How To Avoid One Of The Biggest Recruiting Mistakes

Posted by Ryan Frazier

Experience is a great asset to have in an employee, but a new study from Florida State University found that it doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, focusing too closely on experience could cause you to miss out on great talent and overlook potential red flags. According to the study, researchers found no correlation between an employee’s prior experience and their performance at a new company, yet a review of job ads showed that 82% prioritize experience.

So what are the key predictors of success? Knowledge, skills and personality traits can go much further in determining how successful someone will be in their role and they have the added benefit of giving you a well-rounded view of a candidate. 

Focus on knowledge, not experience
Knowledge and experience may appear synonymous, but the reality is that they’re often not the same. While experience indicates the number of years someone has spent in a particular role, knowledge is the transferable skill that they’re able to bring to their next position. When screening candidates, prioritizing knowledge rather than years of experience can ensure that you find someone who has the skills to get the job done. 

How to do it: Ask tactical questions. When it comes to determining whether someone has the knowledge to succeed in their role, asking about previous projects can help you get a better sense of what they’ve done in the past and how they can apply that knowledge to future projects. Don’t be afraid to get specific — asking for clear examples can help you get a better sense of their skills. 

Hire with culture fit in mind
We’ve written frequently about the importance of culture fit, and for good reason — it can make or break an organization. Turnover due to poor culture fit can cost a company 50-60% of an employee’s yearly salary and it can lead to a dip in morale. To set new hires up for success, make culture fit a part of the conversation from the beginning. This will ensure that candidates know what to expect before they start and that you’re both able to determine if they’re the best person for the role. 

How to do it: Emphasize the importance of culture from the get-go and ask candidates what they’re looking for in an ideal workplace. Then, outline your organization’s mission and values and consider making a culture fit interview a part of your hiring process. This is a great way to assess a candidate’s values and determine how they align with yours. 

Don’t overlook soft skills
One of the key trends that have gained popularity in recent years, soft skills can be effective predictors of success. These types of skills include communication, adaptability and emotional intelligence. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, emotional intelligence is one of the top 10 most wanted job skills. What’s more, another study shows that employees who receive soft skills training are 12% more productive than those who don’t. When looking for new hires, keeping these important traits in mind can make a big difference to their overall success.

How to do it: Focus on soft skills during every stage of the interview process and notice how candidates interact with members of your team. To get a sense of how they handle specific situations, ask them about particular challenges they’re likely to face in their new role and how they would address them. This will give you a sense of their ability to work through specific issues while also helping you determine their level of emotional intelligence.

Employee success can seem hard to predict, but focusing on a few key factors can make it easier. By incorporating these strategies into your existing recruiting process, you’ll be able to avoid costly mistakes while setting yourself up for recruiting success. 

Want to improve your talent acquisition strategies even further? Learn how to measure employer brand success and the top 3 tips for recruiting tech talent.

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