5 Common Talent Acquisition Mistakes to Avoid

Rachel Ludwig
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Sometimes, there’s nothing worse than hiring the wrong person for the job. A bad hiring choice can disrupt your whole team and cost your company time, money, and effort. 

It’s certainly challenging to find the “perfect fit” hire. Some candidates might have the most experienced background, others the best education, and others the right personality. In your quest to find the best person for the position, it’s important to avoid these five practices: 

1. Asking Questions That Don’t Leave Room for Answers
At the interview stage, you need to ask questions that give your potential hire room to give a developed, thoughtful answer. Yes or No questions should be avoided or reserved for a pre-screening questionnaire. Instead, ask guided questions, such as “tell me about a time that you successfully navigated conflict in the workplace?” or “what was your greatest accomplishment at your last job?”. 

2. Neglecting to Get Input from Your Existing Employees
If employees are saying that they need more support or more assistance, it’s not enough just to find them a new team member. It’s essential that you ask for input first and find out where your team needs support. Maybe they need another team member who has a particular strength or skill. As a talent acquisition specialist, you need to highlight that strength or skill in your search to best support your existing coworkers or staff. 

3. Focusing Too Much on Personal Connections
It always feels great to connect with a candidate about a shared interest or alma mater or hometown. Making those connections can help both you and the candidate feel at ease during the interview process. However, don’t let those connections dominate the conversation or distract from the important questions on the agenda. If you place too much importance on these shared connections, you could lose out on a great candidate who just had a different upbringing or has different tastes in movies, music, etc. 

4. Dwelling on the Past (Going Into Detail About Why The Last Person in This Role Left)
If you’re filing a role that was left vacant by an employee who left it can be difficult to move on when you’re bringing on someone new. Maybe there are still feelings about the employee who left, but it’s important to focus on the opportunities for growth, rather than the past employees. A potential hire might ask why the last employee left, so be honest while pointing out the positives. 

5. Having Fixed Expectations
If you go into an interview with a particular candidate in mind, you might bypass a perfect fit for the role, just because you had “expectation blinders” on. Maybe you were envisioning a new hire with a Master’s degree or a certain type of industry experience. However, it’s good to look at all of your candidates holistically and interview each one with an open mindset. 

By following these five guiding tips, you can conduct a more productive hiring process and hopefully find a candidate who will be a great fit in the long run.  


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