Top Small Business Hiring Mistakes That Hurt Profits

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Hiring new people can be exciting for business owners, especially if hiring is the result of growth for the company. Recruiting new employees is also a process that can be laced with costly downside risk, especially if you don’t ask the proper job interview questions. A bad hire will hurt your profits, which is why business owners must properly prepare for an interview.

While the recruitment process is not necessarily a lengthy process: the ramifications of a bad hire can feel like a nightmare that has no end.  To help small business owners avoid the curse of bad hires, here are the top hiring mistakes that small business owners make. And the actions to avoid making any of these ever again.

Mistake #1: Rushing the Hiring Decision

Being decisive and able to act quickly is a great quality among entrepreneurs. However, rushing a recruitment process can lead to catastrophic results. Yet it happens with amazing regularity. For example, with the busy season coming, new hires are needed to meet the peak period demand. In such a brief period, business must fill many new positions.  As a result, the business owner often feels pressure to act quickly and fails ask the vital job interview questions needed to assess candidates.

However if you rush the hiring process you will most certainly pay a price later with productivity issues, customer service issues, or team morale issues. Not to mention your own day-to-day peace of mind of not having to weigh in on the resulting problems created by a hire that does not fit in.

Learning to prepare for an interview is as vital as your next task – don’t rush! Take the time to do a thorough background check.  Refer back to professional references, take the time to speak with previous supervisors, and even ask the individual for a second or third interview.  Make sure you get a clear picture of this person’s skills, behavior and motivations to take the job. Dedicated human resources consultants can make this process easier and ensure you receive great feedback, saving money in the long run.

Mistake #2: Not Getting Multiple Perspectives

Many entrepreneurs fail to consider the full value that the right new hire can bring to their business. Yet this person can have a tremendous impact on productivity, either good or bad. Small business recruitment is complex because a small business needs more resourcefulness out of each one of their people, as compared to a huge firm that has many people in the same role.

Hiring great people can be brutally hard! Many entrepreneurs trust their gut feelings to base their hiring decisions on. They end up with someone who glowed with personality during the interview, but is a below-average performer on the job.  There is a lot more than intuition to ensure hiring the best for your business.

One great way to avoid getting tripped up by a good interviewer is to listen and watch for the non-verbal cues during the interview process.

The best solution is to get others involved in interviewing candidates, especially a senior member of the leadership team. They may  bring an additional perspective and potentially spot things that you might miss. This should be step number one when you prepare for an interview. It is essential that the candidate is interviewed by several people.

This is where human resources consultants can deliver value, especially if a seasoned team member cannot participate in the process. An HR consultant can partake in the interview process, help draft strong and tailored job interview questions, and can offer experienced perspectives and insight as to how a recruitment candidate may help or harm your business.

Mistake #3: Failure to hire for cultural fit

As a business owner, one of your most important responsibilities is to establish a clear vision of the company’s aspirations. Defining a culture that the entire team can rally behind is a critical tool. This can provide unspoken direction in day-to-day actions that guide an employee’s personal productivity. So, with all this on the line, as a business owner, you must ensure your new hire “fits” into your culture.

When you fail to hire for cultural fit, you end up managing conflict among strong egos, personality clashes, disagreements and time-wasting debates. You end up with a dysfunctional team. This eats away at your potential profits in an insidious way day in and day out.

In order to weed out the potential toxic employees, when you prepare for an interview, develop a list of job interview questions that can easily eliminate or highlight candidates. Human resources consultants can ensure your recruitment process includes steps to test for cultural fit, so you get the best hire in place, making an important contribution to your business more quickly.

The Hiring Blind Spot

Like a driver on the road, business owners have their own blind spots too, especially in Human Resources. When it comes to HR, do you know what your own blind spots are? We think you probably have a very good idea. While each company’s blind spot may vary, it’s important business owners know where their faults reside; otherwise, it may stunt the growth of the business and profits. To help you, we have created the Empower Your Business Assessment Tool to help you illuminate what’s in your HR blind spot. So you won’t ever have to live with the results of a poor hire again!

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