The 6 most common hiring mistakes scale-ups are making - and how to avoid them

November 23, 2021

All these mistakes cause your candidates to bounce quicker than a kid on a space hopper. And here’s the thing… You don’t want that - especially with this raging “war for talent”.

Luckily we’ve asked our experts to provide you with all the resources needed to speed up your hiring process AND make it bulletproof.

Mistake #1: involving too many stakeholders 

Too many people involved = slow hiring process. You want to seal the deal asap. Or another company does it for you. Simple rule: who really needs to be involved? Who can add expertise you don’t have?

When hiring technical roles, you probably need your CTO to be involved (or if you don’t have one - someone in your company who has a technical background).

The solution to mistake #1

Simple rule: who really needs to be involved? When hiring technical roles, you probably need your CTO to be involved (or if you don’t have one someone in your company who has a technical background).

Mistake #2: confusing likeability for right fit 

We've been victim of this too. You sit down with someone for an interview and you just really like this person! Good right? Yes and no. Yes, it'll be easier working together. And no, because: you're not looking at what's really important. Can they do the job the best out of all candidates? Are they the best fit? 

The solution to mistake #2 

As this article suggests, have a competency-based assessment ready to test candidate ability. If you don’t want to read the whole article here’s the gist: “1) Give candidates a sample assignment that mimics what they would do on the job (e.g., Excel exercise or social media drafts), and score their performance. Or, 2) Identify the core competencies needed to perform on the job (whether hard or soft skills) and create exercises that test them (e.g., present a fictional situation around reaching deadlines and ask applicants to prioritize actions, to assess for project management skills).”

Mistake #3: winging the interview

If you don't have a structured way of interviewing, you'll never get the same outcome from an interview. It will not be reliable. Not good.

The solution to mistake #3: winging the interview

Structured interviews! Know exactly what you want to ask when. Luckily we’ve distilled a useful template for you to use for your next interview (interview questions included!)

Mistake #4: Too many or too few rounds

Some roles (with more responsibility) need more screenings and conversations with relevant stakeholders inside the company. Other roles don't. There's really no one-size-fits-all. 

The solution to mistake #4

The amount of screening rounds you have depends heavily on seniority. Look, I get it. When hiring a CFO (or any other critical hire for that matter) you want to be really sure you have the right person for the job. But do you really need 6 rounds for a sales rep who’s just out of college? Rule of thumb: the more critical the more rounds you need.

Mistake #5: Lowballing the final offer (ouch)

We've seen it happen time and time again. You finally have the perfect candidate. She's the best at what she does. She fits your company culture. She fits in perfectly with your current team. And what do you do?

In your final offer, you offer a way too low salary. You, my friend, have shot yourself in the foot. If this is top talent, they'll know what they're worth. They know they can get higher employee compensation somewhere else. And lowballing them leaves you with an empty talent pipeline and your role still unfulfilled. 

The solution to mistake #5

Apparently, founders like to offer salaries below the price people have in mind (or are worth). This lowballing can cause your dream candidate to quickly leave the whole process. Leaving you with nothing. What to do? Maybe you offer someone a low salary without knowing. That's where salary benchmarks come into play. We have one for the Netherlands here (and one for Berlin is coming soon!)

Mistake #6: not planning ahead

Planning for hiring makes sure your company's growth won't slow down. You'll have a full pipeline. Not planning means you're hiring when you need someone. This means you're already too late.

The solution to Mistake #6

You’ll always have a hiring problem. Best to plan for it. Ideally, you hire top talent before the need arises. That’s not to say you should just hire at random. Think about it like this: when you come across top talent try to hire them. They’re scarce, so if you cross paths try to take advantage. Having a clear hiring roadmap means you’ll be planning ahead.

Avoid these mistakes and you'll be 95% ahead of the curve. There you have it. Most founders and hiring managers still make these mistakes. But from this moment, you won't be one of them!

Let's shape the future. Together.

Let's shape the future. Together.

Let's shape the future. Together.