Salient Steps to Avoid Deadly Sins of Hiring in Business

Most recruiters don’t realise that they have made mistakes during the recruitment and selection process. They continue with the same old recruitment and selection process, resulting in a large pool of dissatisfied candidates and a bad reputation for the recruiter. 

Many recruiters knowingly or unknowingly make mistakes during the recruitment and selection process. And most of the time, they don’t even know that they have done so and that it must be rectified going forward. This complicates things as you continue with the same old recruitment and selection process, resulting in a large pool of dissatisfied candidates and a bad reputation for the recruiter. So before we get started with the must-nots, here are some must-dos.


Dear HR, when building your firm’s recruitment strategy, keep the following in mind: company culture, hiring process, compliance, HR tools, job-hopping candidates, employee referral, interview strategies, job seeker interest, employee branding, etc. Use this as your employee handbook to hire candidates that are a perfect match for the job openings at your organization.

Bad HR practice

Allow us to explain this with an example.

Neha was looking for better job opportunities. Like all job seekers, she uploaded her resume online and was soon contacted by an HR executive who said, “Hi, I found your profile online and you’re exactly who we are looking for.”

This conversation further materialised into rounds of interviews on the phone, followed by one or two on-site interview rounds, for which Neha had to take a couple of days off from her current job. After the final round, the friendly HR gave her a tour of the office, including the workstation that she would be placed at when she joins the company. Neha was emotionally overwhelmed and excited about this new opportunity. She welcomed the prospect of better pay and a good company.

Neha expected the offer letter in a few days and was making her plans accordingly. But the week went by uneventfully; two more weeks followed without any response. Her emails and phone calls went unanswered. Finally, she felt she was left in the lurch by the recruiter when, after a month, she discovered that another person was hired in the position.’

Where and how did it go wrong? The problem in this incident wasn’t the lack of a job offer, but how the HR handled the recruitment and section process. This step is where most errors happen and they are what we call the sins of hiring.

Let us, therefore, look at the deadly hiring sins that can affect one’s corporate culture and how can you avoid or rectify them. Use this as a guide or employee handbook as you go about with your hiring process.

1. Pursuing the job seeker, then ignoring them later

This is exactly what Neha went through in our example. Many recruiters take the recruitment and selection process lightly and think of it as a mere activity to fill the vacancy. But that is not how it should be looked at.

The recruitment process is all about building a relationship. It is like a long-term investment which will yield results most unexpectedly. A positive bond always delivers benefits, if not now maybe later.

After pursuing a candidate, you realise that they are not that qualified for the job role and that you have found a better candidate. This doesn’t mean that you will ignore the first applicant/candidate altogether. Closing the door on them without communicating this to them will not reap any positive benefits, especially after you have spent considerable time pursuing the candidate.

But, ending things on a healthy and positive note will leave you with better employee branding. Think of it this way. What if the candidate you chose over the first applicant says NO days before joining or simply absconds? You will at least have a back up with the first candidate because you didn’t simply ignore her/him.

Plus, a job seeker is aware that they will face rejection in their job search and they are prepared for it. Hence, they will not mind rejection, but an abrupt end to the procedure followed by an ignorant attitude will affect them and the employee branding of your company.

2. Not responding to active job seekers who submit the resume

You may be the busiest bee in the hiring space with very little time for what you consider as the least important activities. But remember, that is one of the biggest sins you commit. You might think that you are not expected to respond.

But, responding to an email takes very little time while creating a great impression in the candidate’s mind. Always remember, the job seeker may not be suitable for the current job role, but they may be suitable for another position that might open up in the future and can be a great workplace culture fit.

3. Narrow-mindedness with your requirements

Many recruiters are too conservative and rigid with their requirements. Here’s the perfect example that shows why this can be a bad thing.

A recruiter hiring for a real estate sales executive role only wanted to hire candidates from the real estate industry. Additionally, he only wanted those who passed out from a particular graduate school. He then topped those up with multiple other stringent constraints.

When asked about how experience in a particular industry or passing out from a particular school mattered in assessing the abilities of the candidate, the recruiter had no conclusive answer. Nonetheless, he stuck to his hiring process.

Cutting the long story short, he took months to hire a candidate in the position, while his competitors found candidates much faster, achieving their recruitment goals a lot faster with good hires.

By being too constrained with your hiring requirements, you may miss out on some really good candidates with outstanding work experience. So, consider hiring candidates from other industries or sectors as well. They might just be able to pull off the job well, even better than expected from them.

4. Judgement based on perception rather than evaluation

Recruiters tend to base their judgement on biased perceptions and stereotypes rather than a proper evaluation during the interview and hiring process. Try to stay away from such practices as much as possible, as you may miss out on the best candidates.

Avoid doing this:

    • Rejecting a job seeker because they did not attend a top graduate school
    • Judging a candidate by their clothes
    • Basing a candidate’s communication skill based on their accent
    • Mistaking an introverted candidate as someone who lacks fresh ideas

Making judgements based on stereotypes and biased perceptions is a serious mistake that comes with heavy consequences. You will lose out on the best candidates if this is your recruitment and selection process. Always evaluate the candidates properly as per the structured procedure and then make the judgement based on your evaluation. The evaluation will give a fair chance to the candidate to present themselves, and even they will appreciate a fair judgement.

Hiring is a people-centric business. Make sure you have good people skills to manage your pool of job candidates. The more you communicate with applicants, the more success you will find.

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