Top 5 Mistakes Employers make in the Recruitment Process

by | Jan 27, 2015 | Employers Tips

Owning a recruitment company for over 17 years and employing over 20000 people I have learn that having a thorough recruitment process will gain a huge advantage in securing the right person for the job.  Being in the recruitment game for all these years I have also learnt which processes work well and which don’t. Today I would like to share the top 5 mistakes that hiring managers tend to do  and what you should avoid.


  1. Not clearly defining the role they are recruiting for 

    To ensure that we get the right people applying for the position that we are recruiting for, we must first understand what type of a person we are looking for. This can be achieved by having a correct job description that outlines the duties, skills, qualifications and key competencies. From the job description we can then set the key criteria for the position we seek to recruit for.We should also set criteria for the characteristic and behaviours that we are seeking in our potential employee. This could be achieved by using tools such as DISC to assess our current work culture and the position itself, in an effort to understand what type of behaviours and characteristics the position requires.

  2. Unrealistic expectationsTop 5 Mistakes Employers Make in Recruitment Process
    I see this too often; people have unrealistic expectations of what kind of a person they would like to recruit and the salary they would like to offer. Of course, you would like to hire the best person in the market, but are you prepared to pay the best salary in the market?
    The truth is that the marketplace dictates conditions and 99% of good candidates are well aware of their worth to a prospective employer. A beneficial exercise would be to find out what benefits and wages your competitors are offering and research similar positions that are available in the market place at the time of hiring
    So, unless your company’s name is “Google”, you need to realise that just because you think your company is awesome it does not mean that:
    (1)  you will have a line-up of wonderful candidates ready and willing to work for you
    (2)  they will accept your offer, and;
    (3)  your position is the only one they have applied for
  3. Lack interviewing skills
    Being in the business of recruitment you become a master of interviewing. However, if you interview only a few times through the year, these skills don’t come naturally. You need an organised, structured and systematic approach to interviewing. I would recommend that all candidates are:
    (1)    being interviewed by the same person in your company.
    (2)    interviewed and scored against the same key criteria.
    Every candidate is an individual with different backgrounds and history. Of course you will ask them different questions to understand them as individuals, but make sure that you have the same set of  key-interview questions especially when it comes to the behavioural style of questions for all candidates.
  4. Not being due diligent with background checkingI witness many business owners / managers offering jobs to candidates without even one reference check. This often happens when they strike a good connection with the person during the interview process and proceed on “gut-feeling”. I am not saying that you shouldn’t listen to your gut feeling. Just saying, confirm it!You should do at least 2 reference checks on all candidates that you are considering to offer your position to. But be aware! Many candidates will pass you details of referees that aren’t appropriate. So when you are asking your candidate to pass these details on, make sure the referee was their manager / supervisor and not a co-worker or even a friend / family. The aim here is to understand how the candidate operates in a work environment.
    It is very tempting (and easy) to Google your potential employee and find out how they behave on Social Media platforms. However, be careful how you use this information. Whilst its not illegal to check people’s social media profiles, to hire or not hire someone based on age, marital status or sexuality is. These are all factors that candidates do not need to reveal when applying for jobs, but may be found online. So, make sure you are within the boundaries of the Anti-Discrimination Act and Privacy Laws.
    Other checks such as criminal  / health / drugs are recommended but this depends on the role you are recruiting for – Again, be careful with these checks as you must be prepared to demonstrate relevance to the role.
  5. Taking too long to make a decision
    When you have gone through the recruitment process and it’s time to make the job offer, don’t take too long to make this decision. Respect your potential employee’s time and let them know where you are at in the recruitment process.Yes, I understand that sometimes the position might not be available until a certain time. If this is the case, disclose that in the early stages of the process, preferably as early as when you advertise.
    If you don’t let you candidates know where they are at, they will most likely assume they have not been successful and will keep looking. The last thing you want is to miss out on a great employee to your opposition just because you dragged your feet. Most candidates apply for number of positions, not just yours and are likely to accept the first offer.
    There are many other mistakes that employers make, but I found these  being the 5 most common.
    If you are looking to recruit this year, I recommend that you get organised now. Have a look at this Complete Recruitment and Selection Package . It will result in a professional and structured approach to in-house recruitment and ensure that you DON’T make these common mistakes.

Author: Vlasta Eriksson

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