The top three mistakes made when recruiting and hiring

In working with thousands of business owners over the past three decades, I routinely hear of their recruitment and retention woes. Since there is a right and wrong way to do anything, I’d like to address the three biggest ‘wrong ways’ a hiring process can be done.



This is a bigger problem in the corporate arena but it has application in any business. There are just too many interviews.

HR interviews the candidate, passes them off to a manager, who passes them off to the head of the department or division and up the corporate ladder.

The first thing we need to do is consider the plight of the candidate. Usually, they are looking for a job because they’re either miserable at their current place of employment or not working at all. They are, generally, unhappy and there is probably a lot of personal stress affecting them and their families.

I have a hard time getting companies that I help to admit this but all of these interviews are generally thrown in to cover the interviewers’ backs. If the candidate doesn’t work out, it gives an excuse of “they interviewed them too.”

I get it; but at the end of the day someone needs to make a decision and be willing to hire the wrong person. You can always hire the runner-up later.


This is related to #1, but you may need to consider going faster. If there’s no way you can cut the number of interviews down, then speed up the process. Depending on the position, the process should reach a conclusion in two to three weeks maximum. Two or three days is MUCH better.

Again, think about the candidate. They need a job. Let’s do them a favor and get the process completed as expeditiously as possible.

Sorry to tell you, but #1 and #2 are the MAIN reasons for losing good candidates. They are looking for a job and usually need to get the process done fast. By itself, too many interviews and moving too slowly can, by process of elimination, cost you the best candidates.

Think about it. The motivated, hungry candidates might even take less pay just to get the process over with. Who does that leave you? Candidates that have a hard time making a decision or aren’t that motivated. Possibly, candidates that are more interested in the financial package than contributing to the overall purpose of the company.


First of all, don’t enter into the hiring process without having your minimum and maximum tolerated offer very clear to everyone involved in the decision process. I suggest using caution when trying to save a few thousand dollars per year when it comes to having a quality employee; especially in a position that’s critical to sales, product development or customer service. Having the maximum offer too low can immediately eliminate the perfect person for the position.

The old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ applies here. I’m all for saving money, but be sure to evaluate what the right hire can do for the company. That benefit has a price tag.

Once the pay is established internally, someone needs to ask the candidates what they’re expecting. If you aren’t in the ballpark, let’s find out early in the process before more time and money is spent vetting out candidates. ASK THEM!

If these three issues are properly addressed, the process will be a better experience for all involved and you’ll end up with supremely better results.

Greg Winteregg

Greg is an internationally recognized entrepreneur, lecturer and mentor that specializes in helping small business owners reach the maximum potential for their business. He’s lectured to and worked with business owners in ten countries across three continents and built several successful small businesses himself. Contact Greg: [email protected].

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