Hiring a new employee can be a daunting process, and there are a lot of common hiring mistakes to avoid. Hiring is a major decision that will impact your business and other employees. It can’t be taken lightly and you need to plan accordingly.

A large part of the hiring process involves using a strong behavioral and cognitive assessment tool. Predictive Index is the most comprehensive one, helping you to predict the outcomes and expected behaviors of employees.

Often employers will only require knowledge of skills and experience. But if you don’t know what drives a person or their behavioral patterns and cognitive abilities, you can’t make an informed decision. Know the whole person before they even step foot into your office.

Lack of a Plan:

Planning includes two parts, interviewing and on-boarding. For interviewing, know what your job description is, and know what questions you want to ask.

Don’t just ask surface questions about their experience, but go deeper. Make sure your questions are open ended. Asking yes or no questions, or questions that signal to your interviewee the “correct” answer won’t get to the meat of the interview.

“So I see here you managed XX people at So and So Inc. What were your organizational plans? How did you resolve discourse? Give me a specific example?” By asking example specific questions you can get more than a recital of rehearsed answers.

Asking whether or not they are a team player is a closed ended question, eliciting a rehearsed response, or an answer they think you want to hear. Make sure to have thoughtful questions written and ready for the interview, based on the candidate’s Predictive Index results.

The second part to lack of planning is not having an on-boarding plan. Make sure training is available, along with all company protocol manuals.

Making your new employee feel welcome and comfortable will help with the transition. Don’t feed your newbies to the sharks or leave them with no direction.

No Patience:

Take care not to hire the first person out of the gate. Don’t operate out of fear of an open desk. The open position won’t destroy the company while you interview a replacement. If having that open position, WILL destroy your company, then you’ve got bigger problems, and need to do a proper assessment on how to your manage your business.

However, in many cases some of the duties from the open position can or should be reassigned. This is a perfect time to evaluate and also update the job description based on the growing changes in your company.

Waiting Too Long:

The opposite of no patience is too picky. This is a huge common hiring mistake. There is no “perfect” person, but there is someone close to perfect who will have the experience and personality that will fit in with your company culture.

Make sure you put each candidate through the Predictive Index process for personality and cognitive behavior assessment. This will give you more insight than just surface information.

Hiring a Bad Fit:

This is where the personality assessment again comes in handy. Knowing the kind of person you will be hiring is equally important to the skills they bring to the table. How will this person fit in with other personalities?

A candidate may tick off all the skills boxes and they are a strong leader personality. But if you already have many strong leaders, you may end up with a ship full of captains. This is why accurate personality assessment carries so much weight.

Hiring someone because it’s “Their Turn”:

Hiring based primarily on seniority as a big mistake. Just because an employee has been around a long time, doesn’t mean they are a good fit.

There may be someone else in your organization who is a great fit who has not been around as long. Any employee who thinks they are entitled to that position is a problem too, so be sensitive to that. Which leads to the next common hiring mistake…

Keeping low performers:

Keeping around low performing or bad fit employees is always a bad idea. You may feel too busy to deal with it, and they might do the job okay. But bad fit/low performing employees are a cancer. It’s hard  to let a person go. After all, we’re talking about real people with real feelings. But it’s your responsibility to make sure the working environment is productive and rewarding for all your team members.

Focusing on the needs of just one will poison the rest, causing resentment. Low performers can not only poison the cultural environment of your business, they always wreak havoc on your bottom line. You could use those resources more wisely with a better fit employee.

Common hiring mistakes can be avoided with careful planning, thoughtful on-boarding and a strong predictive behavioral assessment. Happy Hiring!

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