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The 5 Biggest Mistakes That Hiring Managers Make

Are you looking to hire the perfect candidate?Stressed shocked woman with financial market chart graphic going down on grey office wall background. Poor economy concept. Face expression, emotion, reaction

I’ve spoken with our expert recruiters at Yoh and Day & Zimmermann, and they’ve shared some sage advice on what hiring managers should – and shouldn’t – do to hire the best talent.

Here’s our list of the 5 biggest mistakes that hiring managers make… and how to avoid them.


1. Being Too Picky

One of the biggest mistakes that hiring managers tend to make is being too picky. There are a lot of candidates out there who may not check every checkbox but, in most cases, they could easily be trained on those items, and they have transferable skills.

Try not to be overly selective and look for that one magical candidate. While there have been rare sightings of the Purple Squirrel, it’s often elusive. Instead, be selective but realistic.


2. The Passing Zone

Another mistake to avoid is looking solely at the resume to make the perfect match for your job.

Instead of simply passing on a candidate whose resume only has 80% of the skills you’re looking for, take the time to look beyond the resume.

Have a quick phone screen to discuss skills not listed on the resume. Even if you think they are over-qualified, reach out and ask questions.

It’s hard for candidates to transcribe their whole life’s work onto a resume. Plus, in this market, most candidates are already working and don’t have the time to tailor their resumes.

Remember that a 15-minute call could land you an awesome hire.


3. A SLOW go

Hiring managers who are too slow to move, often lose amazing candidates.

If an applicant has responded to your email or applied for your job, let them know right away that you’re interested. Don’t let them snag another job because you did not contact them soon enough.

If you’re looking at that candidate as a great fit for your job, then you can bet that other companies are looking at that candidate, too. Time is of the essence.

Respond quickly, have a conversation, schedule an interview, express your interest with successful interviewees ASAP, and then make the offer.

Also, try not to make the hiring process overly complicated with candidates having to return multiple times and meet too many people.

In this job market, great candidates are in high demand. Dragging the process out too long allows time for more nimble companies to come in and scoop them up.


4. Leaving Out the Deets

Don’t just post a generic job description that does not reflect what the job actually is.

Write a complete job description that clearly explains what the role is, the skills and experience needed, and why it is important to your team and organization.

If you leave out the details of what you’re looking for, the job description becomes a moving target, which makes it more difficult for you to hit a bullseye and hire the right candidate.

An unclear or too brief job description often results in off-the-mark resumes. Then you’ll need to regroup and start searching for different candidates.

A detailed job description saves precious time and helps attract the best candidates quicker.


5. The Sounds of Silence

Many times, a hiring manager withholds crucial information about their decision – or indecision.

Not communicating feedback and establishing next steps after an interview can derail attracting the right candidates – great talent doesn’t wait around in limbo for long.

Whether it’s a hiring freeze, a personnel change, a budget crisis, or you’ve selected another candidate, let the candidate know.

Hiring is all about building relationships. Things happen every day in the business world, so communicate with the candidate if there is a holdup.

Then, when the situation resolves, and you have an open position, you can reach out to the candidate, even if it is months down the road.

You will hire a great candidate, and the candidate will think more favorably about your company and its hiring process.



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