Five Common Hiring Mistakes You Must Avoid


When hiring employees, it’s easy to make mistakes and hire the wrong person. Here are what we believe are five of the most common hiring mistake and how to avoid them.

1) Settling for None but the PERFECT Person

First of all, the perfect employee doesn’t exist. No matter how many great people are unemployed or are currently employed and willing to seek new challenges, there is no perfect person for the position you wish to fill. In fact, it’s usually the case that anyone you hire, no matter how carefully you do so, can turn out to be terrific or the new-hire from Hades. What’s more, you probably won’t know how well the person does for at least three-six months. So when you find someone’s who’s great, or very good, or has 80 percent of the skills, personality and background you seek, hire her and get on with business. Don’t waste months looking for perfection when “good enough” is right there knocking on your door, willing to work hard and do the best she can for you.

2) Hiring Someone Based on His Past Performance
Yes, past performance can be an indication of how a job applicant will work out in your business. Past successes often do lead to future successes. But be careful. Company cultures are different and someone who thrived in a large, 200-employee construction firm may not do as well in a small, family-run enterprise of just 20 or so. To see if a candidate will be successful at your firm, dig deep into the how and why of his past successes. Does he have the people and technical skills that work in your company?

3) Taking Top Performers from Your Competitors

This mistake is similar to the one above in that the personality, skills and background of someone successful at one your competitors may or may not mean he will do as well with you. In addition, some companies make the mistake of raiding a competitor’s roster of employees because it’s just too much “fun” to do so. Vet these folks very carefully.

4) Not Taking Enough Time with the Hiring Process
We know how time consuming, hard and even taxing hiring someone can be. It’s natural to want to hire the first person who comes along who “seems” perfect, just so you can stop the resume-reading, interviewing, and reference-checking tedium. Don’t do it! Take your time. Be sure to interview at least three-five qualified applicants. Interview the top two or three again. You can stand the short-term “pain” of the interview process for the long-term gain of hiring a great employee. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.

5) Forgetting to “Sell the Job”
Sure, unemployment is very high today and is predicted to remain so for at least the next several months or more. And, yes, there are many wonderful people out of work who would be grateful for the position you have available. Still, you need to be sure that everyone who comes in contact with your job candidates are positive about the company and the position.

When you’re looking for your next superstars, contact RealStreet Staffing. We know the “good guys” in the construction, engineering and architecture industries in the Washington Metro area. Let us help your company find terrific employees for your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire assignments. Contact us today.

A career in construction administration and management can be (and for me has been) one of constant transition. It’s rather common that employment with a given company starts and finishes with each successive project; you’re a new hire as it’s just getting “out of the ground,” then finished and looking for a new project (and Read More…

Greg Wangler, Pentagon Construction Management Division

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