Hiring a new employee comes with risks. The right hire can drive your company forward to greater success. Invest in the wrong person, however, and you can cause real damage to company culture and productivity. Startup CEOs, in particular, should be wary of making common hiring mistakes.
1. Hiring constantly. A common misstep made by startup entrepreneurs is hiring too often or hiring for a quick fix. Not only will you waste time as you assess candidates, but you also risk wasting money on rash hiring decisions.
2. Hiring someone because you know them. When you hire friends or family members, you set yourself up for a few potential problems. Will that person expect special treatment? If the person doesn’t perform well, will you be able to give honest criticism—or will you lower your standards as you avoid speaking to the person? If needed, can you fire that person—and still remain friends?
3. Hiring someone because they need your help. The hiring process is as difficult as applying to college as an international student. If you’re considering hiring someone just because you want to help them out or you owe them a favor, think again. You may just be hiring somebody who won’t add value and won’t be willing to go the extra mile to help you and your company.
4. Hiring someone to train them. If you have a serious need to fill, hire an experienced professional. Hiring someone with the idea that you’ll train them means you’re probably going to waste time and resources. Internships and mentorships shouldn’t be confused with actual hires.
5. Hiring someone who is a jack of all trades. As a start-up entrepreneur, you may find it handy to have a person on board who can handle a variety of responsibilities. This approach, however, does not help the employee or your company. Asking your staff member to do a bit of everything means he or she will likely not develop a meaningful depth of understanding or a specialty.
6. Going too fast with the hiring process. Create a process for hiring with clear milestones. Allow it to take time, so you can carefully assess each candidate. You may miss out on a gem because you are in a hurry to hire or too quick to scan a long list of candidates.
7. Hiring charismatic individuals. If you’re drawn to the flashier candidates, you’ll not only miss out on recognizing the talent of other, quieter candidates but also the talent of people working for you currently. Don’t let charisma blind you to the true capabilities of a candidate.
8. Creating unnecessary restrictions during the hiring process. Startup entrepreneurs who create unique restrictions and expect human resources to follow strict instructions may miss out on great hires—and may be allowing illegal hiring practices. Consult with a lawyer familiar with employment law if you’re unsure about any of your requirements or restrictions.
Written for EO Octane by Stephen Marshal, press release director at LMG Solutions.