The 10 Common Recruitment Mistakes

The 10 Common Recruitment Mistakes

The 10 Most Common Recruitment Mistakes

Today I am sitting in a conference at the Sofitel Hotel Gatwick, helping my mentor Andy Harrington, train a bunch of prospective public speakers.

One of the things he covers really early on is that you should always speak about something you know about and are passionate about.

I am passionate about a lot of things – my kids, good wine, grammar, supporting women in business, recruitment, social media.

In business terms the thing I am most passionate about is helping businesses and particularly small businesses – to get recruitment right and avoid recruitment mistakes.

Perhaps you have seen a recruitment process go wrong and the wrong person get hired. Maybe you have been part of that process. Possibly you have experienced the amount of time, money and stress that causes. Studies have showed that conflict at work is something people fear more than dumping their partner! And the wrong hire can cause endless conflict and damage morale.

So – I developed the DRIVE Recruit and Grow System, to help small business put in a proper system that works for hiring the right people, first time, every time.

One chapter in my book – The Book on Recruitment – is entitled The 10 Most Common Mistakes Other Businesses Make When Hiring and How to Avoid Them. So I thought I would share that information with you today.

However first things first!

Before What….WHY?????

Perhaps you have either made on of the 10 most common mistakes when you have hired someone, or are considering hiring someone for the first time and want to make sure you don’t make them.

Before we move on to looking at the mistakes and how you can avoid them, I’d like to tell you that whatever mistakes you have made – or worried about making – when hiring staff, don’t worry – thousands of other business owners have made them before. You are not alone!

However, once you have read this guide and put into practice the advice contained in it, you never need to fall into those traps again.

It is important before looking at the “what” to look at the “why”. Why do so many people make bad hiring decisions?

Largely it falls into one of 3 reasons.

1. They are in a hurry.

2. They are short of cash.

3. No-one ever told them how to do it properly.

Lets take these one at a time.

1.Didn’t You Mother Ever Tell You – More Haste Less Speed?

Mine did – but that doesn’t always stop you does it?

You know what it’s like when you’re busy – there is always too much to do – and taking time out to plan what might happen and what you might do about it if it does is not high on your priority list.

So what happens?

One day you come into work and your best salesperson / your PA / your sole IT person in the business resigns.

You spend all morning trying to persuade them to stay perhaps chucking more money at them / promising promotion etc

Sometimes that works, but invariably only short term.

Mostly it doesn’t.

So – you are in a mess. You rush it. You take the first person that comes along (through a recommendation or someone you know probably) that looks like they can do the job.

And then you breathe a huge sigh of relief because you have solved the problem. Haven’t you?

Probably not.

In a small percentage of cases you might fall lucky – and almost by accident have appointed the perfect person.

But in the real world, what generally happens is that 3 weeks or 3 months later you realise, that the person you hired is not up to the job, or they don’t fit into the culture, or they don’t have the skills you actually needed if you had stopped for a minute to breath in the mad rush of solving the problem).


2.Cash strapped?

Needing to hire someone always comes at the most inconvenient time – doesn’t it?

If only you had the cash to use an agency – or put a great ad in the local paper / trade press to get to the right candidate pool.

Unfortunately the tax man wants his money / the Vat is due / you just spent your spare cash on offices, marketing,

a new car……….

So – you go for the cheaper option. Word of mouth. That’s good right? People who know you wouldn’t recommend someone to you if they weren’t right for your business … would they?

Now, don’t get me wrong, word of mouth can produce some of the best people you will ever hire.

Can, I said. But not always.

And if you use word of mouth solely because it’s cheap, guess what often happens? Yep – you get the cheap option not necessarily the best.

3.You have had no recruitment / HR and / or Management Training?

It isn’t surprising.

Most people who run their own business may have had some management training. Many won’t have. And the vast majority will never have had any recruitment or HR training.

In a small company the managers won’t have had that training themselves and therefore can’t pass it on.

In a bigger company – often there is a “HR” department, and therefore there is seen to be no need to train managers in these skills. (Big mistake).

Very few people running their own business, or running departments for someone else have the skills needed to avoid all the pitfalls of the minefield that is recruitment!

Given one or all of the above factors – it is hardly surprising that so many people get recruitment so wrong.

Don’t worry though – there are things you can do to minimise your risk.

Let’s look at the 10 most commonly made mistakes and how you can plan to avoid them the next time you need to hire someone in your business.

Mistake Number 1 Reacting and Rushing

For whatever reason, recruitment is normally a fairly unplanned event.

Someone has unexpectedly resigned, walked out or gone on long term sick. Perhaps they have decided not to return after maternity leave when you had expected them back.

Perhaps they have asked if they can take early retirement or work part time hours. Maybe they have just announced their pregnancy.

Or maybe it’s your business partner who has decided to sell up and ship out.

Alternatively, it could be that you have had a sudden unexpected upturn in business.

A new product has gone better than expected, the market has suddenly seen increased demand for your product / service, or your new salesperson is bringing in more than anticipated revenues.

Whatever the reason, you didn’t see it coming, didn’t plan for it and weren’t ready.

The natural reaction is “OMG (Oh My God, for the “un-text” initiated) I need someone fast”.

This is the start of a chain of (fast moving) events often ending in the recruitment of someone so unsuitable that you couldn’t have picked someone worse if you had advertised for the opposite of what you were actually looking for.

I exaggerate ……but only slightly.

The cost of getting recruitment wrong has been estimated at the low end at £5,000 per employee but when accounting for the costs (both real costs, such as time taken to select and recruit a replacement, and also opportunity costs, such as lost productivity), the cost of employee turnover to for-profit organizations has been estimated at up to 150% of the employees’ remuneration package.

That is a huge amount of money and something often not considered in the rush to fill the empty seat.

So – when someone leaves, consider the cost and give yourself the time to consider all your options and plan your recruitment drive.

That’s it for this week

Funny businessman pointing thumb down isolated on white

Funny businessman pointing thumb down isolated on white

Till next time
Carole Fossey

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