5 Hiring Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Are you ready to bring on a new employee? Be careful: Making mistakes in the hiring process can cost you big time. If your new staff member doesn’t work out for one reason or another, it can cost nearly half of that employee’s annual salary to replace him, according to an analysis by IMG. Here are some common hiring boo-boos to watch out for.

1)   Not running a background check. Trusting in others is always nice, but when it comes to your own company, you can’t take any chances: What if your new bookkeeper once spent time in prison for money laundering? You’ll need to notify your potential employee that you’re running a background check, but these days, it’s an expected part of the hiring process. Before making a final offer, run a criminal history check and verify your candidate’s education and work history. If your dream candidate doesn’t live up to his resume, you want to find out before he’s on the payroll.

2)    Focusing only on the interview. Job interviews can give you a good sense of a candidate’s personality — but they don’t give you a true sense of how she’ll benefit the company when it comes to her work ethic and skills. According to research from University of Michigan, a typical interview increases your chances of choosing the right person for the job by just two percent. In addition to the interview, carefully study your candidate’s qualifications and ask her to take a test or take on a short project related to the work she’d be doing for your company to get a better sense of her overall qualifications.

3)   Not pre-screening your candidates. Before you get your hopes up about a job candidate and call him in for an interview, have a phone call to discuss his skills, experience, and expectations for the job. If it turns out he’s hoping for a salary $20,000 higher than you can offer, you haven’t wasted any more of your time.

4)   Hiring based on educational credentials. It’s easy to get impressed when you see an Ivy League degree or an MBA on a candidate’s resume — but does that mean he’ll be a better fit for the job than the applicant who attended a state university but already has six years of work experience in a relevant field? A good education may mean the candidate’s good at taking tests and writing essays, but if he can’t demonstrate practical work experience, he may not be the best fit for you.

5)   Hiring someone as a 1099 contractor instead of an employee. When you find a good candidate, it may be tempting to hire him or her as a consultant instead of an employee: You won’t need to pay payroll tax, disability, and other benefits, so it can be considerably cheaper. However, the IRS has strict rules when it comes to classification, and if you’re found to be in violation of their guidelines, you may be forced to pay back taxes as well as penalties. Check out this article to find out when you should classify someone as a contractor or an employee.

About Kathryn Hawkins

Kathryn Hawkins is a principal at the content marketing agency Eucalypt Media. She's written about business, marketing, and entrepreneurship for publications including BNET, TheAtlantic.com, Inc.com, and owns and operates the positive news site Gimundo. Follow her on Twitter at @kathrynhawkins.
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Background Check
Background Check

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Jen Del Carlo
Jen Del Carlo

Good tips in here. Hiring the wrong person not only doesn't solve the problem that was originally there, it often also creates more work for everyone else. I really echo the ideas above about putting in the up-front effort, because when you find the 'right' person, it makes such a difference to the business!