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Common Hiring Mistakes – Things to Avoid When Hiring

One of the most important decisions an organization can make is who to hire. It is important that all hiring decisions are based on valid and legally defensible practices.

Below are some common mistakes you can avoid by ensuring that your hiring process is planned and that all hiring tools (e.g., interview questions, etc.) are linked to the requirements of the job.

Making hiring decisions based on “gut feel”

You have probably heard of hiring managers who have decided to hire someone because they have “a good feeling about them” or they “have a strong handshake” or because they “made great eye-contact during the interview.” By considering these types of factors, you not only open yourself up to a lawsuit, but you are very likely missing out on quality candidates. The fact that someone has a strong handshake does not mean that they will be successful on the job. It should not be used as a measure of say someone’s sales ability or communication skills. Also, behaviours such as maintaining good eye contact can be culturally biased. This is why is critical to ensure that your hiring decisions are based on how a candidate scored on the various hiring tools, that is, how well did this person’s skills fit the requirements of the job.

Asking questions or collecting information not related to the requirements of the job

You have probably been to an interview where the interviewer asked you questions such as, whether you are married or if you have children or where your family is originally from. It is important to review the employment legislation relevant to the country in which you are hiring. For example, in Canada, it would be against the law and considered a prohibited ground to ask questions about a person’s age, marital or family status, or race, etc.

Discriminating against certain groups

The hiring process and the tools you use to measure the requirements of the job should not be biased or discriminate against any specific group (e.g., visible minority, persons with a disability, etc.). It is important to ensure that all information collected throughout the hiring process always relates to the specific requirements of the job. It is also important to ensure that hiring managers are trained on how to use the tools to make informed hiring decisions.

Check out our Selection and Hiring Toolkit for more tips, tools, and templates!