The Most Common Recruitment Mistakes Businesses Make

03 Jul 10:00 by Jamie Silman


Hiring a new member of staff can be a daunting prospect for some businesses.

It can be time consuming, and expensive, and, even after you’ve found someone, 29% of new hires leave within 90 days; so it can be difficult to definitively know whether you’ve made the right choice until months later.

But there are some common recruitment mistakes that businesses should avoid to give them the best chance of finding the perfect candidate for the role.


These are the 10 most common recruitment mistakes businesses make:

1. Not Creating an Accurate Job Description
2. Overlooking Current Employees
3. Not Creating Processes
4. Ignoring Cultural Fit
5. Not Trusting Your Instincts
6. Not Checking Employee References
7. Rushing the Process – Or Taking Too Long
8. Rejecting an Overqualified Candidate
9. Not Following Up with Candidates
10. Not Hiring Enough People


1. Not Creating an Accurate Job Description

The first step when recruiting for any role is to prepare a job description that accurately reflects the responsibilities of the job.

It’s impossible to find the right person if you don’t know what the role entails, so make sure you take the time to speak to the person who’s currently in that role, or the line manager who will be responsible for managing the new employee, to get a clear overview of what their day-to-day tasks will be.

Writing out the tasks involved gives all of the stakeholders a chance to decide whether making a new hire is actually the best move, and can sometimes reveal a role needs to be divided up across multiple positions.

It’s important to be honest in this process, as that will give you the best chance of finding the right candidate for the role. Sugar-coating the amount of work could lead to an unhappy new employee, which could mean you end up searching for a new employee a few months down the line!


2. Overlooking Current Employees

Sometimes the perfect person for a new position might already be working for your company.

An existing employee already knows the ins and outs of how your business operates, meaning you can skip the basic sections of the induction and jump straight into the technical aspects of the role; speeding up the entire process.

Hiring from within can also have a positive impact on employee morale, showing staff that there is room for them to grow within the company, which is always a good thing.


3. Not Creating Processes

Creating a standard recruiting and onboarding process for your business is no easy feat, but it will result in a positive impact on the success of finding and retaining top employees.

The process needs to cover every step of a candidate’s journey, from sending over their CV, to starting a role, and staying with the company long-term.

This not only allows you to track the progress of candidates going through the application process, but also allows you to ensure every candidate has the same experience with your brand.


4. Ignoring Cultural Fit

While it’s beneficial for businesses to build diverse, multi-cultural teams; it’s also important for new employees to fit in with the culture you’ve created within your business.

For example, a laid-back, casual person probably wouldn’t be a great fit for a fast-paced, formal position at a global bank; even if they have the relevant qualifications for the role.

Finding out about a candidate’s hobbies and interests, or having a potential colleague sit in, during their interview is a great way to test the waters and see what makes them tick; and you should be able to get a good idea of how well they’d fit into your team.


5. Not Trusting Your Instincts

Sometimes we can’t help but have a gut feeling about someone – whether it’s good or bad.

It’s important during the hiring process to remain impartial to give all of the candidates a fair chance at getting the job, and it’s essential to find a balance when it comes to trusting your gut.

Having a set of criteria to score candidates against will prevent you from basing your hiring decisions on your instincts, and will help to see how candidates compare to each other objectively.

That being said, your instincts are there for a reason, so if someone matches all of your criteria but you still don’t feel right, make sure you dig a little deeper before you make the final decision.


6. Not Checking Employee References

Sometimes the stars align and you find yourself with a candidate who has great qualifications and experience, and is a great cultural fit for your team!

Time to send out the offer letter and get them started, right?!

Not so fast…

No matter how perfect a candidate might seem, it’s still important to check their references before offering them the position.

People can embellish, or even flat-out lie about their experience or qualifications, so make sure you verify that they are capable of what they say they are!


7. Rushing the Process – Or Taking Too Long

Sometimes an important role comes up that needs to be filled yesterday, and it can be very tempting for a business to hire the first person who comes close to fitting the job description.

But this approach often ends up costing businesses more in the long run, as eventually a new member of staff will need to be brought in and trained.

In contrast, some companies do the complete opposite and will try to wait until the perfect candidate walks through the door.

Unfortunately, “perfect” candidates are very rare!

This ultimately leads to the business missing out on fantastic employees who accept offers from other companies who are quicker to act.

Most skills can be trained, so it’s important not to blinker yourself to “perfect” when you’re looking for new employees.


8. Rejecting an Overqualified Candidate

It seems all too common for companies to disregard candidates who have more experience than the job specification requires, writing them off as “overqualified” for the role.

But with candidates being at the centre of the job market, it seems strange that companies would want to turn down the chance to get a better employee for a lower rate.

Provided the candidate has seen the salary range in your job advert, it seems that they have already decided the rate on offer is enough, and have clearly shown their interest by applying to the role.

This is a great opportunity to get an experienced member of staff into the company, and many businesses miss out!

9. Not Following Up with Candidates

Most of us have been on the receiving end of this treatment.

You’re looking for a new role and you send what feels like hundreds of applications to roles far and wide. You might get one or two automated emails thanking you for your application, but for the most part you hear nothing back.

It sucks!

It’s worth trying to follow up with as many candidates as you can. Some of them may not be a good fit right now – but they could be in the future – so leave things on good terms!


10. Not Hiring Enough People

Smaller businesses often fall into the trap of pushing their employees too far before bringing in any new members of staff.

This can not only lead to burn out in the employees, but can also have a negative effect on customer service and, ultimately, sales.

It’s fine for staff to be busy, but expecting too much of them will lead to the need to hire more people in the long run!


The Bottom Line

It’s likely that at some point your business has already made, or will make, one of these mistakes – that’s just business!

There’s a whole host of recruitment challenges businesses face, but we hope that reviewing these common mistakes will help you to identify the pitfalls in your current processes, and make it much easier to fill the roles your business needs to fill.

If you want to take the pressure off of hiring qualified engineers, give Entech a call today to discuss your company’s needs.