Hiring can be exhausting. With so much pressure on hiring managers and recruiters to find great talent amidst an increasingly challenging hiring landscape, it’s easy to fall into a few bad habits. But the hiring process provides the opportunity to constantly improve and learn from each hire that you make, which is why we should never accept our bad habits as just “the way that it is.”
Don’t let these common hiring habits stop you from finding the right person for your team.
1. Taking too long
If you have a slow hiring process, it could be doing more damage than you’d expect. From poor candidate experience to the loss of your best candidates, taking too long to make a hiring decision can prevent you from hiring top talent in a competitive job market.
Take time to really analyze what is making the hiring process so lengthy, and then brainstorm ways to shorten it. Some of the more common ways to tighten up the timeline are by incorporating technology that helps to streamline the process (think ATS or HRIS platforms) as well as predictive assessments that can provide quick objective insights to bolster your decisions.
2. Ignoring candidate experience
On a similar note, if you’re still ignoring the importance of candidate experience, this is one bad habit you should break right away. Most recruiters agree we’re in a candidate’s market, which is why we’re seeing the rise of candidates ghosting on interviews. Candidates have more options now, especially those who have high-demand skills. If you’re not being fully communicative with candidates every step of the way, or taking far too long to follow up, you seriously risk losing them to another job offer.
3. Weighting one factor above all others
Every hiring decision is important, which is why you should evaluate each candidate in a holistic way. If you are weighting one factor above all others, you’re going to end up making some poor and potentially biased decisions. And it doesn’t really matter which factor you’re weighting too heavily – you might put too much stock in the interview and only hire people based on personality, or you might put way too much weight on a candidate’s alma mater. Either way, you’re limiting yourself by allowing your decision to be driven by a single hiring factor, leading you to ignore other major factors that could be telling you a lot about your candidates.
With each applicant, you have access to a constellation of information about them – their past job experience, their educational background, their personality, their assessment scores, their connections, their hobbies. If you choose to ignore this wealth of information in order to prioritize a single factor, you’re bound to make some hires that you’ll ultimately regret.
4. Not calling references
Speaking of factors you definitely shouldn’t ignore, you could be making a big mistake by not taking the time to call your candidates’ references. About 70% of employers consistently perform reference checks on their candidates, and if you aren’t one of them, you might want to start. If you ask your candidates for references, go ahead and give those references a call. It doesn’t take that long, and it can provide you with a lot of information about a candidate. At best, glowing references can help solidify your decision to hire someone. At worst, lukewarm or even negative references can prevent you from making a bad hiring decision.
5. Not questioning your intuition
Intuition can play a powerful role in deciding which person you ultimately hire. While you shouldn’t completely ignore your gut feelings, you should always take time to question those feelings to make sure they aren’t coming from a place of bias. This is another reason why you should look at your candidates holistically.
Let’s say you really like a certain candidate on a personal level, and your gut tells you to hire them, but their references were lukewarm, their assessment scores were sub-par, and their job experience isn’t particularly relevant. You should take the time to investigate why your gut is telling you one thing while a lot of other information is telling you something else. This isn’t about throwing intuition out the window; it’s about consciously evaluating it so that you can be more deliberate with your hiring decisions, ultimately enabling you to get closer to hiring the person who is truly the best fit for the job.
6. Making false promises to lure great candidates
Not getting enough applicants? There are a lot of ways to modify your sourcing tactics to attract great candidates, but making false promises isn’t one of them. If you lure candidates in by not being fully honest about the nature of the position, you’re ultimately wasting precious hiring time when they inevitably drop out of the hiring process. Worse, if you end up hiring people based on empty promises, don’t be too surprised if you experience a dip in employee retention. The cost of turnover is high, and once an employee leaves, you’re back to square one to find someone to fill that same position. The goal is to find the candidate who is the best “fit” for the job; there’s no use in manipulating a great candidate to accept a role that really isn’t a great right for them in the long run.
Breaking bad habits isn't easy, but taking the time to address them can help you improve your hiring process over time, and will ultimately improve the quality of hire at your organization.