The Top 7 Rookie Hiring Mistakes!

One of my awesome recruiting managers at HRU (the technical staffing company I run) is in the process of making his first hire! It’s pretty exciting. Do you remember the first hire you ever got to make on your own?

You get nervous! You don’t want to make a mistake, because you know how awful it is to have a bad employee working for you, so the last thing you want to do is make a wrong decision. You want this first hire to be a rock star!

All of our managers who are going through the hiring process for the first time all face the same issues. They are unsure of what to really do. If you’re a parent, the best analogy I can give is when the hospital lets you leave with your newborn! Do you remember that?

You get to the lobby. You have your baby strapped into that car seat like they are about to enter a crash test site! When you reach the doors, they slide open, and you kind of look around. You’re waiting, for just a second, for someone to stop you! You can’t believe anyone would just allow you to walk out of the hospital with a baby! Did you guys even check who I am! I have a hard time throwing my clothes all the way into the hamper, and you’re just letting me leave with a baby!?!

That’s the feeling all of our managers get when they hire for the first time! Wait, you’re letting me choose!? Are you sure you’re okay with this?!

To help our new managers I put together the Top 7 Rookie Hiring Mistakes for managers to avoid. Here they are:

1. You wait for HR and/or Talent Acquisition to control the process. This is your hire, that you’ll have to manage, live with, and fire if they suck! Get involved! Immediately!

2. You fall into the trap of wanting to hire someone who is perfect. You’re not perfect. Your CEO is not perfect. No one is perfect. Hire someone who can succeed in your job, your organization, under your leadership. Don’t hire perfect.

3. You try and hire someone who is just like you! You were successful in the job, which is why you are now the leader. So, it makes sense that someone just like you will also be successful. This tactic fails more times then it succeeds because we actually suck at managing ourselves! Find someone who compliments your weaknesses, and has the skills to do the job and you’ll have a better chance to find success. You’ll also add more diversity to your team!

4. You don’t move fast enough. If you interview a very talented person, there is a good chance someone else is also interviewing this very talented person. Pull the trigger and get them before someone else steals them from you!

5. You wait too long to fire a miss-hire. First-time leaders are the worse with this. They feel like they can make anyone work! Plus, they feel more ownership since it was their first time. Stop it! This won’t be the last time you make a bad hire. Give yourself the best leadership gift ever and fire a bad hire quickly!

6. You don’t believe it’s your job to recruit and source talent. Guess what, champ? The organization gave you the keys to run a department. They believe in you. If I’m given the keys to run anything, I’m running the whole thing! It’s my department, which means I own the talent, which means I’m going to help find the right talent for my team. I know what is needed better than anyone! TA can help me, that’s great! But I own this!

7. You believe that leadership will judge you based on this hire. Leadership won’t judge you based on one hire. Leadership will judge you based on a pattern of hiring success, or lack thereof. One hire will not define you. Many hires will. R.E.L.A.X.

So, what do you think, HR and Talent Pros? What are the biggest mistakes you see Rookie managers making when it comes to hiring? Hit me in the comments!

2 thoughts on “The Top 7 Rookie Hiring Mistakes!

  1. Great list Tim/great reminders even for non-rookies too! One addition, have other meet/interview the candidate and LISTEN to their opinions. This is one of the reasons I find panel interviews helpful.

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