Beware! Top Ten Hiring Mistakes

6 November 2015 Joanna Byerley

If you’re regularly involved with recruiting market research people, you’re bound to have hired or contributed to the hire of the wrong person for a job at some point or another. If you haven’t, then well done you, but it’s probably worth having a read through Research Talent Hub’s top ten most common hiring mistakes below to make sure that you keep your record exemplary!

1. Rushing the market research hiring process – we know you’re keen to get someone new in as soon as possible, but this is the ideal time to review the job description for the role and really think about what sort of skills and attributes you want the person who fills it to have. Spending a little bit of time at this point will pay dividends! It’s also important to write a bit about your culture; candidates don’t want a ‘dry’ list of responsibilities. A well-written spec that reflects the values of your company will attract a person who will fit well!

2. Not having a formal process – it’s really important that your company, no matter how new or small, has a formal hiring process. You need to make sure that all candidates who apply for the position have the same access to information to be able to apply for the role. Those who agree to interview need to be able to be compared with one another so you can ensure you employ the right person for the job. Think through your hiring process and even write a short policy so you can use it again in the future.

3. Not conducting a good interview – this follows on from the above point – you really need to prepare for interviews! Plan and structure the interview and have a list of questions you really want to know the answers to mapped out for the job role. Don’t rely on the questions you used for the last job you were recruiting for. Use the interview to really find out who you want to employ. And please don’t keep candidates waiting as it creates a bad impression about your employer brand.

4. Relying on job ads – chances are the best people out there for this position you want to fill are already in employment. Use us (your Market Research Recruiters) and be proactive!

5. Not asking for enough references – When you’ve narrowed it down to the final two or three, follow-up the references fully and do any background checks that need doing. You may save yourself a lot of time in the long run.

6. Overlooking cultural fit – this is a really important part of hiring these days. The person you’re hiring doesn’t just have to get on with you (if you’re the boss), but they need to be able to fit into a team and into an office environment. We know it’s a cliché, but most people spend more time with their work colleagues than with their family. Make sure they are going to fit in for their sake and yours.

 7. Hiring in own image – do you want a whole office of people who are exactly like you? Would that be balanced and would that enable the team to more easily reach the targets and objectives that they have set for them? No, thought not. While everyone needs to get on, a range of backgrounds, experiences, skills and characteristics will usually help an office dynamic and enable work to be done more efficiently.

8. Overly impressed with formal education – we are not going to argue that formal education doesn’t have its place, but there are some people out there who are intelligent, hardworking and have a brilliant skillset who just don’t have as much of it as some other people. Don’t overlook those people – you may be saying goodbye to some real talent.

9. Depending on training to be able to do the job – on the flip side to the above point, don’t hire someone who needs a whole lot of training to get them up to speed just because you prefer them. It can sometimes take a while to book in training and you want someone new to hit the ground running.

10. Expecting too much – but having said that ‘you want someone to hit the ground running’, don’t expect too much of newbies in their first few weeks. Some people take a few months to settle in and then really get to work well. Others seem to be doing everything perfectly in the beginning and then it becomes clear that they are not up to much! Much better to be the former!