7 top hiring mistakes (and how to fix them)

7 top hiring mistakes (and how to fix them)

We all know the job market has rebounded and one of the most common issues we are hearing from our clients is the lack of good candidates available on the market. We are seeing many companies missing out on the best talent by making some common hiring mistakes.

Read our blog to make some simple tweaks to help you search and secure the talent you want.

1/ Insufficient time spent preparing the job brief

You would not commit to delivering a multi-million-pound project without a comprehensive project brief, would you? So why devote so much time to one of the most important things to your business, getting the right people, without a really full and rounded brief?

The job description details the technical skills, duties, experience and what qualifications are required, but the job brief goes way further than that. As the hiring manager, you may be using a partner such as someone from your HR department or a recruitment agency, so don't expect them to have a crystal ball and to know what you want! It also needs to be fully documented and capture all your requirements.

The job brief really needs to be chapter and verse on the who, what, where, when, how and why for the role. Think about the cultural fit needed for your company and the soft skills required. Do you want someone who is ambitious and wants progression or someone who is happy to become the company subject matter expert? Think of the team dynamic and what type of person would best fit in. Would they want to work remotely, hybrid or in the office full time

Time spent in preparing the brief is time well spent and will pay dividends in the long run.

2/ Using a really poor job advert

Separate from the job brief (which defines the role and the person required) the job advert has one function - to sell the job to the candidate. Don't just list duties but rather the performance objectives and the challenges they can expect to master. Outline career opportunities, and the vision, values and culture of the company.

The social element is also key here and areas like charity and fundraising work are becoming more important. Use action words to bring the role and the company to life! People spend a lot of time at work, make sure it comes across as being vibrant, exciting, challenging and fun!

3/ Not considering candidates from other industries

For some reason, we see many hiring managers limiting themselves to only considering candidates from the same industry as themselves. This will severely limit your talent pool and cause delays and unfilled vacancies.

If a candidate has the technical skills for the role, don't forget that they will have other transferable skills. In many cases, they can bring fresh thinking from other industries to your organisation which can be a real benefit to your team and your company.

4/ Focusing on qualifications and duties rather than performance objectives and experience

Qualifications are great, but is it really mandatory to have a degree when they have got great experience in achieving exactly the outcomes you want in your team? If they have the technical skills and have a long list of relevant achievements, are the qualifications mandatory? Would not having them be a reason to eliminate them for being considered? Also, don't forget many skills are transferable and many can be trained up in the person with the right attitude.

5/ Overlooking contractors

Yes, sure you want a long team member that will grow with the company and you want to minimise the need to look for new candidates, but don't overlook contractors and the contingent workforce. Considering contractors and be a great way to open up your pool of talent for consideration for the role. Contractors by nature are very flexible because they like to work with a degree of autonomy. They usually hit the ground quickly and are swift to get stuck in and provide a return. 

They have deep technical skills and working in many different environments, companies and industries, can often bring valuable new perspectives to a role. Contractors can be 'low maintenance' in terms of management resources required and can be a great addition to any team. Don't forget, sometimes, after the initial term is completed, they are quite open to becoming a permanent employee if they are a good fit from both sides.

6/ Not reaching out to passive candidates

So, you have a great job advert that is across all channels, and you are getting responses. But don't forget to reach out to those 'passive' candidates that are not actively looking. This is another good source of candidates which can pay dividends. You may have to work hard to sell a role to a 'passive' but heck, your team and your company are worth it - right?

7/ Ignoring employees' networks and referrals

No doubt you will be leveraging your personal networks but don't forget to use the networks of others in your team. Software developers will often know other software developers and as they are a known quantity can be a great low-risk source of talent. An incentive plan for successful introductions can also be a good motivator!

So there you have it, several ways I feel you can maximise the chance of you being successful in securing the talent that you deserve!