7 small business hiring mistakes and how to avoid them

Hiring mistakes are easy to make — but they’re not always easy to fix.  When you need to hire new employees, it’s important to nail each stage of the process and find the right people to prevent any unnecessary turnover. Avoiding these mistakes will improve your small business employee hiring process while saving you time and stress along the way.

1. Skimping on the job description 

Your job description is the first impression job seekers will get about your business and the opportunity. And with so many opportunities in the job market right now, that first impression matters more than ever. 

Use clear language so the candidate quickly understands the responsibilities, and include a description of your company values so they can determine if they’re a good fit for your team. 

Check out our article on how to make your job post stand out to learn more. 

2. Winging the hiring process 

Even if you’re only hiring one or two people, your process should be formalized. If not, you could find yourself rushing through and offering the job to the wrong person. Take a look at our article on the 7 stages of the hiring process to learn how to understand your needs, reduce stress, and find the right fit for your team. 

3. Narrowing your search 

Relying on one source for job candidates limits how many eyes are on your opening. By casting your net on a wider scale, you’ll get a more diverse set of applicants and encourage more people to apply. 

Reach out to your team for referrals and post your job on as many platforms as possible, including: 

  • Job boards
  • Social media
  • Industry-related associations
  • Professional networking sites 

Here’s a tip: Homebase lets you post your job to the top sites in a matter of clicks. You can start with our pre-written, customizable job descriptions and then post them to Indeed, Zip Recruiter, and more. Then, you can manage applications from each site in one place. 

4. Hiring on gut instinct alone 

It’s a mistake to solely rely on your gut instinct when interviewing candidates. While an applicant may come across as confident and charming, they may not have the experience needed for the role. Inversely, others may come across as shy but prove to be a better fit because of their qualifications. 

Presentation definitely matters, but measure everyone equally. An easy way to ensure you’re doing so is to use an interview scoring system like this. 

5. Skipping the references 

Regardless of initial reactions to your narrowed list of candidates, ask them for references. Speaking with someone who’s worked with them before can not only give you deeper insight into their experience but also provide answers on whether or not they’re the right fit for your culture. 

6. Talking more than listening 

While it’s important to sell the role to your candidate, the goal of an interview is ultimately to determine whether or not they’re fit for the position. Structure your interview into two parts by first questioning the candidate before informing them about your business and the job. 

This will help keep the interview productive, and if you decide during the question portion that they are a wrong fit, you can end the interview without moving on to the next section and save some time. 

7. Excluding your team

Utilizing your team during the interview process can help guide your decision. Your managers may spot certain soft skills or specific experience details that would be beneficial. One of your other employees might also notice characteristics you missed that don’t fit with the existing culture. 

Ask your team members to sit in on phone interviews or have them in the room if you’re speaking to a candidate in person. You can also set up a second interview with the candidate’s potential manager and peers. If you don’t want anyone else to sit in on the interview, you can still get feedback by requesting second opinions on resumes and applications.

If you need more help hiring employees, get started with Homebase hiring. We’ll post your job description on the leading sites and help you find the perfect candidate. We’ll even streamline the onboarding process by sending your new employee a digital packet including all the necessary hiring forms.

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