Meet Susan.


Susan was quite an accomplished candidate with a great resumé. She interviewed well and seemingly ticked all the necessary boxes. Yet, months after being hired she consistently fails to hit her targets. And she causes unnecessary disruptions in the team on a daily basis. Drama much?


So why was Susan hired in the first place?


Well, sometimes it boils down to our mistakes in ignoring minute signs of incoming trouble when it comes to candidates we like. And this is especially true for rookies who are new to the hiring game.


Mark could have a laundry list of engineering accomplishments, but he could also be a serial pantry raider in disguise. Exaggeration aside, the point we want to push across is that looks can be deceiving.

Don’t Be A People Pleaser, Business is Business


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This goes out to all the people-pleasers out there. You can be a saint in your personal life, but when it comes down to business, you need to suppress that part of you.


This is especially important in a business setting, where you’ll inevitably come across sob stories from the candidates from time to time.


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“I have been unemployed for x amount of time because I had to take care of [insert family member here].” or “I need this job to take care of my ageing family member/young children/disabled pet.”


These are some scenarios that you could come across during your recruitment process. We’re not saying that they’re one hundred percent false but sometimes you’ll have to give a hard no even if they are true. After all, the business is depending on you to hire the RIGHT candidate for the job.


On the other hand, if you are motivated by the approval of others, know that you are not alone. There are plenty of people-pleasers out there in the business world.


There is nothing wrong with craving the approval of others, but it can be quite damaging to a business.


If you hire someone simply because you don’t want to disappoint them, you may regret it down the line. And the same goes for letting people go. Keeping someone on because you can’t bear to hurt them may be the easy way out, but it’s not healthy for the business. Moreover, it’s not even the kind thing to do in most cases.


In short, you must keep in mind what’s best for business. Everything else comes after that.

Not Doing Any Prescreening & Background Checks On Potential Candidates


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It may be as simple as looking up their names on Google. Otherwise, something as extensive as contacting all possible references. But whatever the case, there is always a need to prescreen potential candidates before moving on to the next stage.


Of course, the first step in the prescreening process is to go through all the resumés that have landed in your inbox. From there, you can drop the unqualified candidates while the qualified will move on to further screening.

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In most cases, a simple phone-screening will suffice. But most importantly, a thorough screening will help you save time in the interview stage.


Candidate prescreening can be carried out in a myriad of ways. For instance, using a chatbot on your career page to present questions to the candidates. These carefully worded questions can be used anywhere during the application process. Tailor your questions right, and their answers can help you identify the unqualified.

Preparation For An Interview Goes Both Ways


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Everyone has their own way to prepare for an interview. Some read up on the company and job description. Others work on their sales pitch. And others just wing it in the hopes of striking a chord with the interviewer. But interview preparation goes both ways for either the candidates or recruiters.


For a start, your job vacancy description should be accurate and honest in your advertisement. Without a proper description, you’ll likely to attract more unqualified candidates than candidates you want.


A good job description is more than a simple list of duties. It should also cover the role in terms of overall purpose and key areas of responsibility. Also, don’t try to oversell the position either. This could lead to applicants believing that your vacancy offers more opportunities than it actually does. Your ambitious new recruit may feel disappointed and leave if this is the case.


In terms of candidate preparedness, you should also let potential interviewees know what to expect. Send them the right links so that they can read up on the company and ethos. This is to ensure that they know exactly what the role they’re applying for entails.

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If you need the candidate take a test during the interview, inform them ahead of time. And if you need certain documents from the candidates, let them know as well. Certainly, this is common sense but sometimes it’s those simple things that are easily forgotten.


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On the flip side, nothing screams unprofessional than an unprepared interviewer. Reading their resumé during the interview is fine if you want to clarify something. But it’s not alright if you’ve forgotten key details about the candidate such as their previous employment.


Likewise, you should also have your own set of questions prepared beforehand. Being unprepared and asking random questions just doesn’t work for anyone involved.

Relying Too Much On The Interview As Your First Impression Of The Candidate


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The interview is just a minor part of the recruitment process. So relying on it to judge the suitability of a candidate is a foolish affair if we’re being honest.


There are tons of factors that could influence the candidates during the interview. For instance, illness or nerves could cause your candidate to be less than ideal going into the interview. They could also be having an “off” day when they come in to talk to you.


Hey, even professional athletes have their bad days. So expecting the candidates to be on the ball all the time is a tad unrealistic.


Consider this, you could do a job audition so you can see how the candidate would fit in with the company culture. You could also perform a few personality and aptitude tests to help with your decision-making process. But whatever your approach is, don’t make your decision solely based on the interview.

Waiting For The Perfect Candidate & Rushing The Process Once You’ve Found It


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The perfect candidate doesn’t exist. There, we said it.


You may have the perfect and ideal employee in mind but he or she may not appear or even exist. Waiting for the perfect candidate will jeopardize your team’s productivity by keeping it understaffed for too long. Your team will have to pick up the slack and work ceaselessly, which would affect their morale.


Instead of waiting for someone who fits the role perfectly, we’d recommend hiring someone who meets most of your key requirements. Someone who has good soft skills and a great personality who will mesh well with the team. After all, job-specific skills can be picked up on-the-job whereas other skills may be harder to come by.

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Now hypothetically, say that you’ve found the perfect candidate or close to an ideal candidate for the job. We don’t suggest rushing into hiring him or her immediately. It’s always good to take a step back to reconsider all your hiring options. Take your time and think about the costs of hiring and training someone. And in the event that they are not up to the job, you could end up having to repeat the entire process.


Schedule multiple interviews with the same candidate if you have to. And you could even arrange for freelance or external contractor to cover the role in the meantime.

Final Word


Now that you’re at the end of the article, do any of the hiring mistakes we’ve mentioned resonate with you?


If so, there’s no need to panic just yet. Adjusting your hiring process with these mistakes in mind will make your recruitment go smoothly. But most importantly, you can ensure that you will be hiring the right guy for the job!