Where Hiring Managers Fail – 7 Costly Mistakes

No one wants a hiring process to end poorly.  Whether you end up with the wrong hire or don’t hire anyone at all, bad results are frustrating.

Because hiring is time-consuming and costly – especially for your senior roles – you want your efforts to end right the first time.  While failures are opportunities to learn, it would be nice to have the learnings in advance to avoid the failing part, thank you very much. That is why we want you to be aware of the 7 most common mistakes we have seen hiring managers make.

What makes us qualified?

Most organizations don’t have years of expertise to reflect on the best way to lead a search.  However, Centennial has been finding top talent for organizations for over 40 years, so we have reams of experience to draw from. We hope these tips will save you the lack of organizational growth that results from not having the right people “on the bus.”

 7 Mistakes That Hiring Managers Make

  1. They focus on candidate requirements versus the cultural fit
  2. They hire someone just like themselves
  3. They are unrealistic in their expectations
  4. They don’t know what they are looking for
  5. They are too rigid in their requirements
  6. They are hiring for today, not tomorrow
  7. They involve too many people in the hiring decision

Do any of these points surprise you? Or did any of these points result in an ‘ah-ha’ moment for you?  Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to see hiring flaws.  Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these mistakes.

Mistake #1

Hiring managers focus on candidate requirements versus the cultural fit.  While the candidate must possess the right skills to be competent in the role, those skills are useless if you hire someone who simply does not fit your organization’s culture.  It’s possible to teach someone a skill, but it’s nearly impossible to reshape someone’s personality to fit your culture.

Mistake #2

Hiring managers hire someone just like themselves.  Although you may enjoy someone who has similar strengths and passions, you need variety to make a well-rounded team.  Talent gaps, and therefore frustrations, come when you don’t have a balance of strengths and weaknesses.

Mistake #3

The expectations of the hiring manager may be unrealistic.  Yes, you want high achieving talent, but you need to be realistic about what you are asking.  It could be that the hiring manager doesn’t have a good understanding of all that it takes to accomplish what he or she is expecting.  Or they may see all the gaps in their current workforce and are hoping one person can fix it all.  Either way, the expectations need to be spot-on if you’re going to find the right person to fill your position.

Mistake #4

When the hiring manager doesn’t have a clear picture of what the organization needs, they may hire the wrong person.  They may simply fill a role because someone vacated it.  However, it’s important to be sure that role, with the same responsibilities, is still what the organization needs.  As time passes and organizations change, hiring needs must be in line with the times.

Mistake #5

Hiring Managers can miss some outstanding talent when they are too rigid in their requirements.  This happens when they set out to find someone from X industry, with X kind of training and X number of years in a specific niche.  It is important to recognize that the best kind of individuals are agile – they like to learn and are adaptable to various situations. So rather than overlooking amazing talent because they missed a requirement by one year of experience, consider how their other strengths will more than make up for a minor miss.

Mistake #6

If a hiring manager is short-sighted, they don’t hire for long term success.  When you sit down to decide what you need in a new hire, think about the future of the organization.  What will get you where you want to be, not what will keep you as you are.  If you hire for today, in the hopes of growing, you will start to feel the uncomfortable squeeze early on.

Mistake #7

Hiring managers that involve a lot of people in the hiring process end up with too many opinions and time restraints.  From the very beginning, a hiring committee with many members is cumbersome and taxing.  You start to see breakdowns when you are finalizing the job description, then trying to schedule interviews, then making a quick decision about candidates.  The opinions of many, though valid, become quicksand to the hiring process.  You need to determine from the very beginning who the key players are and limit it to them.

So, there you have it, 7 things to avoid when launching a hiring process.  In the end, you may decide it’s better to hire an expert.  We’d be happy to do the heavy lifting for you.  Let our decades of experience take care of your executive needs so you can get back to managing all the rest!  It is our joy and our expertise.  Call us to learn more –888-366-3760.


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