Top 15 Small Business Hiring Mistakes

Hiring employees is one of the main challenges entrepreneurs face. So, we asked entrepreneurs to reveal the top hiring mistakes small business owners make.

8. Don’t rush the hiring process.

“As the workload grows and grows, it’s easy to hire a teammate who can help lighten the load, but who is not the right cultural fit.  This always weakens your company over time. Stick it out and hire the right person from the start.”

– Jon Byrum, President of Hello Scheduling, @helloscheduling


9. Don’t cheat your own hiring system.

“I created a great hiring system, but I made the mistake of not following the guidelines I had set forth. I cheated my own system by skipping a step or I put less emphasis on a certain step, and I regretted it each and every time. I felt I needed to hire someone as quickly as possible, so I did and it ended up costing much more than it would have had I been a little more patient and followed my system.”

– Brian R. Whitfield, President and CEO of The Ludus, @TheLudusLLC


10. Don’t keep ‘bad’ new hires around.

“The biggest hiring mistake that any entrepreneur can make is missing out on signs that there’s a bad employee at hand. By misjudging the potential of a new hire, every bit of time that passes with this under-performing employee within your company will cost you profits down the line. Don’t wait for the employee to change; there are plenty of other candidates out there that are willing to work for your company, so replace the bad one as soon as you can.”

– Ian Aronovich, CEO of GovernmentAuctions.org, @GovtAuctions


11. Don’t hire friends.

“The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is hiring friends for important positions. I made this mistake early in my company’s formation and completely crippled our growth. It took a recession and firing friends to turn things around.”

– Danielle Tate, Founder and President of MissNowMrs.com, @MissNowMrscom


12. Don’t forget to focus on ‘role specifics’.

“Don’t hire someone based upon their perceived passion and enthusiasm rather than actual skills. When I made this mistake, I lost productivity because my employee lost their motivation when they realized what the job actually entailed. In hindsight, I should have asked more specific questions related to actual assignments, paid more attention to what they knew how to do rather than what they wanted to do, and given them a 60 day probation period to prove themselves.”

– Shane Fischer, President and Owner of Fischer-Law.com


13. Don’t hire family members.

“This is not to say that there are not successful family businesses, but there does have to be an understanding of the mission and boundaries when it comes to involving family members in your business. It may be easy to hire a family member, but without ground rules and mutual respect, you could potentially put your business at risk and have a family fallout on your hands as well.”

– Janine N. Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer at Talent Think Innovations LLC., @CzarinaofHR


14. Don’t rely on interviews alone.

“Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of relying too heavily on interviews, without finding out if the candidate has the skills for the job. Instead they should test candidates with with questions that directly correlate with the work they will be doing. For example, for a software developer role the test should be writing code. If a person is hired for email customer support, the test should ask the candidate to compose answers to questions from customers.”

– Robert Rawson, CEO of Staff.com, @staff


15. Don’t fully commit to a new hire.

“Some people interview really well, but have no real skill or follow through while some are horrible in interviews and yet have the heart, loyalty and attention to detail that you really want. A good idea I like to put into practice is to offer a trial period.  The reality is your time is your money. Your business means your reputation. The quicker you find “The One”, and know it … the quicker you can get on with the business of your business.”

– Tara Adams, Owner and CEO of AdamsEdgeMarketing, @Adams_Edge


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