Top 5 recruitment mistakes costing you time & money (and how to avoid them)

by Andrew Childerley

Top 5 recruitment mistakes costing you time & money (and how to avoid them)

Top 5 recruitment mistakes costing you time & money (and how to avoid them)

Recruitment is a crucial process for any business. Get it right, and you land a talented team member who fuels growth and success. Get it wrong, and you're stuck with wasted time, lost money, and a whole lot of frustration.

Unfortunately, even the best companies can fall victim to common mistakes during their recruitment process. Draining resources, damaging your employer brand and impeding your ability to attract top talent.

So, what are the biggest culprits? Here are 5 common recruitment mistakes and how to fix them:

1. Ignoring the "Passive" Pool:

Posting a generic job description on a single job board and hoping for the best is a recipe for disaster. This passive approach reaches a limited pool of candidates, often missing out on the hidden gems. A whopping 90% of qualified candidates aren't actively looking for jobs. They're the "passive" pool, who are actively engaged in their careers but not actively searching for new roles.


  • Craft compelling job descriptions: Highlight your company culture, values, and unique selling points. Be specific about the role and the skills you need.
  • Diversify your channels: To reach the passive pool, ditch the generic job boards and tap into industry networks using employee referrals, targeted social media outreach, and industry events
  • Go proactive: Engage with potential candidates through targeted outreach and employer branding initiatives.

2. Procrastination:

In today's fast-paced job market, candidates have options. Taking weeks or months to move through the interview process is a guaranteed way to lose top talent who will accept offers elsewhere.


  • Streamline your process: Set clear timelines for each stage of the interview and stick to them. Utilise online scheduling tools and pre-screening questions to increase efficiency.
  • Communicate effectively: Keep candidates informed throughout the process, regardless of the outcome. A timely rejection email is better than radio silence.
  • Move quickly: Once you identify the right candidate, don't hesitate to make an offer. Show them you value their time and talent.

3. Skill-seeking:

Focusing solely on technical skills and experience can lead you to overlook candidates with immense potential. Soft skills like communication, teamwork, and adaptability are crucial for long-term success.


  • Go beyond the CV: Design interview questions that assess soft skills and cultural fit. Consider work samples, case studies, or group projects to evaluate potential beyond paper qualifications.
  • Embrace diversity: Look for candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences. They bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table.
  • Invest in training: Don't be afraid to employ someone with the right attitude and potential, even if they lack some specific skills. Invest in training and development to help them grow and succeed.

4. Acting on instinct:

Relying solely on intuition or gut feeling during the interview process can lead to biased decisions and missed opportunities.


  • Standardise your process: Utilise structured interview questions and scoring matrix to ensure objectivity and consistency.
  • Involve multiple stakeholders: Get feedback from different team members to gain a well-rounded perspective on each candidate.
  • Beware of unconscious bias: Train your hiring team to recognise and address unconscious biases that can influence their decision-making.

5. Bargain hunting:

Cutting corners on recruitment can backfire spectacularly. Sacrificing quality for a lower cost can lead to bad hires, high turnover, and ultimately, more expensive long-term consequences.


  • Invest in your recruitment process: Consider hiring a dedicated recruiter or utilising recruitment software to streamline your efforts.
  • Offer competitive remuneration and benefits: A fair and attractive package attracts and retains top talent. Don't low ball at the offer stage, it will only make the candidate feel undervalued.
  • Focus on long-term value: Look beyond the immediate cost of hiring and consider the candidate's potential contribution to your company's future success.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can make your recruitment process more efficient, effective, and cost-effective. Remember, investing in the right talent is an investment in your company's future. So, prioritise quality, embrace a proactive approach, and watch your team flourish.

Do you have any recruitment horror stories or tips to share? Let's keep the conversation going in the comments below!


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