9 hiring mistakes your small business might be making
Growing your small business? The wrong hire could significantly set you back. Here are nine mistakes that might be keeping you from making stronger hires.
Your hiring team's roles aren't clearly defined.
DON’T assume everyone on your team knows what they’re responsible for. They may inadvertently double up on tasks or leave them by the wayside, wasting time and drawing out the interview process.
DO delegate tasks based on each teammate’s strengths. Assign every step, including: writing the job description, posting and promoting the job, reaching out to candidates, scheduling interviews, gathering feedback, checking references, and making the offer.
DID YOU KNOW? Almost 9 out of 10 small business owners report being directly involved in the process of searching for, vetting, and interviewing potential staffers.
Your job post isn't clear or compelling enough.
DON’T use vague or gimmicky words to describe the role and its responsibilities — or turn the job post into a grocery list of technical requirements. The average job seeker looks at your post for only 14 seconds before deciding whether to move on, so be clear and concise above all.
DO list a maximum of four to six requirements or responsibilities, followed by a balance of compensation and perks. Attach your profile link to the post so applicants can reach you directly. Don’t know how to write an effective job post? Get started with one of our job description templates.
PRO TIP Include no more than six requirements in your job post.
You’re not targeting your job post to the right audience.
DON’T expect more applications to equal more qualified candidates. As remote work becomes increasingly popular and job hunters expand their searches, you might receive too many resumes from unqualified applicants, which could overwhelm your lean hiring team.
DO reserve some of your budget for the targeted promotion of your job post. A few targeting parameters go a long way in placing your role in front of the most qualified people, instead of passively waiting for applicants to discover you through search or a network connection.
PRO TIP LinkedIn Jobs lets you target job seekers by experience, education, location, and other criteria. Learn more about promoting your LinkedIn Jobs.
You’re not tapping into your personal LinkedIn network.
DON’T forget to share with your LinkedIn network that you’re hiring. Many 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections might want to learn more about your open role or already have a great candidate in mind.
DO attach your job post to your LinkedIn profile, share a feed post with your network, and add the #Hiring frame to your profile photo to let your network know you’re looking for candidates.
You’re not revealing what makes your company unique.
DON’T assume the role or compensation alone is enough to entice candidates. On smaller teams, company culture is a more significant factor in a candidate’s decision.
DO create a free LinkedIn Page to showcase your company’s accomplishments and brand. Share content that engages potential candidates and invites them to apply for open roles.
PRO TIP Already have a LinkedIn Page? Here are some best practices to help you get 30% more weekly views.
You ignore red flags during interviews.
DON’T let a candidate’s charm sidetrack you from objectively assessing their qualifications. Unqualified candidates often use charisma to make up for lack of experience.
DO watch out for candidates who ask questions just for the sake of asking, as well as candidates who agree to everything without hesitation. Other red flags include name-dropping, forced enthusiasm, and (obviously) lying. Screening questions and skill assessments in your job post can prevent unqualified candidates from advancing far in the pipeline.
DID YOU KNOW? Professionals agree that the first seven seconds of the interview are the most crucial to establishing an impression.
You’re not getting to know the candidate.
DON’T offer each candidate the exact same canned experience. Qualified candidates are quickly turned off by inauthentic recruiting.
DO your homework. Find out what the candidate is passionate about and how they can align their personal interests with your team’s goals.
DON’T ask interviewers for feedback without providing a standardized format they can reply in, as well as a hard deadline to return their feedback.
DO identify and prioritize the top two or three skills that are non-negotiable, and remind your team that everything else is an added bonus. That way, you can more easily evaluate and compare every candidate based on what matters most. Assign each interviewer a specific candidate skill or core area to focus on during interviews, so no one repeats any questions.
DID YOU KNOW? Interviewing takes up the most time in the hiring process, at a reported seven hours a week.
You don’t close the loop with all applicants — even the ones you aren’t hiring.
DON’T let applicants fall into a void. This hurts your employer brand, may cause strong candidates to drop off, and may deter talented people from applying to future roles.
DO respond to every application you receive and every candidate you speak with. Small businesses might not have the time to manually accomplish this, so we recommend investing in an automated solution.
You’re ready to avoid your biggest hiring mistakes.
With the unique pressures that your small business faces, it’s easy to fall into these hiring traps. Now that you know how to avoid them, you can more quickly and easily identify the most qualified people for your team.
Start growing with stronger hires. Find qualified candidates on LinkedIn.