Making Recruitment Mistakes

Published: Nov 16, 2011

November 16, 2011
By Richard Navin

The price of making mistakes in the recruitment process can be huge to companies and also to the economy. Hiring the right person at the right time and every time is virtually impossible but there are many basic errors employers still make and simple steps that can be taken to prevent this. Companies of all sizes do make errors but whether they are a large, global company or a small, local business they need to consider the costs and the consequences of not getting it right.

Some common mistakes and how they can be overcome include:

Timing: recruitment processes that are not completed quickly and accurately can be very costly; it often means an important job within the company is not being carried out and companies need to consider what this is costing them. If there are delays between the candidates applying for jobs, interviews and feedback or decisions this can put off many good candidates who could end up going elsewhere and giving the company a bad image. A timeline should be set out with closing dates for applications, scheduled days for interviews and preferred start dates, taking into consideration how urgent the vacancy is and the need for training etc.

Recruitment Agencies: how good are the agencies the employer is using? Do they specialise in recruiting for certain professions? How have they interviewed or screened the applicants? These are amongst the factors to be considered before working with a recruitment agency, however agencies will usually charge a fee once their candidate has started employment. Therefore if the employer makes the wrong decision, hiring the wrong candidate from an agency it can cost them several thousands in fees.

Job Descriptions and Specifications: Without an accurate description and without knowing exactly what kind of person is needed for the role it will be almost impossible to find the right person. Job adverts must contain enough relevant information and recruitment agencies briefed as thoroughly as possible to ensure the right candidates can be attracted. An employer may think they have found the ideal employee, however if they have not received the right information they are not very likely to stay.

Interviews: Before inviting candidates for interviews it is vital to only select the most suitable. Checking work experience, qualifications and skills are all suitable, conducting psychometric tests etc. will be carried out before to identify the right candidates for interview. A typical first interview will often last an hour so inviting the wrong candidates will be time wasted. Companies should have a set interview format with standard questions and specialist questions for different job roles designed to find out enough relevant information to make the right decision. Many companies will have two interview stages often involving human resources managers, department managers and in some cases directors, with around an hour for each interview and usually anywhere between 5-10 candidates that is a lot of time and money spent and potentially wasted. Interviews need to be coordinated, planned and managed to ensure the right decision can be made.

About the Author

Richard Navin is the owner of recruitment agency RJN Selection, specialists in permanent engineering recruitment. Please visit to find out more or view blog at

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