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Top Five Mistakes in Recruitment and How to Avoid Them

Oct 02, 2023

  • 2min

Top Five Mistakes in Recruitment and How to Avoid Them

Candidate Sourcing
photograph of five people standing against a grey wall from their chest down. You cannot see their heads. They are all wearing business attire.
Recruiting the right people is key for any business to succeed. However, there are common mistakes that many businesses make that can negatively impact their recruitment process. Here are the top five recruitment mistakes to avoid:
  1. Only focusing on technical skills:
    Technical skills are the tools of the trade and are often what most job descriptions focus on. Depending on your industry, these skills can range from programming and computer coding for building a website, using specific accounting or project management software, knowledge about specific legislation or other government regulations, or the ability and formal training required to use a particular type of heavy machinery.

    These skills are essential but are only part of the puzzle. It’s equally important that your new team member fits in with your organisation and has the soft skills required to succeed in the role.

    How to avoid it: Don’t forget the soft skills
    Yes, technical skills are important for any job but don’t forget to assess a candidate’s soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. These skills can make a big difference in how well a candidate fits with the team and business and, ultimately, how successful they are in their role. 

    Soft skills are transferable from job to job, so consider what other roles the candidate has on their resume that would require similar soft skills and then discuss during the interview how they would apply them in a new context.
A simple five step infographic displaying the top five recruitment mistakes.
Recruiting the right people is key for any business to succeed. However, there are common mistakes that many businesses make that can negatively impact their recruitment process.

  1. Rushing the hiring process
    Don’t get too caught up in trying to fill a position quickly. Rushing the hiring process can lead to missed opportunities to evaluate a candidate’s fit for the role and the business culture. Taking the time to reevaluate a recently vacated role also makes good business sense. When was the last time this role was available, and how has your business or team changed since then?

    How to avoid it: Have a strategic recruitment plan in place

    It’s important to take the time to plan out the recruitment process, from defining the job requirements to developing a thorough interview process. This also gives you time to properly evaluate the position to determine if any changes need to be made to your team’s structure or what the role will require.

    If there are tasks that can be delegated to give other team members stretch opportunities, you may find that the role you need to hire for is very different from what you thought it would be.

  2. Neglecting diversity and inclusion
    Diversity and inclusion are essential considerations when recruiting new team members. Neglecting this can lead to a smaller talent pool and a team that lacks different perspectives and experiences. Being an inclusive employer could mean you take a proactive role in developing a wheelchair-friendly workplace or being flexible with scheduling to accommodate staff with caring responsibilities who may need to work different hours.

    How to avoid it: Develop hiring practices that remove biases against certain groups of candidates
    It’s important to actively seek out diverse candidates and make sure your recruitment process is free of potential biases. This starts at the strategic level and can be built into your brand ethos. When it comes time to advertise a new role, think about where you are advertising it to attract a wider group of potential candidates and think about how you can remove bias from your resume screening process.

  3. Poor communication with candidates
    When you’re recruiting for multiple roles and have a stack of resumes on your desk, it can be easy to overlook the importance of good communication. A lack of communication can lead to a poor candidate experience and can damage the business’s reputation in the long run. If the candidate feels the experience was too poor, they may even decline your offer of employment.

    How to avoid it: Keep candidates in the loop throughout the recruitment process
    Provide regular updates on the status of their application and give feedback after interviews. Frequent communication can help ensure candidates don’t go to your competitor, especially in a market scarce in talent.

    Find ways to automate this process where possible while keeping in mind the importance of maintaining a personal touch – you don’t want to sound like a robot.

  4. Not checking references or performing background checks
    Checking references is a crucial step in the recruitment process. Don’t skip this step. References can provide valuable insight into a candidate’s work habits and performance, which can help you make a more informed hiring decision. Depending on your industry, it can be crucial to perform police or drug and alcohol checks to ensure your team member’s suitability for their position.

    How to avoid: Be upfront in the recruitment process about reference checks and how they will work

    If you require reference checks, then make this known early on in the recruitment process. This will give candidates the time they need to contact the appropriate people and get their information together. Conduct at least two reference checks, preferably from people the candidate has reported to. If the role requires police or working with children checks, let the candidate know that even if they don’t have those clearances currently, they can be obtained if needed.

Recruitment is an important process for any business, and avoiding these common mistakes can help make it more successful. Remember to assess a candidate’s soft skills in addition to their technical skills, take the time to plan out the recruitment process, prioritize diversity and inclusion, communicate effectively with candidates, and always check references. By doing so, you can increase your chances of finding the right fit for your business and building a strong, productive team.

If you’d like to find out more about our successful recruitment campaigns, call our HR experts on 1800 868 254 or talk to an expert.

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