The five most common mistakes made by recruiters

Hiring staff is a challenging task, and one that employers often get wrong. Here are five mistakes to avoid

By Tim Gibson

Close your eyes and imagine your worst nightmare as an employer. For many, this will involve staff who are demotivated, inefficient, lazy or downright rude – or maybe all four. And, because you took them on, you’re unlikely to be able to do anything about it.

That underscores the importance of making the right choices when it comes to finding new staff. Get it wrong, and your whole business suffers. Get it right, and you’ll have a fantastic team that delivers results.

To help maximise your chances of success, we’ve collated five of the most common mistakes made by people when they hire. Avoid them, and your team will be stronger than ever.

1. Creating inaccurate ads and job descriptions

You have a job for which you’re recruiting. You know what that job entails, and the sort of person you need to fill it. So make sure you describe the job in the simplest possible terms, keeping frippery to the minimum.

“Of course, everyone wants to make their recruitment ads and job specs look as appealing as possible to candidates,” says Emma Kershaw, director at Just Recruitment. “But if you want to attract the right person, you need to tell them exactly what you’re after. So focus on the content first, then make it sparkle. If not, you could end up with completely the wrong profile of applicant.”

2. Recruiting a skills set, not a person

“People do business with people,” says Emma Kershaw, “and that’s really important when it comes to recruitment. While you need to ensure the person you appoint has the skills and competencies to do the job in question, it’s also crucial that they fit in with the team and are easy to work alongside, as well as having the right worth ethic and attitude.

“Too often, employers focus just on whether or not a candidate matches the core competencies for the vacancy, and that seeds problems for the future. Consider the person, too – everyone in the workplace will thank you for it.”

3. Failing to think outside the box

Just Recruitment consultant Tracey Bates has spent 17 years in the industry, and says that recruiters need to be creative in identifying the qualities and transferable skills of prospective employees.

“It’s important to think outside the box when it comes to matching candidates to roles,” she remarks. “Someone may not have directly relevant industry experience, but they may have a talent that lends itself really well to the job available. For example, a keen angler could be a natural fit for an intricate manufacturing job, where dexterity is required.

“Use your imagination in the recruitment process and you may find you turn up a wider pool of talent, thereby giving yourself more options when it comes to appointing.”

4. Forgetting the importance of a well-structured interview

Recruiting is an expensive business, and involves a great deal of careful preparation. But having invested in a great job ad or the support of a recruitment agency, it’s important to get the interview process spot on.

“Recruiters should put as much preparation into an interview as candidates,” opines Just Recruitment’s Emma Kershaw. “You need to know the sorts of questions to ask, and have a good sense of what you’re looking for in a candidate. Then you need to be all over your brief, so that you’re relaxed and have a natural conversation with the interviewee. That will enable them to give a good account of themselves, giving you as much information as possible for your deliberations.”

5. Not providing a thorough induction

You’ve done the hard work and found an ideal candidate for the opportunity available. Now their first day at work comes around, and you’re not ready to give them the best possible start.

“It’s all too common that employers mess up employee inductions, or don’t bother with them at all,” says Emma. “But if you want to give a candidate every chance to thrive in their new role, you need to invest in them from the get go. Put a decent amount of time aside to show them around, talk them through your corporate culture and values, introduce them to the wider team and brief them about things like Health and Safety and First Aid.

“I’d recommend having a standard programme for all staff inductions, supported by a detailed but accessible handbook. That way, you’ll know that everyone joining your company has a solid grounding from which they can draw in the early days. Believe me, you and they will reap the rewards well into the future.”

For help with your recruitment needs, get in touch with your nearest Just Recruitment office. Contact details can be found at


© 2018 Just Recruitment Group Ltd. 

Posted on Friday May 26