The 7 Common Hiring Manager Mistakes (and how to avoid them) 

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The 7 Common Hiring Manager Mistakes (and how to avoid them) 

Hiring managers have a lot on their plates, with the responsibility of finding and selecting new team members squarely in the center. 

Sadly, no one’s perfect, and it’s possible that at some point, you’ve made a mistake as a hiring manager. That’s ok! Everyone does. 

Here are a few common mistakes — and how they can be avoided in the future. 

1. Treating every candidate exactly the same.

This is a tricky one to start. While it’s important to find ways to weed out unconscious bias in the hiring process to give all qualified candidates a fair review, when someone’s sitting in front of you, they need to be treated as an individual person. Someone who might be a little older or more experienced will have skills and mannerisms that someone who is just getting started in the working world won’t have. That experience might be a strong factor in their favor when it’s time to hire someone. The same goes for any kind of background: men and women, people from different parts of the country or world, people with different kinds of education and training. Listen to the person as they talk during the interview, read between the lines on their resumes, and see whether their specific qualifications can make them a good fit for your team. 

2. Asking a rigid, unchanging list of interview questions.

If you’re asking the same questions of every person, for every job, you’ll wind up getting rather homogeneous answers. There are some questions you need to ask, but there are others that can be tailored to the job or the person. Hiring someone for an entry-level job shouldn’t have the same kinds of questions as someone in a more senior position, because their work and life experiences are different. Throw in a more creative question or two as well to keep people on their toes and see how they respond. You might be impressed with the answer! 

3. Going in unprepared.

You expect the job candidates you meet with to have done some research and preparation for their interview. Why wouldn’t you do the same? Take notes if needed but ask personalized questions about their life based on their resume, including what they liked about their school, how they felt about their training, what they specifically liked about any previous work experience, etc. The candidate will feel like they matter to you and that you took the time to look into their life, much like they took the time to look into your company. 

4. Doing everything alone.

The old way of doing things might have required you to work in isolation, reviewing resumes, setting up appointments, conducting the whole screening and interview process solo. Forget that! Create a team to review resumes and get input into the kinds of experience and skills each job needs when you’re looking to hire. Work together to formulate the best questions to get to the heart of the person’s background and abilities. This way, you’ll have educated and qualified input into what is really needed, not just making your best guess on what the team is looking for and needs to grow. 

5. Failing to explain the job and the company.

Again, you expect the candidate to come in having done a little homework about your company. But don’t assume they know everything or have read all the pertinent materials to have a full understanding of the company — of how this role fits into the overall structure of things. Talk about the company, from the top down, and explain the hierarchy, the culture, the job and who the person in that position will report to, etc. If your company culture involves things like group volunteer activities or monthly birthday celebrations, mention those as well. Companies are groups of people and someone looking to work with you should know this, because that can create a very welcoming environment for someone looking to make a change. 

6. Taking too long to make a decision.

There’s the delicate push and pull between finding what feels like the right candidate but not wanting to rush a decision, and finding a few solid-but-not-perfect people and keeping the search going. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good: if you wait too long to make a selection, especially if candidates aren’t kept in the loop on the process, and you might miss out on a great person. This dovetails into another mistake…

7. Going silent on candidates waiting for a response.

If you’ve made your decision and selected your candidate, let the others know they weren’t picked this time around. It leaves a bad taste in a person’s mouth, especially if they were among the last candidates standing and felt they had a good chance of being picked. Waiting and not knowing what happened makes a person less inclined to apply again, which could cost you a great worker down the road. People deserve to know. 

Put yourself in the job candidate’s shoes and think about how you’d want an interview to go or the hiring process in general. Take steps to make it a more effective, efficient, and engaged process and you’ll see how much better it works. 

Find Great Candidates To Join Your Team

If you’re looking for great candidates to join your team but need some extra help getting started or are having trouble finding the right kinds of skilled workers, contact LeadingEdge Personnel. We have tons of great workers looking to join a company just like yours and they’re ready to get to work right away. Call LeadingEdge now and let’s get started! 

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