Recruiting and Staffing

The 3 Common Hiring Practices That Are Completely and Totally Wrong

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Common knowledge is that tempestuous term that doesn’t necessarily describe anything common or knowledgable.

Common hiring practices have unfortunately fallen victim to the same fate. The typical recruiting steps that you take for granted may stand in the way of your results.

Make sure to never fall victim to these over-used hiring practices.

1. Experience first

Nothing can replace good, relevant experience. Do you know what can replace experience that doesn’t really pertain to the open position though? Almost anything!

Leadership roles? Experience of any sort is key. Relevant cases of experience will make the difference between someone stepping into a position, and someone diving into the deep end before they learn how to swim.

But for most other positions, who would you rather hire?

This article originally appeared on The Resumator Blog.

  • A) Someone with no experience, but a proven track record of fast learning.

OR

  • B) Someone with experience that’s close to what you need, who will need to unlearn many of the practices not suited to your business.

For entry and mid-level positions, don’t fall for the old tons of experience necessary. Sure it helps, but that desperately sought experience may come back to haunt you. You want someone who will perform your job, not try to replicate former activities.

2. Hire the best at all times

It makes sense. Your business wants the best and brightest. However, your fasting-growing startup or small business may not be ready for one of those mythical rock stars.

Everything’s a trade-off. Everything’s an investment. As you’re hiring, ask yourself these questions:

  • Can I afford this person?
  • Is their cost worth the value they bring to my business at this point?

Having the cream of the crop may end up hurting your business if you can’t afford to fill other key positions within your team.

Your budget will naturally limit your choices, so decide what best benefits your growth. You may have just enough cap-space for LeBron James, when really you need to staff the whole team.

3. Referrals make the best candidates

This one has a proven track record of validity. Error enters the recruiting process when you believe it whole-heartedly. If your employee refers a friend, acquaintance or former colleague, ask these questions:

  • When did you last work with them?
  • What did you personally witness that was impressive?
  • Would you trust this person to make decisions affecting your job?

These questions will ensure that you’re not getting bunk referrals of poor performers.

The candidate may work out just as the referral predicted, which is great! A few quick questions won’t hurt though, and they’ll help you screen qualified candidates worth the pursuit.

We hope these tips help your hiring process. Remember, many of those so-called hiring truths may not produce the same “truthful” results.

This article originally appeared on The Resumator Blog.

Don Charlton is a Web entrepreneur, developer and speaker. His company, TheResumator.com,, helps employers hire with confidence. Contact him at don@theresumator.com.
  • Tom Bolt

    Great points, but misleading title. Completely and Totally Wrong? The caveats that you point out for each show that they can be part of the common hiring process if done correctly. Blindly following some sort of recruiting mantra is always wrong if it does not involve intelligent and timely thinking in order to make correct hiring decisions. Thanks for the advice to the non-thinkers to keep them on track.

  • http://www.sweetrush.com/ Catherine Davis

    Nice points. In reference to #3, I do rely on referrals quite a bit for new talent so I was interested in your insight here. Yes, it is always a good idea to dig a bit deeper into the background.

    I have noticed a relationship between performance and the quality of the referral. Top performers usually recommend other top performers, whereas average performers will likely recommend others who are average. Perhaps top performers feel like they need to protect their professional reputation and only recommend the best.
    -Catherine Davis, ID Practice Lead for SweetRush