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8 Hiring Mistakes Your Business Can Avoid

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The hiring process is expensive. Small businesses, in particular, need to avoid costly hiring mistakes.

However, hiring right the first time is not guaranteed, especially when the pressure is on to fill a role.

Hiring managers may feel pressure from upper management to engage in a hurry.  Why? In small businesses, losing an employee can result in coworkers needing to take up the slack and cover the vacant role.

Coworkers may burn out, resulting in more job vacancies at the business. In times like these, hiring mistakes are made. Let’s look at what your business can do to engage right the first time!

How To Avoid Hiring Mistakes

According to the US Department of Labor, making lousy hiring decisions may be as costly as 30% of an employee’s annual salary. That’s a whopping $24,000 in total expenses lost for a position offering a salary of $80,000. Take time to avoid these common hiring mistakes to run a business successfully.

Lagging with digital transformation

Competitive businesses are fully immersed in the adoption of new technology to attract top employees. For your business to be attractive to job applicants, keep up with technology in all areas so your employees are also part of the technology revolution.

Use Cloud-based software-as-a-service to work with your cash flow constraints. Your commitment to new tech may be why an applicant chooses a role with your business.

What is your company culture?

Today, company culture must align with employees’ value systems, including:

  • Work-life balance
  • Diversity, equality, and inclusion
  • Company mission and value statement

Hiring mistakes happen when the business forgets to present its values and purpose. What does the company represent, and how does it represent fairness, inclusiveness, and compassion?

Job applicants weigh up what’s on offer, so make sure your business has a holistic approach to its hiring, including:

  • Salary package – wage, bonuses, insurance, etc
  • Personal development – training, education, industry qualifications
  • Workplace benefits – breakout room, healthy refreshments, car park, etc
  • Community work – charity days, fundraising events

Plus, employees seek a company culture that values work-life balance so they can spend time with family and friends.

Technology adoption is significant; however, businesses must ensure their company culture does not promote the ‘always online’ mentality.

Employees may get their business email forwarded to their phones. However, they shouldn’t need to respond to emails, mobile messages, or chat requests outside their standard work hours.

Missing stages of the interview process

To avoid hiring mistakes, ensure all stages of the recruitment process are completed. Even if you’re in a hurry to fill the role, skipping a step in the hiring process may result in hiring the wrong person.

Covering letter

Every resume should have a cover letter – has it been personalized to the role and your business, or is it generic? You will work out how interested the applicant is in their cover letter.

Pre-interview video calls

When you’re inundated with applicant resumes, take an extra step and conduct pre-interviews via phone or video chat. How applicants present verbally and visually will assist you with the short list of applicants for the round of interviews.

The pre-interview can also reveal why some applicants have left out important information about the role and your business. For example, your company values charity and community work, and applicants may do it but not include their efforts in their resume.

Job descriptions too specific

If your business seems to be repeatedly recruiting for the same role, look at the job advert. Rewrite it every time and widen its scope so you attract new applicants.

Use more channels for advertising roles.

Keep posting the same jobs on the same sites, and guess what? The same candidates apply over and over again. Cast your net wider to get a broader pool of applicants. Opening the door of opportunity to a wider audience is always helpful as it can help you diversify your workforce with a wide range of skills, points of view, and experience.

For example, candidates rarely look for job opportunities in the local newspapers today. Everyone is online, and so too are your job vacancies. 🙂 Include all your job openings on your online assets:

  • Company site
  • Email newsletters
  • Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

Plus, your job vacancy adverts need to be listed on the job and recruitment firms’ sites – where workers go to find new roles. Plus, recruitment firms have large applicant databases.

Missing information in job descriptions

Another hiring mistake managers can make is failing to include ‘all’ duties and responsibilities. Every job has some unfavorable tasks. However, transparency is needed when wanting to hire the right person the first time.

Therefore, always present in the job description what the business requires the successful candidate to do, and you can gauge the applicant’s response during the interview process.

Finding the right candidate for the wrong position

Another common mistake that you may be making is hiring the right person for your business but placing them in the wrong position or role. If your company identifies someone you want but don’t have a part, create one and get approval. Or tell the candidate your business will have a role for them in the future and keep in contact with the candidate in the meantime.

Avoid putting the square peg into the round hole – the right candidate in the wrong role will tarnish their impression of your business. You’re better off letting them go but remaining on good terms and contacting them when the correct part is available.

Not hiring fast enough.

You could also be making the mistake of holding onto the wrong candidate for long. Some people may keep underqualified employees out of loyalty. Others may keep them due to negligence.

The worst reason some employers keep unqualified employees longer than they should is the lack of time to fire and hire someone else for the position. You need to replace someone who isn’t suitable for your company immediately.


To avoid hiring mistakes, work the recruiting process through to the end. Skipping steps or leaving out information about the role will likely result in a costly hiring error for your business.

Keep your business relevant with employees with technology adoption, a strong company culture, and well-thought-out hiring packages that include more than just a competitive salary.