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7 of the Biggest Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Why is hiring good employees important? Good employees lift business morale, they boost sales, they stay longer.

What’s more, onboarding new employees, or offboarding failed hires, can be time consuming and costly. You lose time and momentum in the forward movement of your business, and you have to train a new employee to do the same things, hindering your growth.

Some recent studies believe the cost of replacing a mid-level employee is upwards of 20% of their annual salary. An automated HR system would save your time, but even then, losing an employee means all the training you invested in them leaves as well. Companies lose time in advertising for a new employee, in the hiring process, in training, and lost productivity in the year or so it takes to elevate them to the level of the previous employee. It’s costly, and time consuming, and becomes even more so the further up the food chain the employee is.

So how can you avoid these costly and time consuming problems by hiring an employee who is dedicated, hard working, and relates to your business?

Here are some of the most common mistakes companies make when hiring a new staff member.

  1. Not checking references

This seems like the most basic of errors, but when running on a time limit, it’s easy to think first, ask questions later. References checks are a good way to understand the gaps in an applicant’s CV, or possible reasons behind leaving a previous job. It’s a good way to see if the person who excelled in the interview matches the kind of person and work ethic you expect. By not checking references, you also run the risk of hiring an employee whose references were their roommates, or parents, or the friendly guy they met at the drive through window of the McDonald’s they went to the day they submitted the application. You’ll never know unless you contact them.

  1. Trusting first impressions

So many of us believe we have a good gut instinct, and often rely on this when making decisions. Psychologists have found we generally believe ourselves to be good judges of character. It’s something we want to think about ourselves. And even if we aren’t, we still think we are, and end up with someone who interviews well but can’t learn new skills at any kind of speed.

  1. Having a narrow search

A formal education looks very good on paper, but there is a slew of ways for people to become qualified enough for their resumes to land on your desk. If you’re only looking at the top 10% of graduates from a particular university, you’re missing out on so many other people who perhaps spent their time learning about the world, doing internships and gaining experience. A wide worldview can often be more beneficial than someone who has spent time with their nose in books.

  1. Hiring solely on one facet

Is the person exceptionally amiable and personable but their resume isn’t as perfect? Is another person perfect on paper but their interview fell flat? It’s hard not to be wowed by a show of confidence and friendliness, especially if the person seems to know what they’re talking about, even if their resume is lacking. Similarly, it’s difficult to ignore a person who has all the qualifications you’re looking for and more, even if it seems like they had a bad day when they came in.  Make sure you hire the best employee for your business.

  1. Rushing into a decision

When it’s time to make a decision on your new hire, don’t hire on the spot. Just because a really fantastic candidate came in, you should still look at all your options, and take a night to think about it. Looking over a resume a few more times, checking references, and mulling over the interview in your head will allow you to make an informed decision that isn’t solely based on how friendly they were. It takes time and distance to make the right choice, and you can’t do that when the applicant is in the room. There is a lot of time and money at stake for a snap decision.

  1. Choosing based on favour

A friend of the business nudged a resume in your direction, or perhaps an investor suggested their younger brother would be the perfect fit. While this may seem like a small show of good faith in the short term, you should hire the best employee for the job, any other reason is a bad idea.

  1. Not researching

The term “background check” seems like something out of a spy movie, unsuited to the business world. But a survey by CareerBuilder discovered that over half of hirers they surveyed have caught out applicants lying on their resumes. At the very least, Google the person you’re intending on hiring. Follow that up with social media checks, which should be workplace friendly – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It’s surprising what people are willing to leave public.


Everyone makes mistakes, and even with all the information, it’s hard to tell how an employee will pan out over the following months or even years. But even if you make a leap or take a risk with an employee, make sure you have taken in every aspect of the situation, because at the end of the day, you want your business to succeed.


Want to get the right hire every time? Roubler assesses, shortlists and ranks which applicants are most suitable for your specific HR and workforce requirements. Roubler’s algorithm continues to uniquely collect data throughout the employment life cycle as to what employee attributes work and don’t work specific to your business. roubler will then rank all applications on your dashboard as a percentage suitability so you never have to waste time working through hundreds of unsuitable candidates again. Invest your time in the top 10% of employee applications. Get in touch today to hire the perfect candidate.

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