We’re all guilty of doing it - buying those fancy new shoes without trying them on, only to find that they give you blisters within 5 minutes. Letting the salesperson talk you into falling in love with a car you can’t really afford because you need the GPS in your dashboard – only to discover that you might have been better off plugging in your five-year-old outdated GPS that seems to work better anyway.
We all can make impulse decisions when at-a-glance something (or someone) appears to be the perfect fit, the cream of the crop, the once in a lifetime opportunity – but let’s pause, take a step back, and really look at that pair of shoes.
Hiring Mistake #1 – Admiring a single accomplishment too much
Yes your candidate may have an accomplishment from their past work experience that is more impressive than anything you’ve ever seen, but what else have they done? Don’t assume a candidate is a perfect match because of one thing that truly impresses you. Of course they may have done something extraordinary, but what have they been doing since then that would make them an asset to your organization? Do make sure that their skill set matches up with your other hiring qualifications. Why not check out their LinkedIn profile or have them submit their LinkedIn profile as a resume to your ATS, and make sure this aligns with the resume they have submitted.
Hiring Mistake #2 – Falling in love with the candidate
It’s important to feel that person you are going to hire will be a good fit for the company, both culturally and in their work contributions. However, you can run into a problem when after the interview you like the person so much you’re ready to hire them based on personality only. To make sure you are not basing your decision off of how much you want to be friends with a candidate, it’s important to get the opinions of others to help validate your decision. It’s easy to do this if you have a workflow of people within your company who will also be looking at the candidate. Make sure each person in that workflow has access to the candidates resume before meeting them, and it’s best to have the same group of people evaluate each person for a specific job. Having a group of people who are also looking for the same qualifications may help to stop you from hiring someone who might be great to go out with on a Saturday night, but most likely doesn’t have the skill set you are looking for in any given position.
Hiring Mistake #3 – A great talker
Be wary of the person that gives you a stellar speech on why they would be a good fit for a position. Don’t let a great sales pitch sell you into thinking a person is “the one” for a job. Some people are born to talk, and if you don’t take a deeper dive – asking questions about specific examples of not their past successes, but times that they have failed too, you might end up hiring a person who is all talk and no action. If talking is what they do, they have probably worked on their responses, and will have very polished answers, but by asking very specific job related questions, you should be able to see if they are the real deal or not.
Most hiring mistakes are made when we are awed by a candidate at first glance, whether it is a single past accomplishment, their charisma, or their mesmerized standard interview responses. It’s always important to make sure we are getting a bigger picture than just an outward appearance, or single event. Of course there will be candidates who will not only be a perfect match for the job, but will have and outstanding personality to go with it. Knowing what to look out for, and having ways to check that you are not getting swept off your feet by a candidate, will help ensure you are making the right decision in hiring anyone!