06Jun

How to avoid hiring pitfalls


Are you starting the painful process of hiring your next employee?  It can be tough when faced with a mountain of CV’s and bright-eyed, polished candidates who may not be all that they seem.  Did you know, that on average the cost of staff turnover is estimated at approximately 40% of an annual salary. Ouch! And, that only includes the tangible costs of hiring, with no account for soft skills and manager time involved. So you have to get it right, right? Because it’s way too costly, frustrating and painful if you don’t.

The best way to reduce turnover is to avoid the often not-so-obvious hiring pitfalls and by following a sound decision making process from the onset (which includes partnering with a specialist recruiter like us, of course.) Here are our top tips on how to avoid making hiring mistakes during that all important candidate interview.

1.       Be prepared

We can’t say it enough, but it is imperative that you are prepared. If you have benchmarked the job and compiled a list of questions in advance, then you can’t go wrong. Not only with basic questions, but prepare some follow-up questions as well. You need to be in control of the interview.

 2.       Have a checklist of requirements

Make a list of all the hard and soft skills you are looking for and that you need from the employee. Make note of additional demands the job requires too e.g. over time, travel and set hours. If you know exactly what you are looking for, you are more likely to get it. And take notes during the interview as it is likely you will not remember all of the details at a later stage.

3.       Listen and observe

The first mistake you can make is to listen to the words only, and ignore the rest.  You can learn a lot if you pay attention to body language, posture and eye contact: essentially all the non-verbal communication cues. See when the applicant looks away or starts to fidget. Make a note when their voice gets a high pitch. Look for non-vrbal cues to make an assessment. Remember, you don’t have to do most of the talking so allow the candidate to talk and respond as much as possible.

4.       Don’t rely on gut instinct alone

Experience and intuition are important no doubt, but do not ignore the selection process. Having procedures in place will assist you in making the right choice such as testing, pre-interview questionnaires, assessments etc.

Also make sure you do all your checks and don’t take the applicants at their word. Be open to the possibility that some of them might not be totally honest and are bending the truth to get the job. It is very common for applicants to paint a much brighter picture on their CV’s so this makes testing extra important.

5.      Don’t hire spontaneously

Spending too little time on hiring, using a recruiter who does not understand your organisational objectives, skillset and experience you require are pitfalls that can easily be avoided. Don’t meet the candidate only once. Create opportunities for other managers to meet the applicant as well and hear what they have to say. And most importantly have a recruitment partner you trust, who specialises in sourcing suitable candidates on your behalf – it can save you a lot of frustration in the long term.

At Intelligent People we understand how time-consuming the hiring process is, which is why we position ourselves as a specialist hiring partner in the Marketing, Product and e-Commerce industries throughout Greater London. If you’re frustrated by your current hiring process and are struggling to fill roles in your team efficiently then give us a call today on 01727 736 690 or drop us an email at [email protected]. You won’t be disappointed.

Leaders in Marketing, eCommerce and Product Management Recruitment


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