solutions to your bad hiring practices

Bad hiring practices have a habit of slipping into the system while everyone is busy getting their job done, and the consequences are more far reaching than you may think. Not only does it create a bad impression of your company with potential hires, but there is also the extensive cost that’s involved along the way. Here are a few ways to fix a broken system in order to improve your future hires.

Bad hiring practices #1: Never re-assessing a role

Every time an employee leaves, a company should re-evaluate the open position and make any necessary changes. Look at the tasks that are no longer relevant, delegate responsibilities that should lie with someone else, and add details to the job. And if you have ever considered taking this position in another direction, now is the time. Don’t wait until you have a new employee in this role before making changes to a position.

Bad hiring practices #2: Badly written job ads with irrelevant requirements

Take some time to rewrite the job description – don’t just recycle old job ads. You need to make sure that it is concise, appealing, and accurate. It should clearly outline the skills and needs the job will entail. Be concise, make it thoughtful and descriptive; don’t list every task that the person may ever perform.  A detailed job description should help reduce the number of irrelevant resumes you receive through confetti job application.

Leave only essential requirements in the posting. If you do not need a Doctorate to perform this role – don’t make it a mandatory requirement. Ensure that you leave only the key descriptors in so that you draw the right attention while not discouraging candidates from a variety of industries.

Bad hiring practices #3: Not including a salary range for a role

Every job has a salary range; no need to be coy about it. Be upfront during telephone interviews/pre-screens, or state the salary range in the job description. You will save yourself and the candidate’s time. Benchmarking ranges also has the benefit of reducing salary resentment between co-workers.

Bad hiring practices #4: Forgetting to look at internal candidates

Your current employees are your greatest asset. They are already trained in your systems and are familiar with your products. Whenever possible, look to promote from within first. Make sure open positions are advertised internally before opening them to external candidates. Give your best and brightest a chance to shine in a more challenging role.

The benefits of doing this are two-fold: not only is it easier to backfill a more junior role than fill a senior one, but it also cultivates a more positive work environment where employees feel like there is room to grow their career.  And, of course, no employee likes being passed over for a role they are qualified for but didn’t know was available.

Bad hiring practices #5: Your interview practices are outdated

Interviews should be conversations. Your potential employees are not on trial – don’t interrogate them. Without a good conversation, you will never get to know a candidate’s true personality. These means going off script in order to get them to truly open up about what they are looking for in their next role, and to really get them excited about this opportunity.

Stop asking trick questions like, “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero.  What does he say and why is he here?” As humorous as that is, does it really help you understand the person you’re interviewing?  Also, try to eliminate questions that allow unconscious bias into your decision making. Remove the useless questions that resulted in your last bad hire. Get rid of the robotic script and start having real conversations like real people simply trying to find out if they can work together.

Finally, always be on time for your interviews. You set an incredibly poor example when you are late. As a hiring manager, how can you ever insist on punctuality if a candidate’s first impression of you doesn’t reflect that expectation?

Bad hiring practices #6: Neglecting to check that interviewers know how to interview

We worry that managers don’t know how to manage, so we train them to be great managers. We recognise that managing is not an innate skill. But for some reason, we assume that anyone has the ability to conduct a successful interview. Interviewers also need training, and not only to make sure they are asking relevant questions, but also to make sure they are not asking inappropriate ones.

Have your HR team sit with interviewers on a regular basis to make sure everyone is on the same page. Practise some mock interviews. This also presents a great opportunity to fix any arrogant interviewer attitudes, and encourages dialogue between HR and line managers.

Bad hiring practices #7: Never getting back to candidates after interviews

Respect goes both ways. If you cannot respect your potential employees’ time during the interview process, how can you expect their respect if they are hired? Let them know what the next steps look like before they even leave the interview. If you are delayed in making a hiring decision – let your candidates know what happened and when they will hear from you. And when you finally make your selection, thank all the candidates that applied, and let them know you’ve hired someone else.  This may be time-consuming task, but it’s an easy way to ensure that your company has a great reputation in the marketplace.

Bad hiring practices #8: Checking references after a job offer has been made

Reference checks should be considered a critical part of the interview process. It is the lazy interviewer that forgets to check them before an offer goes out. References are your final verification of a candidates’ previous job performance, and it would be an unprofessional situation, were you to revoke an offer because of something you discover in a reference check.


None of this is rocket science, and yet bad hiring practices can be found in nearly every level of organisations. The hiring process is already long and involved; bad hiring practices just makes keeping the right candidate engaged even harder. By fixing a flawed hiring process you can vastly impact the quality of hires made and improve the experience for future and current employees.

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