Alvah Parker

Article Summary:

How to recognize and avoid costly hiring mistakes.

Costly Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

Hiring a new employee is something that professionals often postpone as long as possible. It is important to find the right person to fill the vacancy. The hiring process takes time and effort. There is a big temptation to add someone who is available at that moment and looks like they have the skills to do it. This is often a mistake. Here is a list of other hiring mistakes that professionals frequently make:

1. No job description.
By writing down in detail the tasks that this employee will be required to do the hiring manager will be able to see clearly the qualifications a person will need to do this job.

2. Hiring someone without the necessary skills.
It will be clear from the job description what skills are necessary for the job. Testing the candidate to be sure that his or her skills are current is also important. (Use a Proof reading, filing, or grammar skills assessment.)

3. Hiring someone without having the person take a behavioral assessment.
The assessment will help you see if this person will fit into the office and compliment the skills of the other people. It will also help you to communicate with the person in a way that that person will hear. Most managers tend to hire people like themselves when in fact they may need someone who can do some of the things that the manager doesn’t enjoy.

4. Hiring someone whose temperament or personality is wrong for the job.
Some positions require people who are talkative and friendly and others require people who enjoy working by themselves. Certain tasks require a detail oriented person while others need some one who sees the big picture. Knowing the personality type and temperament that is best for the particular position will help the manager find the right person.

5. Hiring friends and/or relatives.
Often people hire friends or relatives to be kind or to do a favor for someone. If the decision turns out to be a bad one, the situation can get really uncomfortable. It is often difficult to give feedback to friends or relatives and they often resent being put in a position where they have to be grateful for the opportunity but are really angry with you for the criticism.

6. Not interviewing the candidate.
To really get to know if you can work with someone you need to speak with him/her directly either face to face or by phone.

7. Not preparing for the interview by creating a set of questions that you ask everyone.
Spending time preparing a set of probing questions for the candidates will help you to determine which candidate most closely fits your job description.

8. Not posting the job, advertising it in the paper and/or using a recruiter so that you get multiple candidates giving you a choice.
Some are tempted to hire the first applicant. If you advertise for candidates in multiple ways and use a recruiter too, you should have a variety of candidates to interview and select from.

9. Not screening the candidates so you interview everyone.
Once you have a group of candidates it is easiest to have screening interviews to weed out those who are definitely inappropriate. Often screening interviews are done by phone but also could be done in writing.

10. Not checking references and background.
It is tempting once you have settled on a candidate to hire him/her on the spot. It is worth taking the time to check references and background to be sure that this candidate has honestly presented him/herself.

Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor for attorneys and Career Transition Coach as well as publisher of Parker’s Points, an email tip list and Road to Success, an ezine. To subscribe send an email to join-roadtosuccess@ Parker’s Value Program © enables clients to find a way to work that is more fulfilling and profitable. She is both a Practice Advisor and Coach to attorneys, sole practioners, and works with people in transition to find a fulfilling career. Alvah is found on the web at She may also be reached at 781-598-0388.

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