The 3 Hiring Mistakes Most Small Businesses Make

Each and every employee is an investment made by the company they work for, and for a business to succeed it has to make the most of its investments.

This is especially true of smaller companies and startups, which typically have fewer employees and limited investment income with which to try and net a profit. In these cases, every single dollar a company spends on finding and hiring an employee can affect its longer term success, making it crucial that they avoid making any major mistakes while hiring.

The problem is that running a small business is hard work – very hard work. This means that those involved are often short of time, and when time is short mistakes happen.

The good news is that this means that your competitors are probably making these mistakes whilst hiring too, and an opportunity is present for you to close your own loose ends and employee a better hire whilst wasting less time and money.

The Most Common Hiring Mistakes:

Having Zero Interview Plan

The single greatest mistake that small and new businesses make when hiring is failing to have any type of interview plan. Many businesses go into the interview with little idea of what they are going to do, other than perhaps a few interview questions scribbled on a piece of paper.

Interviews should be treated like a science. You’ve selected the individuals with the best resumes, and you’re bringing them in for a job interview. How do you choose who to select unless you have a carefully measured way of determining who is going to bring value, and who is not.

You do this by coming up with an interview plan. You find the most important questions to ask and make sure that you ask them to each candidate. You figure out what answers you’re looking for, and consider finding a way to score them objectively in order to ensure that you’re hiring the right people. You consider the amount you’re willing to pay, the factors that go into a great employee, and more.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be official, but there does need to be a plan in mind before you conduct your interview. If you wing each one of them, you risk asking some people more important questions than others, or not properly comparing those at the interview and letting your own natural biases kick in.

When it comes to recruitment, everything should be planned in some way, and although there is room for you to go off on some tangents (for example, if an applicant shares with you an interesting story), there should also be a methodology in place to make sure you’re hiring the right people.

Failing to Correctly Value Experience

This mistake goes two ways, and the best place to start is with an American baseball analogy. There are only 30 teams in all of major league baseball, each one employing a General Manager to run the entire team. When one general manager does a bad job (usually due to multiple seasons of hefty losses) that general manager is usually fired.

Some teams find up-and-coming stars to lead their organisation, and although sometimes those teams fail, other times they are wildly successful. Many of the most successful baseball organisations hired General Managers without any previous GM experience and reaped the rewards.

But other teams are a lot more “old school” and risk adverse. They refuse to hire any general manager unless they have previous GM experience.

Experience can be a good thing. But remember that there are only 30 teams in baseball, and at any given time, 25 to 28 general managers are employed for multiple years. That means you’re limited to hiring the 2 or so general managers that are out of work, both of whom were likely already let go because they failed to bring turn their teams into winning organisations. With this “Experience Only” mindset, you’re potentially limited to hiring someone with a history of losing.

This is the fatal flaw in overvaluing experience. Your next great employee may be someone that has limited experience but significant aptitude. If you focus too heavily on experience (either by requiring a considerable list of “qualifications” in your job description or hiring the person most experienced without considering other factors), you may be overlooking or turning off someone that could have been a better contributor.

On the other side of this, however, is the recent trend of business owners to hire those without experience at all, hoping to find people that are “cheaper” and just as productive. Many individuals with excellent experience are being ignored in favour of saving a few thousand dollars a year on an unproven individual. While there is significant value to be found in those that may not have traditional experience, there is also nothing quite like good experience that relates directly to your company.

Assuming Hiring Stops After the Job Offer

Finally, a very common mistake with small business owners is assuming that recruitment stops with the job offer. It doesn’t.

An employee’s productivity is 50% ability and 50% factors that occur after they have been hired. Employees need to be properly on-boarded, with excellent training (including not only their tasks, but also where to go to ask for office supplies, how to find files in folders on the network, etc.), programs in place to improve job satisfaction, and even smaller issues like opportunities for growth, objective job performance evaluation methods, and more.

You can hire the best employee available, but with poor training, no access to resources, and little in your office to ensure job satisfaction, that employee is going to struggle. Recruitment doesn’t stop after the job offer has been made, and no matter the size of your business you should be committed to making sure that employee adapts properly.

Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes

Small businesses can’t afford to waste money on a bad hire. Always keep in mind the above hiring mistakes, and the tips that you’ll need to consider in order to avoid them in the future.

Culled from Recruit Shop