Common Hiring Mistakes Keeping You from Filling Your Job


Over the years, I have been called in to solve some of the most difficult hiring challenges. Most commonly, managers are making one or more of the excuses outlined in this article. These five excuses will derail, slow, and impede your progress.

Blame Others – “HR is not doing enough to help”

With tight budgets, the best HR people are overworked, often supporting very large numbers of employees and managers. They simply don’t have the time to dedicate to one issue or opportunity. In smaller companies, you may not even have HR so the burden falls on you, but at least you can’t blame them.

I have a solution for you. Human Resources isn’t responsible for hiring for this position. You are. You need to take ownership for getting the result your company is paying you to achieve.

At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to fill your open job for your company, sanity, team, and career.

Lack of Availability – “I am too busy to interview”

The higher up you go in an organization, the more demands you have on your time. The best leaders know how to prioritize and protect time for critical tasks that need to get done. I have worked with leaders at very high levels who flaked out on recruitment status update calls, missed interviews, and took weeks to get back to me on resumes.

If you don’t prioritize interviewing, the good candidates will get a job before you can hire them and you will be left selecting between what remains.

You must make consistent investments to move your hiring process forward.

The Need to Compare – “I have not seen enough candidates”

Depending on how many people you need to hire, this complaint could be true. For example, you may have five openings and only three candidates. If you only need to hire for one position, you only need to see one person. That’s right. Filling your job takes one person. The trick is finding and attracting that one person and getting them to say yes.

You just need to find one great candidate and hire him or her.

Obsessing Over Requirements – “I just can’t seem to find the right candidate”

This is one of the hardest excuses to change. Maybe you have a tangible candidate identification issue, but many times I hear this from leaders who have interviewed ten or more people.

Hiring success is about finding the critical things that you need and identifying the positive aspects of candidates. Avoid focusing on reasons not to hire people and instead focus on their positive traits.

At some point, all great hiring managers make compromises. It’s about finding the right balance and making a decision. Stop finding reasons not to hire anyone.

Not Accepting the Realities of the Employment Market – “We can’t pay enough to get the right people”

Sometimes you need to play the hand you’re dealt. All too frequently leaders have a “champagne taste on a beer budget.” The reality is that most people cannot afford many of the things that they want. Too quickly we ignore our own motivations and assume candidates don’t think like us. How many of you would take a new job for less money?

The key here is to focus on what you can afford and be realistic about the profile you go after. Many great leaders have ended up hiring much younger and less experienced talent because they were going for value.

Align your profile and expectations with your budget, and you will have a much better likelihood of making a good hire.

Let’s Review

Now that you know you’re not alone, stop falling victim to these mistakes and start practicing the five behaviors of hiring success:

  • Assume accountability.
  • Prioritize hiring and put in regular consistent effort.
  • Focus on finding the one right candidate.
  • Stop finding reasons not to hire people.
  • Align your profile and expectations with your budget.
  • If you benefit from this information, please take a moment to like or share it.

Mike Adamo is a Med Device industry insider and the founder of Med Device Talent, one of the industries’ top recruitment firms.

Mike is also the author of several business books on career management and recruitment:

This Book Will Get You Hired

Radical Hiring Success


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