Five hiring mistakes to avoid

Photo of Malik Kahn
Malik Kahn

By Malik Khan, EOS Worldwide

As a business owner, two of your most important assets are your employees and your leadership team, especially in today’s construction industry. Here are five common mistakes that business owners make when building their teams:

1. Not Clarifying the Role You Are Hiring For

An accountancy firm needed a marketing manager but did not clarify whether it was a strategic big picture role or a role that combined strategy and execution. They ended up hiring someone who was strong on strategy and writing the plans, but not on updating and fixing the website, gathering leads for the sales team, and producing regular newsletters and blogs.

When using an Accountability Chart (EOS Tools), you can identify what seat you need to fill on the and the five main roles in that seat. From these five roles, you can create a detailed job description with the skills and experience that the ideal candidate will need.

2. Not Hiring Around Your Culture and Values

Before you consider whether a candidate has the right skills and experience, we believe it is imperative that they match the company’s core values. Without a core values match, it doesn’t matter how much expertise they have, what their accomplishments are or what brands they have worked with, they won’t fit in, and may cause problems for a healthy team who have been working together well – such as disruption and division.

By interviewing with questions around the company’s core values, you can determine whether a person matches these and/or meets a minimum standard. The People Analyzer (EOS Tools) provides a black and white view of a somewhat subjective analysis of whether the person will match and fit.

3. Not Knowing What Level to Hire At

One of the challenges a business faces when trying to scale and grow is what level of experience to hire: junior, team lead, or a senior level position. Are you hiring someone who is going to grow into a leadership role, or someone who needs to come in with management experience, who knows how to hire, train, and lead a department?

A client I have worked with hired an operations manager who had worked in a much larger organization. He was used to working with greater resources and larger budgets and he overspent on recruitment fees. Eventually he left the business and one of the people he hired became the head of the department. It is important to define the seat, the roles and the responsibilities which match the departmental budget. This will ensure that you are hiring the right person (who matches core values), at the right level, who can deliver.


Five hiring mistakes to avoid

1. Not clarifying the role you are hiring for

2. Not hiring around your culture and values

3. Not knowing what level to hire at

4. Only considering internal candidates

5. Only considering external candidates


4. Only Considering Internal Candidates

Some companies only consider internal candidates and forget that the best practice is to recruit the right person who matches the seat requirements, regardless of whether they are internal or external.

One of my clients had discussion and debated whether to promote a lead sales manager as head of sales and marketing. The founder had previously held this position and wanted to reward the existing sales manager with the opportunity.

The sales manager was promoted, but he didn’t deliver on the marketing plan. As a result, the sales pipeline shrank and there was discontent with his leadership style. After 90 days, he resigned because he had not delivered and was feeling overwhelmed.

The best practice is to follow a pre-determined hiring process that allows you to accept applications from internal candidates while still looking for the best qualified external candidates. Interview and appoint the most qualified candidate, regardless of whether they are internal or external.

5. Only Considering External Candidates

Only hiring external candidates can bring a different set of challenges. It is a best practice to have a training program to develop your mid-level managers, giving them an opportunity to grow their leadership and management skills. This gives them a career path within the organization.

If you consistently hire your top-level managers and leaders externally, ambitious members of your team may feel there is no chance of promotion or advancement. The danger is that your best talent may leave.

Every company needs to have a consistent hiring, on-boarding, and off-boarding process. Using the EOS tools and systems helps take the complication and hassle out of hiring, as well as finding the right talent as the company evolves and grows.

Malik Khan is an EOS Implementer helping business owners and their leadership teams get what they want from their businesses and to reach their full potential. He can be reached through email or at 847-909-0499 or visit his website.

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