Recruiting a team is one of the most important processes inside the company for many reasons. The major one is that the professional skill qualities of your employees will become the quality of your business. And yes, the HR managers are the ones who choose the right people for the right positions, which means failure isn’t an option here. Yet, there are some common interviewing mistakes that headhunting team members make still. Let’s see why they are important to avoid and how to do it.
1. Making too many assumptions
You may have five+ years of experience in recruiting everybody: from C-level managers to seasonal workers. You may visit (or conduct your own) masterclass on the peculiarities of the hiring process and how to make the perfect professional match to happen at the workplace. All that can give you a feel like you can scan a candidates’ resumes video or written format, analyze the in-person presentation at the interview, and see if this candidate will fit the position. This is exactly where you need to turn your Mr/Mrs/Ms-Know-It-All off and get involved in the process here and now as this neglectful approach can cost a valuable employee.
How to avoid it: Always get back to the position description when you start sourcing. This will keep you on track with who you are looking for now. The good idea is to map out the qualities/skill set for a particular position, so you know for sure what is crucial and what is complementary. Another advice is to ask an interviewee the questions before coming up with your answers.
2. Seeking for an ideal candidate
Another one from the common HR mistakes list is to pour all the effort, time, and resources for hunting for the 100% exact match. However tempting and real this idea might seem, it rarely works in real life as there are many factors that one should consider at the same time. Looking for the resume that corresponds to every single specified must-have is a time-consuming work in vain.
How to avoid it: Divide the needed skillset into Must-Haves, Good-to-Haves, and Personal-Haves (the individual qualities that may be beneficial to the particular job). The candidate who scores most of those three might be the one who can match the job but, again: those are just a few factors of many.
3. Not checking references
It’s hard to check all the facts mentioned by a candidate in a resume – after all, you aren’t an FBI or MI5 agent. However, you do want to know whether the person has worked at the mentioned position (especially if we are talking about the top-management level) or not, what their supervisors have to say about the professionalism of the candidate, and how has the person recommended him/herself while working in the particular environment.
How to avoid it: Always check the reference background, if given. You can arrange a phone conversation or write an email to the person. And remember: that is just one point of view of many so keep the collected information in mind but don’t just jump into conclusion unless heard the other side as well. This is one of some common HR interviewing mistakes as well.
4. Using too much/too little social channels
Professional and personal social media channels have become a valuable source of information about the candidate’s professional and individual traits that the resume or cover letter doesn’t include. Abusing scrolling profiles may set a trap as you may stop perceiving him or her as a candidate but will look at the profile from the other user perspective. Not deploying it at all will leave out the precious touch on their personality and communicational style. So what do recruiters make as a compromise?
How to avoid it: Because social media isn’t and shouldn’t be the main tool for recruiting, your usage of it should be situational and additional. If you gathered enough information about a candidate’s fitness into your corporate culture, you don’t need to see memes reposting.
5. Asking confusing questions (or not asking at all)
Even after a thorough study of their resume, social media profiles, and other information, you still may have a lot of questions you’d like the candidate to answer. This is a great path to follow. What can happen though is that the candidate misunderstands questions, and that’s why the person fails at answering them. What if one doesn’t know how to list languages on a resume, left that space blank, and you put the resume aside right after the interview without asking whether one has proficiency in any? That’s right, another oversight of possibly great employees due to these common HR mistakes.
How to avoid it: Make a list of questions to clarify the information (for instance, asking whether one has learned a foreign language) and those that you haven’t found the answers yet.
Hiring people and creating an efficient team is indeed a subtle art, but realizing the common HR interviewing mistakes one can make on this journey helps the recruiters stay alert and adjust their approach when needed. Just make sure you don’t forget that recruitment and hiring are, first of all, about real people and not our ideas or assumptions about them.
Author: Laura Garbers
Laura is a lead recruiting specialist and an editor at Craft Resumes. She considers hiring as architecture for business and explores how going digital and remote recruiting influences both online and offline based companies.