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General recruitment errors

Ten gross mistakes to avoid when recruiting new people.

A good recruitment is really about avoiding all the typical mistakes that turn recruitments into an unnecessarily exciting adventure. When you think of a good recruiter, it's not the image of a fortune teller you will see, but a person who makes few mistakes. You can pretty much easily avoid the worst mistakes, even if you choose to manage the recruitment itself. You just have to read on a bit. Here you will get some help to avoiding the worst mistakes when you recruit.

1. Don't start at the wrong end

When you decide to hire new people, it's because you discovered that you need help with certain tasks. Tasks that don't get done otherwise. To be sure, do a thorough work analysis where you exclude all other solutions. To hire someone before you know exactly what you need help with, is like shopping at the lumberyard before you have a drawing of the house you want to build.

2. Don't neglect to describe the tasks

After working on the analysis it's important that you in a clear and inspiring way describe the intended role, tasks and objectives. The clearer you are, the easier it will be to coordinate with the candidates you will meet later. Be realistic rather than idealistic about what a new employee can cope with. To look for candidates without a good job description is the greatest of all mistakes. You could implement a perfect recruitment, but get all the wrong results.

3. Don't attract faulty candidates

A good job advertisement attracts the right candidates applying for the job. Pick out the main objectives and describe them in an attractive manner, focusing on the right audience. Publish the ad where it has the greatest opportunity to attract the right people. If you fail to attract the right candidates, all your other work will be in vain, no matter how well it's done.

4. Don't deviate from the original plan

Before the screening, you must create a template for how to handle the responses you receive. Make the template using the initial job description. Sometimes you will get more than 500 responses and if so, you need to reconnect them to the job you have initially sought to hire someone for. Don't change your requirements when you see who's applying for the job. If you absolutely must change it, it's better to start all over again.

5. Beware of first impressions

During the first full meeting with the employment interview it's easy to let your first impression get the better of you. Coincidences could determine the outcome of the interview and that, you must avoid. Many nervous reactions are normal in a job interview, but it can affect you to jump to the wrong conclusions if interpreted wrong. You're looking for the one who can do the job best, not for the person who's best at acting cool and calm in an interview.

6. Stay on safe ground

There are over 100 different psychological tests on the market and it's easy to feel ignorant when recruitment consultants are starting to sell. But who should you trust? If you aren't going to hire someone for a management role, you can take it easy and be satisfied with the support you get from your original job description. Never buy, and make your own tests.

7. Don't be afraid to provoke

If you are using credentials, you must prepare yourself to question who the person you are talking to really is. It may be the candidate's best friend, even if he/she had previously been the candidate's boss. Ask straight out, in detail, what their relationship is like. Ask both the candidate and the sponsor.

8. Don't be too nosy

There are laws that put limits on your behavior during the recruitment process. Some questions you may not ask. You have to be objective in your assessment and you may not discriminate against anyone. It won't help if you in retrospect say that you didn't know what the law prescribes, so read up on it. You can easily go very wrong by making a simple mistake here.

9. Don't ask the wrong questions

You can ask as many questions as you like, as long as they are intended to help you find out if the candidate is the right person to do the job that you described in the job description. But you can't ask questions about sexual orientation or which organizations the candidate is a member of. Neither can you ask about religious affiliations, if the candidate intends to have children, if there is disease in the family, etc. Stick to the job description and you'll be safe.

10. It's not over until it's over

It's not unusual for an expensive recruitment process to end with the main candidate accepting another job. But you have to make sure that, after your careful work, you won’t be left without a candidate to hire. Constantly challenge the candidates' interest, don't make them feel too confident that you want to give them the job. When it's time to sign the contract, you should first ask if the candidate wants to sign on according to agreed conditions. If yes, take out the final agreement and let him/her sign the dotted line.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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