7 Common Recruiting Mistakes (and How to Avoid Making Them)

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November 29, 2022

7 Common Recruiting Mistakes (and How to Avoid Making Them)

Hiring and onboarding new talent can be tough and exhausting. as it involves so many steps that make it a complex task to select the right person for a job. Inefficient hires can cost your business progress; hence make careful considerations during onboarding. The wrong person in your work environment can slow the progress and create issues within the team, which may hinder the company’s progress and create untold challenges. A wrong hire may also cost financially to the company.

To avoid selection errors in recruitment, companies of all sizes must implement an effective hiring strategy that avoids such common pitfalls. So, before conducting your next employee search, make sure you avoid the following seven typical hiring mistakes.


Top 7 Common Recruiting Mistakes (and How to Avoid Making Them)

1. Not Creating an Accurate Job Description

Describe the job accurately and exactly in the advertisement. As a recruiter, if you don’t, you’ll be less likely to attract candidates with the qualities and abilities that the job demands. A good job description should contain more than a list of duties. It should describe the role’s overall purpose and key areas of responsibility, along with the specific skill sets needed to qualify for the vacancy. Also, make sure not to “oversell” the position, leading applicants to believe it offers more opportunities than it does. For example, do not specify the likelihood of quick promotion if there is none. Your ambitious recruit may feel let down and leave early if you do.

2. Relying Too Much on the Interview

Some managers only interview applicants to evaluate if it is the right fit. But it is one of the most common recruiting mistakes a hiring manager makes. Most interviews go to waste, as interviewers spend most of their time validating the impression that they’ve found the match for a required job vacancy when all the applications are received. Use competency-based interview tactics to ensure that the candidate is an apt match. In short, consider supplementing these interview exercises through a test by assigning real-time scenarios to assess if the candidate can perform. The test can differ as per the designation and experience of candidates. The recruiter can establish communication to evaluate the skills and behavior of a candidate. They should keep in mind that not every potentially excellent candidate can present themselves best under tough situations.

3. Hiring Underqualified People

Most hiring managers keep an open mind when they believe a candidate can be the right fit for the vacancy. After all, it’s their job to find the right match, not the right resume. It also implies that even when the resume doesn’t meet all their listed job requirements, they may still be willing to meet with an applicant to get hired.

The company wants to hire a candidate who can perform all the tasks demanded by the vacancy. But trying to find an exact match to the desired skills is one of the major recruitment errors a recruiter can make.

4. Waiting for the Perfect Candidate

Every hiring manager has a picture of an ideal employee in their mind. As you wait for them to get clicked, you may jeopardize the team’s productivity by keeping it understaffed for too long. The teammates, as a result, might have to pick up overtime, which can affect their morale and health. Hiring managers or recruiters call perfect candidates “purple squirrels,” because it is extremely rare to match the requirements. So, the most common mistake recruiters make is looking for a candidate who fills in all the desired criteria for the job.

As a hiring manager, instead of waiting for someone who fits the role exactly, it’s usually recommended to hire someone who meets most of the mentioned vital requirements required for the job.

5. Failing to follow up

Following up with the candidate’s post-interview procedure is one of the important factors to keep in mind as a recruiter. Each candidate expects to have a follow-up communication that conveys their application status. Doing this gives them an assurance that they are valued candidates and it also gives them a feeling that their candidature is being appreciated and the time invested is being valued.

6. Rushing the Hire

There are many times when companies find hiring for an urgent position difficult. The possibility can be their current staff may be overextended, or the running project might require more helping hands or new talents. Sometimes a key employee suddenly leaves the company without giving notice. This is when the company makes the costliest mistake by hiring the wrong employee in a jiffy. Too often, hiring managers are in such a hurry to hire a person for a vacant position that they overlook the flaws in potential candidates and end up hiring someone who is non-deserving and doesn’t fit the bill. Rushing to onboard candidates is one of the ineffective recruitment strategies often seen practiced by HR and should be avoided.

7. Relying Too Much on References

While applicants might have listed excellent experience and qualifications on LinkedIn or their CV, you’ll likely want to check the authenticity of the details. One way to do it is to ask for references. However, you don’t need to place too much weight on references, good or bad. Someone’s positive experience in one organization does not always mean that it will be the same in the other one. At the same time, a negative reference from a previous employer does not mean the candidate won’t thrive in your company. Relying too much on references can also lead to failure to attract talented candidates who deserve to be in the position the most.


By paying attention to these common recruiting mistakes, recruiters will be able to find suitable candidates. With experience, instincts and tech-savviness, you, as an employer, will hopefully launch long-term and collectively beneficial working relationships with your new hires. If you make a recruiting mistake that makes you hold your head and wonder what happened, be sure to learn from your error. Grow from the experience and make yourself a better recruiter or a recruitment company.

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