Are you making these 7 common hiring mistakes?

by Hudson

Want to find new hires who will perform and stay? Then don’t follow these common practices.

In my 16 years in recruitment, I’ve seen the all-too-common mistakes many hiring managers make when they recruit for new hires. It’s understandable – time is limited and we all naturally fall back on the practices that seem most expedient
and commonly used. But unfortunately, these don’t often achieve what you really want: a new hire that goes on to become a star performer in your business.

I’m the first to admit that recruiting today is a complicated affair. For one, it requires specialised knowledge on the part of the person recruiting. How can a non-technical person find, interview and assess someone for a specialised role in data
analytics or web development? It’s a hard ask for any hiring manager, and it’s why specialised recruiters like us are often asked to help source the candidates that generalist methods just can’t reach.

Then there’s the added complexity of a channel sourcing strategy, the rise of social media and the role of psychometric testing.

Regardless of whether you use a recruiter or are hiring yourself, here is my list of the top mistakes to avoid if you want to find and sign the right candidates for your organisation.

  1. Over-reliance on job boards

    Know the saying, ‘If you keep asking the same question, you’ll keep getting the same response? The same goes for job candidates – if you keep dipping into the same pool you’ll keep catching the same fish. These days sourcing is a complex
    undertaking and hiring managers who don’t get across the many channels now available – social media, internal referral schemes and personal networks, to name a few – will lose out on the best candidates. Job boards aren’t
    a channel strategy; they are part of a strategy.

  2. Asking the wrong interview questions

    If you rely on tired, clichéd interview questions (What’s your greatest weakness, anyone?) you won’t get the information you need to determine if a candidate can do the job and do it well. It’s only when you ask pointed behaviour-based questions that you’ll gain the insight to make an informed decision on whether a person can not just talk the talk but also walk the walk, as brought to life by their experience, insight and learnings.


  1. Mistaking experience for competence

    Just because a person’s CV says they’ve done something in the past, doesn’t mean they’ve done it well or have an aptitude to be good at it in the future. This is where psychometric assessment can prove invaluable. It gives an objective measure of a person’s competencies (and weaknesses) across a full range of thinking styles – something you can never get from just a CV.

  2. Overdependence on gut instinct

    By this I mean making the mistake of thinking you can ‘just tell’ who will be right for the role and for your business rather than using more objective, robust and scientific methods such as psychometric assessment techniques. I’ve seen many
    candidates come across spectacularly well in an interview yet crash and burn in subsequent assessments due to glaring mismatches in cultural fit or abilities. Instinct doesn’t capture everything, even if you think an individual is
    a standout.


  1. Mistaking performance for potential

    Again, this is where a full assessment will give you insight into not only how a person will perform in the job, but where they have the potential to shine in the future. Performance and potential are not the same – in fact, according
    to the Corporate Leadership Council, only 29% of high performers are also high potential. Yet people are often promoted or hired on the strength of their recent job performance, meaning high-potential employees can slip through the cracks.
    To truly identify and differentiate the two, the only real way is through formal, tailored assessment.

  2. Hiring for the short term

    Hiring only for the short term may fill a temporary hole in the team but doesn’t take into account the broader elements required for longer-term retention, such as cultural fit, career motivation and potential to grow. A new hire who only
    stays for a short time will ultimately cost your business time and money in empty desks, renewed recruitment and depleted team morale, so it’s worth putting in the effort to hire for the long term.

  3. Using money as your chief incentive

    In my experience, money may get candidates over the line but it won’t motivate them to love their job and give you their best. For that you need to offer a multifaceted proposition that
    addresses what they actually want in a more holistic way. While the right salary is the number one thing Australians want in a new role, it is followed closely by work life balance and career progression (The Hudson Report: Forward Focus
    2016), showing today’s job candidates want the complete package.