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4 Additional Hiring Mistakes Startups Make

A recent New York Times article outlined the top 10 rookie mistakes entrepreneurs are likely to make, such as believing that they have advertising sussed out and saving money on professional advice.

Let’s take a look at some of the hiring mistakes startups usually make when it comes to building a team. How can these be avoided?

Check out our list of additional hiring mistakes startups make (and how to fix them):

Boring careers site

Your careers website is a key place for engaging visitors and where you have an opportunity to reel in those top candidates and get them to apply. Don’t risk this by creating or maintaining an old-fashioned, boring and unappealing career site that doesn’t tell the story of your organization and shouts out that your recruiting practices may be living in an ancient era.

Avoid such hiring mistakes by putting a little personality into your careers site and supercharge your recruiting. After all, you want this to look attractive! Relay why the candidate needs to apply, what it’s like to work at the organization, employee testimonials, videos, etc. It’s not enough anymore to have just an email address to send a resume to. Candidates need (and deserve) the whole story, not just a page. If you don’t do this, you either won’t attract the right candidates, or you won’t attract any at all.

Sourcing candidates using one method

If you only find candidates using job boards, you are clearly missing out on where the action is. Similarly advertising alone wouldn’t solve your sourcing problems. If you are occasionally tweeting about your jobs, you are not really getting the full benefit of a social media strategy for recruiting. The fact is, if you’re not using a muti-channel approach in your recruiting strategy, your recruiting activity is limited in its scope and just doesn’t have the thrust behind it to reach the kind of candidates you really want.

Sometimes, startup recruiting means getting a little creative, particularly if you don’t have the resources to execute a large-scale recruiting campaign. However, this doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself or break the bank – as may be the perception when considering traditional and old-fashioned solutions.

You can scratch this one off your list of hiring mistakes as well. If you strive to be part of the 89 percent of companies that use social recruiting in their hiring efforts, (in addition to advertising, job boards and other campaigns), try out the next-gen recruitment management systems that have been built for this. A next-gen recruiting platform that is intuitive and easy to set up takes less time to get started with than what you spend everyday getting frustrated with your older systems. No excuses! Try it now.

Not taking advantage of employee referrals

Employee referrals are a great way to source quality candidates. First, it saves recruiters a lot of time. Next, it’s a great strategy to employ when you want to target those passive candidates – your internal network will certainly be more effective in identifying those quality candidates who will be a good fit. In addition, because these candidates are connected with you via your contacts, they are likely to respond and engage in a conversation. Lastly, referrals come with a stamp of pre-approval by your employees – which takes care of the initial screening in a big way! Not using employee referrals could be one of the most easy-to-avoid hiring mistakes.

Referrals help everyone out. So, what is keeping you from getting started?

Waiting for the first meeting to get to know candidates

Many recruiters fail to get to know potential candidates before they’re sitting in a room with them. When this happens, hiring managers are faced with unqualified applicants, wasting the time of both parties. It’s easy to address such issues and hiring mistakes: get to know the candidates prior to any sort of meeting. Be respectful of each other’s time.

Let’s say you typically weed out candidates through a standard application. Why not include targeted use-case questions, like what they did during a crisis, how they’d deal with a particular situation, what kind of software they have experience with and how they used it to gain results, etc. Ask for attachments, portfolios, videos and any other information as needed.

These questions give you a deeper insight into how the candidate would operate on the job. They also let you separate those who would fit into your company culture from the ones who are not likely to, based on the information provided. Ultimately, well thought-through and targeted questions help recruiters avoid many hiring mistakes they can make when unprepared. They also give recruiters the best candidates without going through that awkward trial-and-error phase amid several hiring mistakes, which is reason enough to stop using the old-fashioned methods and adopt this practice. Get yourself familiar with modern applicant tracking software that can make a big difference in your recruiting efforts.

What are some of the recruiting mistakes you have made and learned to avoid?

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