Hiring Managers: Avoid These Landmines

Hiring Managers: Avoid These Landmines

There are plenty of good reasons why companies miss out on talented job candidates. Timing and compatibility, for instance, are valid issues that sometimes can’t be solved. This is no one’s fault.

The toughest pill to swallow, though, is when unforced errors in the hiring process result in companies losing out on elite talent.

Below we list some of the most common problems we see, and we explain how to avoid these mishaps.



It’s critical that people who apply for a job have their confidentiality protected. Some employers use backdoor references to check a job candidate’s reputation and work history. The problem is, you may unintentionally alert the candidate’s existing employer that they’re job searching, which results in you losing the candidate’s trust. Don’t miss out on a great candidate by violating their confidentiality. 



Many companies try to “win” salary negotiations by offering a candidate $10k to $15k less than their market rate. We’ve seen scenarios where candidates accept the lower salary, but they eventually leave when presented with an opportunity that values their abilities appropriately. The end result is the loss of a new value-added employee, and this ends up costing the company more than the $10k to $15k they tried to save.


Resume Screening

If you rely on a resume screening process where a computer can reject job candidates, you’ll miss out on someone great. Remember: You’re hiring people, not paper. Additionally, if you have an actual person reviewing resumes, that individual should have relevant industry expertise. This is so that they can understand what the resume is saying and implying.

In terms of reviewing resumes, be mindful of candidates who switch jobs frequently, as well as candidates with a high ratio of contract-to-direct-hire work. This is not because that individual is incompetent or can’t hold a job. It’s because those flags often indicate that the thrill of something new excites them. Unless the position you are offering is incredibly dynamic, it may not bode well for having that individual as a long-term employee.


Phone Screening

The best way to gauge someone’s competency for a job is to be very specific in what you’re looking for. That way, you can ask the types of probing questions that will reveal a candidate’s knowledge and skillset.

Also, keep in mind that good employees do not necessarily make good interviewers. Keep that in mind as you weigh interviews, and remember that an interview is only a part of the entire evaluation process. 

Avoid asking questions related to age, kids, religion, or sexual preference. These are irrelevant to a job candidate’s abilities, and you make yourself liable for a potential discrimination lawsuit. 

We also see interviewers ask questions in a leading way that reveals the desired answers. This often occurs when the screener wants to fill an awkward silence. Be comfortable asking a direct question, and if the candidate is unclear, s/he can follow up.

Lastly, if you find yourself talking in the interview more than the job candidate, this is a bad sign. Do not get carried away in your enthusiasm and keep in mind the objective is to learn more about the person applying for the job. 



Job candidates have their own jobs and their own lives. Asking them to leave work 3+ times and take multiple hours out of their days for interviews and assessments shows a lack of understanding and respect. This approach also sets a bad precedent. A candidate may wonder, “If they’re asking all of this from someone they don’t pay, what do they ask of people they do pay?”


Job Descriptions

A lot of job descriptions end up being wish lists where companies ask for an unreasonable amount of things from one individual. Be realistic in terms of the workload and expectations for one person. Otherwise, you’ll scare away great candidates, or even worse, hire a great candidate only to  have them get burned out and leave.


Need help with your hiring process? Looking for ways to optimize your candidate screenings? Reach out to us at sales@recruitAbility.ai for a free consultation.