loses quite a talented individual because of the interviewer bias. You should start hiring like they do in the centralized recruiting agencies like the armed forces etc., where the team leader is just provided with the recruit who he would have never met before or worked with. This goes a long way in cutting the bias. Try with one if you have the courage to take this route and see the difference.