5 Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

Working in recruiting and HR requires you to perform a myriad of tasks to meet one objective: hiring the best talent. If you want to find the right person, you have to heavily invest time, energy, and resources in sourcing, prescreening, interviewing, and onboarding.

Because hiring is such an involved process, even seasoned veterans can make mistakes. What follows are five of the most common mistakes recruiters and hiring managers make, as well as some advice on how you can avoid them:

1. Hiring Candidates Who Misrepresent Themselves

An overwhelming number of candidates fib to some degree on their resume, and many business owners and employers have had the unfortunate experience of hiring a candidate whose skill set turned out not to match what their resume advertised. So how can HR managers filter legitimate, truthful candidates from those who are exaggerating their credentials?

Assessments and screening tests are easy and effective ways to verify a candidate's competencies, work styles, and integrity.

2. Asking the Wrong Question

Many HR professionals would say that asking questions is their favorite part of the job, but problems arise when they get too carried away, dragging an interview past its scheduled wrap-up time. Many thought leaders recommend asking a maximum of six questions during the initial interview.

There are prescreening tools out there that can help interviewers generate customized question lists based on each candidate's skills and background. (We make one such tool at TalentClick, for example.)

3. Spending Time Interviewing the Wrong People

Phone interviews only provide a limited amount of insight into a candidate. HR managers really don't know whether or not they've made the right decision in inviting a candidate to interview until the moment that candidate arrives at the office.

Video interviewing is an effective solution for getting a better read on candidates during the prescreening process, before they are invited to a first-round interview. Video technology can also be used later in the interview process to save on travel costs if a candidate is based far away from your business.

4. Not Checking References

A survey of U.K.-based companies found that 17 percent of employees have used phony references while applying for jobs. Given statistics like this, HR managers should make sure they do some snooping on platforms such as LinkedIn to double- and triple-check every reference a candidate offers.

5. Disregarding Overqualified Candidates

HR and hiring managers usually dismiss overqualified candidates out of fear: fear that these candidates will ask for higher salaries, be disengaged because the role is not challenging enough, and/or leave the company very soon after being hired.

However, overqualified candidates bring several benefits to the table, including ease of management, strong leadership skills, the willingness to take on new challenges, and self-sufficiency.

With these tips, you should have a much easier time identifying candidates who will become top performers and contributors to your company's vision and success!

Greg Ford is CEO and cofounder of TalentClick.