Julia Langkraehr’s Blog

Five hiring mistakes to avoid

five common hiring mistakes

One of your most important assets is your people, the leadership team you surround yourself with as a founder or CEO. Here are five common hiring mistakes leaders make in the process of building their team – and how the EOS tools can help you avoid them.

  1. Not clarifying the role you are hiring

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

When using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), we identify what seat you need to fill on the Accountability Chart 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 the candidate will need.

  1. 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 using the EOS People Analyser and 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 Analyser provides a black and white view of a somewhat subjective analysis of whether the person will match and fit.

Watch: What is GWC?
  1. Not knowing what level to hire at

One of the challenges a business faces when trying to scale and grow is what level to hire at – 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 organisation. He was used 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 department. It is important to use the Accountability Chart to know the seat, the roles and responsibilities which match the departmental budget, so you are hiring the right person (who matches core values), at the right level, who will deliver.

  1. Only considering internal candidates

Other hiring mistakes we see are only considering 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 or not 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.

He was promoted, he didn’t deliver the marketing plan, the sales pipeline shrank and there was discontent in the team at his leadership style. After 90 days, he resigned as he had not delivered on his Rocks and was feeling overwhelmed.

Best practice is to follow a pre-determined hiring process where you allow internal candidates to apply as well as finding the best qualified external candidates in the market. Interview and appoint the most qualified candidate, regardless of whether they are internal or external.

Read: How to design your hiring process
  1. Only considering external candidates

Only hiring external candidates can bring a different set of challenges. It is best practice to have a training programme where you develop your mid-level managers, giving them an opportunity to grow their leadership and management skills in order to give them a career path within the organisation.

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 your best talent may leave.

Every company needs to have a consistent hiring, onboarding and offboarding 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.

Contact us for more information about how EOS can help you avoid hiring mistakes and recruit the right talent to build a successful team.