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8 Clumsy Mistakes to Avoid During the Hiring Process

Are you undercutting your recruitment strategies? Employers who are careless during their talent-acquisition process will end up with less than superb candidates. Avoid these lapses.
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Every new hire counts.

But when employers fail to implement a thoughtful hiring process, they can make some costly mistakes. In a  2013 study by CareerBuilder, 27 percent of U.S. employers surveyed reported that a bad hire cost their company more than $50,000.

Too many employers are careless during the talent acquisition process. Here are eight mistakes that hiring managers should avoid:

Related: 5 Things You Should Not Do When Hiring for Your Organization

1. Discussing candidates in an unprofessional way.

Unprofessionalism during the hiring process can damage an employer’s brand. Hiring managers who talk poorly of candidates or display favoritism -- or even show up late to job interviews -- can negatively impact the quality of the hiring process. 

Hiring managers and recruiters must follow up with candidates when they say they will, respect each candidate’s time and objectively evaluate applications. Maintaining a professional demeanor will help employers make better hiring decisions. 

2. Failing to recruit candidates of diverse backgrounds.

People from every type of background bring unique experiences and skills to the workplace. Focus on hiring all types of talent, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or social status.

3. Using outdated job applications.

Employers who use outdated job applications or the same application for each position are leaving a negative impression with applicants. For example, the same application should not be used to recrutit for a writer position and engineering job. After all, you're looking for two completely different types of people, so you need to evaluate them in different ways. Overall, make sure job applications reflect the employer’s values, mission and culture. 

4. Writing dull job descriptions.

Let’s face it, most job postings can be dry and boring. Many employers advertise job descriptions that include a laundry list of duties and qualifications. While it’s important to talk about what the job entails, employers also need to advertise their company culture.

Instead of focusing only on the qualifications and duties of the position, describe the employer’s ideal candidate and how that person would fit into the company's culture. Buffer does a good job of explaining in its advertisements how its positions fit into its goals and mission.

5. Asking yes or no questions during interviews.

Many questions asked during job interviews relate to logistics such as, “Can you relocate?” or “Do you have experience doing XYZ?” Instead of phrasing these questions to elicit yes or no answers, give candidates the opportunity to share their thoughts.

For example, instead of asking candidates if they're willing to travel, ask how they feel about traveling for work. This might prompt the person to express how he or she feels about the position, thereby providing hiring managers a better idea of whether the individual is a good fit.

6. Falling in love with a candidate too soon.

Don’t favor a certain job seeker because he or she seems to be the perfect fit on paper.  CareerBuilder reported  this summer that 58 percent of employers surveyed caught a lie on a resume.

Hiring managers can avoid bad hires by checking references and performing second or third interviews. If a candidate then proves to be everything the employer desires or more, then the hiring process should continue. 

7. Not creating a timeline for the hiring process.

When an employer’s hiring process moves too slowly or too quickly, the opportunity to hire a bad candidate increases.

Rushing the process is a costly mistake because it causes hiring managers to overlook important hiring routines such as checking references and performing background checks. On the other hand, when a company drags its feet, strong talent is pushed away.

Create a timetable: Decide how much time to spend reviewing applications, set a timetable for following up with applicants and figure out how long the entire interview process should take. This will help create a hiring process that’s more consistent and allow for better hires.

8. Failing to follow up with applicants.

One of the biggest complaints that job seekers have about the hiring process is never hearing back from hiring managers or recruiters. 

Be sure to follow up with each person, even if that individual is not going to receive an interview. This will relieve stress for job seekers and help them have a more productive job search. For employers, this will help perpetuate a positive employer brand. Applicants do talk about their experiences, just like any consumer! 

What are some other hiring mistakes employers should avoid?

Related: Avoid Costly Churn. Provide Candidates a Realistic Job Preview.