Top 10 Hiring Mistakes

Build a successful team by avoiding pitfalls

moving forward.

Here are the top 10 hiring mistakes small entrepreneurs make:
Hiring someone as a favor or because you know them personally: This applies to family, friends, neighbors, that friend of a friend, and former co-workers. Those that you know personally expect to be treated according to a different standard, but you must always be objective when considering a new hire. The person should bring value to the business and be able to meet the expectations of the job. If you hire someone based strictly on a referral or as a favor, you could open yourself up to discrimination complaints, particularly if there were other candidates, internally or externally, who could have filled the position. Also, if a subjective hire doesn’t work out, you then have to face firing that employee, which is a much harder task to tackle.

Hiring in haste: “Small business owners are oftentimes really strapped, so if somebody leaves, they go out and hire one of the first two or three people that come through the door without thinking it through,” Mathews says. Taking on a new hire too quickly can cost you customers and loss of productivity. If an employee leaves the ranks, don’t rush to fill the opening. First evaluate if it is really necessary to fill the job. You may be able to re-distribute the work among your existing staff or designate someone in-house to transition over to the job and assume its responsibilities.

Not clearly identifying your business culture: Define those things which are deemed mandatory and appropriate in your organization. This can include professional appearance, conduct, and expected hours of work. Document the details in your employee handbook and have all new hires sign an acknowledgement that they’ve read and fully understand the information that you’ve outlined. Also, explain any penalties for not adhering to the company’s rules and regulations. After Thompson received negative feedback from a client upset over seeing one of her employee’s tattoos, she now states three times during interviews with potential hires that all body art and piercings must not be visible while working an event. She has also placed a clause in her employment agreement that says display of any body art and piercing at a function is grounds for immediate termination.

Trying to hire a duplicate of someone else: Don’t try to hire someone who is exactly like someone else on staff because you’re not going to find that person. Realistically, you’re probably only going to get someone who is about 80%-90% like someone else. The remaining 10%-20% of what you’re looking for may require you training that person who meets all of your other criteria. “Look around at everybody that works well in the company,” Mathews says. “Ask yourself what you see that’s the common thread and then go find people who also have some of those same competencies because they will be a good fit for your business.”

Not conducting a background check: Thirty percent of people embellish their employment history or education. More than 8% have

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  • Modi NTAMBWE

    Fully agree with this.

  • Syreeta Martin

    What a GREAT article. I am a recruiter for a top retail company and you have identified the most common mistakes that can be avoided. This article should be forwarded to colleges and universities so that more young people can be informed about the do’s and don’ts!