Common Hiring Mistakes among Startups

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For any business, employees are the greatest asset. With every employee you hire, you take on the risk of them harming your company, but you also take on the potential to help your company where it needs to be.

However, startups don’t have the luxury of taking on too much risk, which is why hiring people can make or break the business. If you want to ensure that you’re investing in the right people, here are some hiring mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.

  1. Ignoring personality/integrity testing

Aptitude tests are important. They help gauge a potential employee’s logical reasoning, critical thinking, decision-making, and other important cognitive aptitudes. However, don’t put personality testing or integrity testing on the back burner; these types of tests are just as important and can tell you more about a person than the results of any other pre-employment test.

Having a good pre-employment integrity test in your hiring process can help you find employees that are trustworthy, responsible, and non-aggressive, among other vital personality traits. It doesn’t matter if they are the best at what they do if they also lie, cheat, and manipulate. You want people that you can trust wholeheartedly for the sake of your business and all of its constituents.

  1. Hiring people based on personal connections

Too many startup CEOs make this mistake; hiring people just because they know them personally. Unless that person is truly the right fit for the company, refrain from hiring people based on personal connections. Otherwise, it may be difficult for you to reprimand them when they do something wrong, much less let them go when they are no longer performing at their best. Not only can this affect your business, but it can also negatively impact your personal relationship with that person as well.

Do yourself a favor and keep your personal and business relationships separate. If your friend or family member is genuinely a good fit for your startup, then go ahead and hire them. But if not, don’t feel bad if you don’t give them the opportunity—trust your gut, always.

  1. Not having a clear hiring process

To find and hire the best talent, you have to have a proper hiring process in place. If you don’t, how can you be sure that your startup is hiring people based on a consistent set of standards, much less treating each applicant fairly?

Before you start expanding your business, establish a hiring process. While it is not to be set in stone, having a standard process that your HR people can use as a basis is imperative to finding the best people.

panel job interview

  1. Hiring too fast and constantly

Determining if an applicant is a right fit is not an easy nor a quick process. It takes time to analyze a person’s skills, personality, and capabilities. If the hiring process is done in a rush, you could be missing out on great people or, worse—hiring the wrong ones.

On the other hand, hiring constantly is also a big mistake that can put an unnecessary strain on your business. Unless you really can’t solve a problem with the people you have now, don’t hire people just for a quick fix. Because after the problem is resolved, what value do those new hires bring to the company?

  1. Hiring people who are just like you

Yes, hiring people who are just like you can make sense, but the purpose of taking on more people is to address the things that you can’t do. If you hire someone with the same skills, experience, strengths, and weaknesses you do, you may not be getting the value you need from that additional person.

Instead, go into hiring with this mindset: hire people with the skills, experience, and strengths that you don’t have, as well as weaknesses that are your strengths. People you hire shouldn’t be copies of yourself—they should be individuals that can actually help build your business through their own strengths, visions, and mindsets. However, you do have to ensure that your ideas, goals, and personalities complement each other—not clash.

Hiring is one of the most challenging parts of running a startup. That much is obvious with the things we’ve mentioned in this article. Nevertheless, it is a necessary step in growth. By avoiding these mistakes, however, you can reduce those growing pains and make sure that you’re hiring people that can offer significant value to your company.

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