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Avoiding Common Recruitment Traps

Is it possible that a successful recruitment project can come about less because of your exceptional planning and structures, and more because you knew where the traps were and most importantly how to avoid them? Here are some of the most common traps employers fall into when recruiting staff- and my tips on how to avoid them!

The 'anyone is better than nothing' trap

When you need to hire a new staff member you typically don't have time on your side. So you are either refilling a position because someone has resigned, you are flat out busy or a new project has just landed on your lap so getting things done quickly is often a priority. But falling into the trap that anything is better than nothing is not the right thing to do. Of course you need someone in the role, but assuming that just 'anyone will do' is a dangerous trap. Getting the right person for a role is critical to the long term success of the position, otherwise you'll find yourself consistently managing the person, and filling the role time and time again. So resist the urge to fill the role with just 'anyone' and look at alternate solutions like temps, casuals or outsourcing to help you through the immediate staff, while you take the appropriate time to find your perfect new employee.

The 'no one will do the role as good as I can' trap

As business owners we are invested in our business, both financially and emotionally, more than we can ever expect anyone else to be. So we therefore assume that no one else could possibly do a task as well as we can. This is one of the traps which impacts on successful recruitment projects sometimes employers need to learn to let go, and hire someone who can do the role almost as well, and train them up to their level from there.

The 'I'll make the role up to suit them' trap
This is a really easy trap for small businesses to fall into when hiring staff, because there is often so much which could be passed onto someone new, that you think you can make up a role to suit a candidate who you really like. Unfortunately this trap can lead to longer term issues when the team or the business is growing. Understanding your future business structure, and the specific roles you need before you start recruiting is paramount to avoiding this trap know what you need from the role and the person performing it, and stick to it! Of course some flexibility is great, but if you are too flexible, you'll only do yourself a disservice in the longer term by creating a structure which doesn't work for the business, all because of one person.

The 'reference checks are a waste of time' trap

Many employers decide to take 'short cuts' in the recruitment process by deciding that reference checking, or other critical parts of the process like interviews and skills testing, are a waste of time, and think they can trust their gut feel to get them through and save some time. There is no doubt that your gut feel is very important, but by failing to do the appropriate checks and assessments, leaves you open to the risk of hiring someone who does not have the skills, experience, attitudes, reliability and behaviours you need in the role.

The 'her sister is looking for work' trap

Failing to properly asses the best candidates in the market is one of the biggest traps I see employers, particularly in small business, fall into.They hear of, or know of, someone looking for work, and thinks this gives them a quick fix to their staffing levels and busy workload.When recruiting staff you need to hire the people who know the roles best, and have the right skills and experience not someone who knows your team well. Aside from the complications this trap creates to do with inappropriate skills and experience, there is the added complication of the 'personalities' involved when they have a falling out with their friends who got them the job, the workplace can become very negative place with distractions and personal issues taking precedent over getting the job done!

Author:Kristy-Lee Billett
About: Kristy-Lee has worked in the field of HR and recruitment since 1999. She holds undergraduate qualifications in Psychology, a Masters in Human Resource Management, is an Professional Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.
Connect via:LinkedIn

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