So let’s start with the most important ones.
1️⃣ The CEO is not involved in the selection
Why is recruiting first and foremost a CEO’s job? The question is wrong. Why is it profitable? The CEO is already better. Firstly, such a scheme works for the brand recognition of the company and the acquisition of new business contacts — clients and investors. Second, no one is more interested in market research than CEOs. Also, when you hire employees yourself, it helps build your personal brand. It is essential to attract and retain the team.
The management of the company and the HR department have completely different networks — which is why it always makes sense for the CEO to post vacancies on their social networks. How can you do this effectively? Refuse from a dry listing of duties and requirements. Instead, describe the goals the employee will have and outline the key features of the company.
2️⃣ There is no understanding of the result of the future employee’s work
How is good recruitment different from the bad one? Understanding the product that we expect from the employee. You can’t look for “the seller who sells more than me.” It is important to clearly and vividly articulate the function in the team and the goal.
This is especially important when the CEO asks a question about recommendations in person or on social media. We need a specific request, otherwise, people will give out either the most vivid impression or anyone with whom they recently contacted and who is looking for work. The thing is that it is easier for us to remember something within certain boundaries than in broad abstract category.
❌ Bad request:
Looking for the Head of Representative Office in Latin America
- Sales experience in the region from 5 years
- Marketing building experience
- Management experience
- Experience in the IT industry
- Knowledge of local laws
- Office opening
- Team recruitment
- Sales plan execution
✅ Good request:
Friends, we are launching in Latin America. There are 2 anchor clients; we see the market capacity; we need to build up our forces in the region! Therefore, I am looking for someone who can help with this, the role will be called “Head of Representative Office”
What needs to be done in the first six months:
- Open an office: find a room, organize everything correctly in terms of local laws
- Hire a support team — to ensure existing customers, as well as predict the growth of sales
- Assess the market capacity for our services and protect the sales plan
We will be glad to meet people from LatAm, as well as those from the CIS who launched in this region!
3️⃣ No HR branding
Realizing how effective it is to make an entire team sourced, leaders love to create a bonus system for those who attract newcomers. But then an unpleasant surprise awaits them — monetary rewards work very, very poorly without other factors. HR branding solves the problem. It would help if you didn’t immediately say that it is impossible to implement this in a small company due to a limited budget — that is why large players take away your ideal candidates from you.
There are several things you can do for your HR brand right now. First, it is very important that the declared values, rules, and operating conditions correspond to reality. A situation where a company talks about a friendly team and loyal leadership is no good, but in fact, the boss checks the clock, who came at what time and colleagues tell him who was late for lunch. It is also worth tracking internal communication and be sure to answer all candidates, and for new employees, create at least a small guide to whom you can contact on what issues.
How exactly is it not necessary? If you do not have separate budgets and departments for working with an HR brand, you should not immediately set a goal “to be recognized immediately,” start from the base.
Good HR branding helps to iron out significant shortcomings like low pay. This works exceptionally well in IT, where there is a strong personal recommendation culture.
By the way, bonuses for attracting new employees can be directly transformed into more tangible forms. For example, come up with a memorable corporate merch for activists that will be different from what is issued upon joining the company.
4️⃣ Template interview
There is a great temptation to take ready-made templates, especially when evaluating soft skills. It is important to remember two things here. First, templates are not universal and hardly relevant to your company. They may have benefited those who invented them, but usually, such formulas are tied to the functionality of the organization. Second — after such an interview, you can get into the search results for the query “sell me a pen idiot”. Providing an unpleasant aftertaste to candidates is harmful to the company’s brand.
What to do instead? Talk to a person! It is possible to understand what kind of person is in front of you only in a live dialogue about life, values , and features of decision-making.
❌ What you definitely don’t need to ask the candidate:
- How many traffic lights are there in the city?
- What will you do if you find out that your wife is cheating on you?
- You are standing on a railroad switch and a child ran out on the way. By switching the arrow, you will derail the passenger train and save the child. Another option is to do nothing: the child will die, the passenger train will remain intact. What will you do?
✅ What to ask the candidate:
- What motivates you?
- What are you not ready to put up within your work?
- What do you pay attention to when joining a new team, meeting new people?
- What issues in your professional field always get your attention?
- Why are you still in this area, and not change it to something else?
- What attracts you to working in a startup?
5️⃣ Selection based only on a recommendation
Of course, recommendations are important and necessary. But can they be used as the main criterion for hiring?
Practice shows that without a comprehensive assessment of the qualities of a candidate — nowhere. Even if you have known a person for a long time as an excellent specialist, he may simply not fit your local goals.
The case study tool for interviews works well: the candidate does not just tell how wonderful he is but defends his own business plan. This is useful in that you will see how a person thinks and reason, how he is able to solve problems, how he reacts to challenges. The performance of candidates selected through such interviews usually does not disappoint. However, it is important for the employer to understand that the business plan for the interview will be conditional. You cannot expect its implementation, because for this you need to immerse yourself in the company’s processes much deeper.
By selecting people only on recommendation, you can also become dependent on hiring from your inner circle. As a result, the team will not accept new leaders, will begin to sabotage the workflow and reduce efficiency. The department under such leadership will spend all its resources on the amortization of conflicts and will never become independent.
6️⃣ Toxic candidates
It also happens that a candidate has excellent skills, but he is very toxic. How to make a decision? Mathematics will come to the rescue.
First, calculate how many team members this person can demotivate. Determine how much you will lose in income and in human resources. Then consider how effective it is to offset these losses.
However, such a system does not work in the long run. If your goal is a marathon, not a sprint, then it is better to choose a person close to you in spirit who will need to master a little newer than a toxic candidate.
The main mistake in finding new employees is poor communication. Do not deceive the candidate or overstate the requirements so that he misleads you, do not look for “that, I do not know what.” The dream team starts with a lively, honest interview.
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