The Top 3 Mistakes Made in Recruiting


According to the Center for American Progress, it can cost up to a fifth of an employee’s salary to replace them – making high turnover expensive. Tempting though it may be to reduce time and resources in such an expensive process, many of the most common recruiting mistakes come from cutting corners.

Frontline Source Group, a company that offers temp-agency jobs in Austin, has compiled a list of the most common mistakes employers make when recruiting, why they happen, and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: The Job Description

If the job description is vague, incorrect, or missing context, then recruitment is doomed to failure when candidates do not even know what exactly they’re applying for.

There are two main causes of poor job descriptions: either delegating the task of doing so to someone who has no experience with the job, or recycling an old description.

The latter is the first blunder to prevent. Reusing an old description for a job might seem like a quick and easy way to cut down on time spent looking for a replacement. However, companies, organizations, and job scopes change, and often without employers noticing until they’re looking back on the history of the position. At the very least, make sure to edit and adjust the job description to fit what the candidate can actually expect from the job.

Once the employer decides that, or if writing from scratch, there’s also the question of who is going to write it. In theory, it should not be difficult to write a job description based on second-hand or third-hand information. However, the actual duties and responsibilities of a given position can vary almost as much as the workplaces themselves. Ranging from different workflows to software packages to interpersonal dynamics, job description writer should be able to imagine a day in the life of whoever will fulfill that position, and write accordingly.

Mistake #2: The Interview

When trying to find a replacement for a position between a department or business and other job duties, the natural tendency is to find other people’s solutions to one’s own problems – such as common, popular interview questions.

However, candidates know the popular interview questions, too. Many job-seeking sites and communities provide guidance to job hunters for how to pre-create and rehearse answers to these questions – which means they will tell you very little about the candidate. They will not tell you how well the candidate will fit into the workplace, how well they perform at the job, or what they can bring to the organization or business they are applying for.

Popular and common interview questions are a great way to break the ice and get an initial impression. But once that’s established, come up with creative questions that candidates cannot prepare for and are more relevant to the workplace. Many recruiters also encourage simulated tasks the candidate will have to do on the job, tests, and brain-teasers to better understand the candidate.

Mistake #3: The Culture

A fine line rests between making sure a candidate will fit into the workplace, and making sure the workplace does not end up homogenous. On top of that, when looking for the most skilled or qualified candidate, traits not directly related to the job tend to fall by the wayside. When replacing a position can take up so much money, worrying about how a recruit will fit in seems like a waste of time.

But despite some employers’ best wishes, human beings are not robots or machine parts. Recruits have different values, personalities, and practices. If an employer wants their team to be more than the sum of its parts, they have to make sure the recruits will add to the corporate culture.

A candidate who is too different from everyone else – who has different values and ethics, or a fundamentally contradictory personality – will ‘subtract’ from the workplace and team. A candidate who is exactly like them will not change anything, on part with adding/subtracting zero. What employers need is a candidate who is similar enough to ensure the workplace functions smoothly, but different enough to challenge the team to grow and do better.

Recruiting Right

Recruiting is costly and time-consuming – which is why employers need to invest their resources and time into recruiting the right person the first time. A good recruit will more than make up for the cost of finding them in the first place.