You absolutely need to, but you really hate to. Hiring employees is one of the most important things you will do, especially if you’re a small or medium-sized business (SMBs). But unfortunately, it is often a hugely frustrating task that eats up valuable manpower, time, and capital.
According to the NFIB Research Foundation’s Small Business Economic Trends February 2014 Report, small business optimism is up with a 12% increase in plans to increase employment and a 22% increase in job openings. As SMBs prepare to tackle this wave of hiring, they need to remember that every hire counts.
7 Common and Costly Hiring Mistakes
Hiring and training new employees is often the largest expense a business incurs, and making hiring mistakes will cost time and money in the short and long-term. For example, Harvard Business Review estimates that as much as 80 percent of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions—this failure can cost the typical small business hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Avoid these seven common mistakes, and it can make all difference between hiring success and failure:
Rushing through the recruiting process.
Of course you want to fill an empty space in your staff ASAP—especially if it’s a position critical to the health of your business. However, filling that position with the first candidate who offers the experience or credentials you want can be a huge mistake. Beyond a good resume or application, you must be confident that the candidate is organized, motivated, flexible, and will be a team player. Personality can matter just as much as ability, especially when you’re operating a smaller organization.
Following instincts rather than information.
Many of us grow up learning to “follow your gut instinct.” That’s a big mistake when evaluating a job candidate. Hiring decisions should always be based on information you gathered throughout the evaluation process. From experience and references to assessments, notes taken during interviews, and background checks–always weigh the facts.
Waiting for the perfect person.
Rushing to hire is a mistake—but waiting too long can be just as detrimental. No prospect will ever be perfect, and holding out for the impossible dream can mean being understaffed for an extended period. Overworked staff creates a downward spiral… unhappy, unmotivated and unproductive employees.
Letting personal prejudices impact decision-making.
Separate your personal life from your professional one. It’s the smart thing for any businessperson, especially when hiring. That means leaving preconceived notions you may have about any group of people at home—or risk passing up on a great asset to your business.
Concentrating on the negatives.
Try to avoid ripping apart every aspect of every resume or application. Instead of focusing on candidates’ weaknesses, concentrate on evaluating their strengths and potential fit for the position.
Telegraphing the responses you desire.
Your body language and facial expressions can telegraph volumes. Find your best poker face when interviewing, so you’re not giving away the answer you want through nonverbal communication. The result will be honest answers, rather than the same rehearsed reply the person delivered to the mirror the night before.
Failing to support and train after hiring.
Hands down, this is the biggest mistake you can make when hiring new employees. Even if the new hire has decades of experience, throwing the new hire into the fire without training will hurt everyone. The casualties: new employee confidence, team frustration, and costly business errors.
Remember that hiring great people is the number one key to the long-term success of your business. That’s a lesson that’s too costly to forget.
Bob Myhal is CEO of NextHire, a disruptive digital hiring solution for start-ups and SMBs that makes finding outstanding employees easy and affordable. NextHire’s flat-fee service cuts the time and costs of traditional recruiting by as much as 75 percent. Prior to joining NextHIre, Bob ran his own consulting firm that guided businesses to leverage the web and digital marketing in order to increase brand awareness, acquire prospects and customers and ultimately drive ROI. Bob has deep roots in entrepreneurship and C-level management. He spent 12 years serving as the President and Chief Marketing Officer at Apollo Fitness where he was instrumental in growing a multi-brand consumer packaged goods company from start-up to over $40 million in annual revenue.
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