Skip to main content

5 Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

As you hire, you may encounter some of the following common recruiting mistakes. The ability to navigate recruiting pitfalls and successfully develop hiring strategies can go a long way in your efforts to find top job candidates.
hiring mistakes

Recruiting can be critical as a company grows, which is why learning how to avoid common hiring mistakes can help you build a robust and productive team. So what are some challenges recruiters and hiring managers frequently face with sourcing and attracting top candidates?

Failing to Creatively Source Candidates

Finding the best candidates can require a clear tracking strategy. Consider employing sources such as job boards and social media to raise your employer profile. As a result, candidates are more likely to see new jobs as they become available and apply to them. An increased employer profile can also allow potential candidates a glimpse into your company brand and culture.

For specialized roles, consider whether you need to move beyond your standard process. For example, if you're recruiting technical talent, you may look to specific job boards, college programs, or professional associations to help you develop a more focused candidate pool for that role. Develop high-level and job-specific sourcing strategies, which leverage multiple techniques for better recruiting outcomes.

Overlooking Internal Candidates

Certain roles may require skill sets or experience that isn't currently available in the organization – and in some cases, outside relationships and experience can be a major asset to your company. However, it can be common for recruiters to overlook internal candidates; recruiting, hiring, and promoting from within may offer many benefits. Do you have a promising worker inside your company interested in taking the next step in their career or moving to a different department? Recruiting from within may help you retain talented workers who are looking for a change and build on existing institutional knowledge. Consider communicating job opportunities to potential internal candidates via an employee newsletter or through company meetings.

hiring mistakes

Waiting for the “Unicorn” Candidate

Job descriptions can sometimes consist of a list of attributes for an ideal candidate – a "unicorn" – who simply doesn't exist. As a result, finding and attracting a person who has all those skills can be nearly impossible. Your goal should be to define what a job really is, and be clear about the skills and experience it takes to thrive there. Use that as a barometer for evaluating which candidates are a good fit on multiple dimensions, rather than conducting an endless search for perfection.

unicorn candidates

Not Conducting Background Checks

It can be tempting to skip a background check when you've found what looks like the perfect candidate for a role you need to urgently fill. However, a post-offer, pre-employment background check where permitted by law allows you to verify information you're relying on, such as previous experience, education, and certifications.

Additionally, a criminal background check (and depending on the role, a credit check) where permitted by law can give your company the ease of mind knowing that valuable company resources – from client relationships to finances – are in good hands.

Not Managing the Rejection Process

Recruiting processes often include individuals who might be strong candidates but ultimately aren’t chosen. As you inform these individuals, it's important to think about how you're managing your rejection process. After all, the way in which you turn down a candidate can say as much about your recruiting process as all the other steps do.

Clear, timely, and professional communication can speak volumes about your company. Long delays, lack of follow-up, and negative rejection experiences, on the other hand, can have serious consequences for your brand. Not only will a poorly rejected candidate be unlikely to apply again in the future, but they could tell others about their experience with your company. In instances when you’re communicating with finalist candidates who may have gone through multiple rounds of interviews, consider speaking to them personally to convey the rejection.

Hiring top talent can have a direct correlation to company growth and profits. Don't let common recruiting mistakes prevent you from hiring the best candidates for the job. Beware the pitfalls companies can face, and develop strategies to help you navigate them. If you need guidance doing this, consider taking advantage of hiring solutions available on the market today.


We can help you tackle business challenges like these Contact us today

* This content is for educational purposes only, is not intended to provide specific legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the legal advice of a qualified attorney or other professional. The information may not reflect the most current legal developments, may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date.

Recommended for you

About Paychex

Paychex was founded over four decades ago to relieve the complexity of running a business and make our clients' lives easier, so they can focus on what matters most.

We provide: