Eight Ways To Avoid Wasting Time & Money When Hiring Employees

When it comes to hiring employees, according to a CIPD study, it costs about £2,000 to recruit a new member of staff. Bear in mind, that’s just the recruitment process, the overall cost is a lot higher. So, if your organisation has a high turnover of staff, that can be very costly.

It is possible to attract the best candidates for the job on a budget, but there are some common pitfalls. There is no guaranteed process for successfully hiring employees. However, knowing the obstacles and potential problems can help you to avoid them or deal with them if they do arise.

1. Not Creating Accurate Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are an essential part of managing the work of any business. Employing water-tight job descriptions when hiring employees will achieve the following:

  • Provide meaning for people, so that they know why their job exists, and understand the value of their work.
  • Give a set of clear expectations for workers, so that you can manage people’s performance in line with these expectations.
  • Give people and a clear sense of priorities, so that they know what to concentrate on, and what not to waste time on.
  • Define the business structure and plan human resources needs.
  • Advertise jobs and recruit candidates.
  • Establish a career progression.
  • Identify training requirements and train new staff.

A job description should not just be left in a draw and only reviewed once in a blue moon. It should be used throughout an employees lifecycle and reviewed yearly to ensure that it is still up to date.

2. Failing To Consider Recruiting From Within

Sometimes, the best candidates could be right under your nose! It can make economic sense to fill roles internally. This cuts the costs and time associated with advertising for external candidates. Also, an existing staff member will be familiar with your businesses processes, values and mission. Chances are, they would get “up to speed” in a new role more quickly than an outsider.

Another potential benefit when hiring employees is that promoting and training up your own people can boost their morale and productivity. Recruiting from within can also protect valuable knowledge that would be lost when people leave your team or business.

3. Relying Too Much On The Interview

When hiring employees, some managers use only an interview to evaluate potential candidates, but is it the best method? A candidate may say or do anything to get the job that you’re offering. Consider giving them a test or exercise to find out how they might perform “on the job.” For example, you can use Inbox/In-Tray Assessment or maybe a work trial to reveal how good they might be at planning, organising, prioritising, and communicating.

4. Rejecting Overqualified Candidates

It’s tempting to reject an overqualified candidate because you’re afraid that they will become bored and leave your business for a more satisfying challenge elsewhere.

But highly experienced and talented people may have the skills and ability to help you to develop your team – even if they don’t stay long. Encourage them to be loyal to your business, think about what opportunities for development, progression, or reward you might be able to offer this exceptional person.

5. When Hiring Employees, You Wait For The Perfect Candidate

When hiring employees, you may have a picture of the ideal employee in your mind. However, as you wait for him/her to appear, you may be jeopardising your team’s productivity by keeping it understaffed for too long. Your team members may have to pick up the extra workload or work overtime, which can affect their morale.

Recruiters call perfect candidates “purple squirrels,” because they are so rare! Instead of waiting for someone who fits the role exactly, it’s usually best to hire someone who meets most of your key requirements, who matches your corporate culture, and who has excellent soft skills

6. Rushing The Recruitment Process

When it comes to hiring employees, you may find the perfect candidate doesn’t exist. That does not mean you should rush to hire just anyone. Take your time. Think about what it’s going to cost in time and money to hire and train someone, only to find that she’s not up to the job. You could end up having to repeat the whole process.

Interview twice if you have to and, if necessary, arrange for a freelance or external contractor to cover the role until you’ve got the best person that you can.

7. Relying Too Much On References

How much can you trust the information on a CV? According to a survey of more than 2,000 HR and recruitment managers, almost 60% had discovered a lie on a résumé. There’s a famous story in HR circles about a candidate who claimed to be a construction supervisor but admitted in his interview that he had only built a doghouse in a backyard!

So, while applicants may have listed excellent experience and qualifications, you’ll likely want to check some of the details they’ve provided.

Positive or negative; don’t place too much weight on these references. Someone else’s positive experience at one business does not mean that he will automatically shine at yours. Similarly, a negative reference from a previous employer does not mean that he won’t thrive on your team.

When hiring employees, make sure you make use of a probationary period to ensure that you have the right candidate for the job.

8. Expecting Too Much, Too Soon From A New Recruit

Typically, it takes a new starter about three months to become fully integrated into the team and to begin producing results. It’s understandable to want them to “hit the ground running,” especially if the position has been vacant for a while or if the hiring process has taken a long time, but this can mean that you don’t give them the time to “learn the ropes”.

During the first few weeks, it’s important to help your new recruit to understand the business’s and team’s goals, and to support them as they learn. This process is often called “onboarding.” Make them feel welcome and introduce them to the team. Let them know that they can ask questions and seek advice and arrange regular meetings to see how they are doing.


In Summary:

Hiring employees can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Therefore, it’s essential to get it right the first time! Make sure you recruit someone who’s the best person for the job and who fits into your business. Otherwise, you could be facing continual turnover. Get in touch if you’d like some support with hiring employees.


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