The Most Common Mistakes
Employers Make in Recruiting and Hiring

  1. Under-utilize the skills of the search firm they have retained.

    A skilled search firm can provide you with a wealth of information about how the market views your organization, how talented performers view the position you are attempting to fill and about how to effectively execute the entire recruiting and hiring process to attract, evaluate and secure the strongest candidates for your organization. A strong search professional can help you identify potential problems in your hiring practices and assumptions, including ill-defined job descriptions, below market compensation levels and ineffective interviewing processes, before too much time and money are wasted in flawed efforts.
  2. Poor interviewing skills.

    Skillful interviewing is central to identifying top performers, yet few people take the time to develop and refine their interviewing abilities. Being a good lawyer does not ensure that your interviewing skills are effective in determining job-critical performance, accomplishments and organizational fit. A skilled search professional can provide you with guidance on how to improve your interviewing capabilities. Nothing is more important to your organization than determining who the great people are and hiring them.

  3. Making hiring decisions based primarily on academic credentials

    Please understand that I am not downplaying what academic credentials can tell us about an individual, but it is surprising how many hiring managers are still heavily influenced by academic credentials and LSAT scores when hiring even a very experienced individual. Hiring decisions should be based on a candidate’s specific performance capabilities - not principally on his or her academic credentials. Job-performance along with the demonstrated traits and capabilities to perform well in your organization should be the key criteria in your selection process.

  4. Making decisions about a candidate’s capabilities without getting enough facts.

    This is simply ineffective interviewing. Don’t take anything for granted. Ask how, when, why, how long. Get dates, facts and figures. That great accomplishment just presented by a candidate may not appear so great when subject to closer scrutiny. Many candidates with problematic backgrounds have learned how to get jobs by making strong initial impressions and by answering standard interview questions skillfully. These answers, however, will not hold up under closer examination.

  5. Making hiring decisions based on first impressions.

    Search professionals have learned that there is no automatic correlation between a person’s ability to present well in an interview and his or her ability to do a job well. Some people are great at interviewing. This does not mean they are the best performers for the position you need to fill. Good recruiters and interviewers will be able to separate those who simply know how to win a job offer from those who can excel in that position.

    Studies show that the majority of interviewers make a hire/no-hire decision within the first 5 minutes of an interview and spend the rest of the time looking for data to support their gut impressions. Learn to recognize what first impressions turn you on or off to a candidate. Don’t exclude or buy-in to a candidate too early in the process. Obtain performance data and keep an open mind until you and the candidate are both “warmed up” to the interviewing process.

  6. Selling the opportunity too early and too much.

    Some interviewers can make a quick decision that a person is a “fit” and then spend most of their time trying to sell the candidate on taking the opportunity. Nothing cheapens a good opportunity in the eyes of a candidate than overselling. Nothing sells an opportunity better than making candidates “work” for the position by putting them through a challenging, performance-based interviewing process.

  7. Not presenting the opportunity with the candidate’s needs, values and motivations in mind.

    A skilled search consultant is in the best position to obtain candid information on what is truly motivating a strong candidate to explore your opportunity. This data will help you in discovering who is authentically a good long-term fit with your organization and who might just turn out to be a “window-shopper.” This understanding will also help you to present your opportunity in a manner that will be most compelling to this particular candidate.

  8. Not testing the offer before extending it to your candidate of choice.

    The search consultant should provide you with specific guidance on the candidate’s compensation requirements as well as the competitive levels of compensation found in the marketplace. The search consultant should also test the offer with the candidate prior to you extending an “official” offer. A skilled recruiter will also strategize with you on how to present offers that may not be as strong as the successful candidate initially had hoped to receive.

  9. Not getting the successful candidate involved in some aspect of his or her new responsibilities once he or she has accepted your offer and before the candidate actually starts work with your firm.

    Once the candidate has accepted your position, make him or her part of your team right away by inviting the successful candidate to company functions or by asking him or her to review pertinent data or prepare an action plan, etc. This type of activity helps cement a strong relationship with top performers early and can help defuse the inevitable counteroffer attempts designed to make even the most earnest candidates recheck their decisions. Stay in touch. A good search firm will. So should you.





Paul Kilman, Principal
100 Pearl Street, 14th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103 USA
Telephone: 860-676-7817
copyright © 2015