Executive Search: 10 Common Hiring Mistakes and Solutions

One of the most crucial responsibilities of a leader is in selecting the right people to help drive growth in the company. When a selection is made properly, your company will be rewarded with all the benefits that a high-performance team has to offer. On the other hand, if done improperly, you will be facing wasted time and money, higher turnover, and underperformance. So here are the top ten mistakes commonly made during employ selection and solutions to help you avoid making these same mistakes.

1. Never Rely On “Gut Feeling.”

While newer managers may have less experience in hiring, it has been shown that more experienced managers have a tendency to rely on gut feelings, ignoring standard hiring practices. While experience is surely a vital tool when it comes to hiring, other tools are necessary as well, such as work examples, testing and simulations. No single aspect of the hiring process should be relied upon to the exclusion of all others.

Solution: Design a selection process that makes use of various means of evaluation and data collection. The ideal process should also screen based on your company’s values.

2. Know What You’re Looking For

Finding the ideal candidate can be difficult when you don’t know what it that you’re looking for.

Solution: Before you begin screening candidates, begin by outlining a few Critical Success Factors of the position in question. While doing this may take time, in the long run doing so will allow you to make a clear minded decision that goes beyond guess work.

3. Don’t Filter the Facts

Too often, once an interviewer has found a candidate who meets their chosen criteria, they have a tendency to start filtering out any negative qualities that they might discover, and which may become a problem once the person is hired.

Solution: Rather than try to find reasons why you should hire a particular candidate, look for reasons why you should NOT, hire them. Look for any reasons that would prevent this candidate from being successful.

4. Talking vs. Listening

If you find that you are doing most of the talking during an interview, then you are no longer screening the candidate but selling the position.

Solution: During the interview process the candidate should be made to talk 80% of the time and the interviewer 20%.

5. Be Inquisitive

In an interview you’re trying to learn as much as you can about this candidate, so do not accept broad or unclear responses to your questions.

Solution: When you need to know more, say so. Ask about specific examples and situations. Tell the candidate from the start exactly what it is you’re hoping to learn and understand.

6. Ignore Market Pressure

In a struggling labor market, all too often managers will hire too quickly and will avoid firing, missing out on the opportunity to find the ideal fit.

Solution: Always use the 3x3x3 rule of interviewing: three candidates, three employee interviews, three separate times. While this may seem like an excessive amount of time to spend looking for one candidate, it is a lot less time than you will spend dealing with poor performance issues if you make a bad selection.

7. Don’t Oversell the Job

Another common error brought on by a tight labor market is that the interviewer will focus too much on selling the company because they fear that the candidate may have other offers waiting.

Solution: The best advice all around for these worries is to simply ignore the labor market and stay focused on trying to find the best possible candidate.

8. Be Aware of Legal Issues

While being aware of any and all legal issues may not help you in finding the right candidate, it will certainly help reduce your organization’s liability.

Solution: Be aware of, train for, and enforce the law when screening candidates. Ignorance is not a valid excuse.

9. Don’t Take the Simple Route

Never rely on the same tired, old questions and feelings as this just illustrates laziness and a lack of preparation.

Solution: Take control of the interview. Prepare your line of questioning based around the list of critical success factors you outlined earlier. And don’t stop there; have a list of follow-up questions ready as well. Remember that this is your interview.

10. Be Attentive

Don’t just listen to what the candidate is saying.

Solution: More than 90% of all communication is nonverbal, so be alert to the candidate’s body language, the pace of their speech and intonations, as well as their confidence and energy level. Also, pay attention to your own feelings following the interview, as this can be a possible indicator of how others will feel towards the candidate.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

PLEASE follow us!