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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 get a role filled.

Hiring managers may feel the pressure from upper management to hire 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, which may result in more job vacancies at the business. It’s times like these that 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 bad 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 so you can run a business successfully.

Lagging with digital transformation

Competitive businesses are fully immersed in new tech adoption, 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 in 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 business 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 important however businesses need to 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 get the role filled, skipping a step in the hiring process may result in the wrong person being hired.

Covering letter

Every resume should have a covering 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 covering letter.

Pre-interview video calls

When you’re inundated with applicant resumes – take an extra step and conduct pre-interviews via a phone call 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 recruiting for the same role repeatedly, take a good look at the job advert. Rewrite it every time and make sure to widen its scope, so you attract new applicants.

Use more channels to advertise roles

Keep posting the same jobs on the same sites, and guess what? The same candidates apply over and over again. Cast you’re 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 to diversify your workforce with a wide range of skills, points of view, and experience.

For example today, candidates rarely look for job opportunities in the local newspapers. Everyone is online and so too should 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 sites 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, when wanting to hire the right person the first time, transparency is needed.

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 business identifies someone you want but doesn’t have a role, create one and get approval for it. 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 placed in the wrong role will tarnish their impression of your business. You’re better to let them go but remain on good terms and contact them when the right role 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 for 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.