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The Biggest Hiring Mistake: 4 Key Takeaways From Our Expert Interview

In Hiring Strategy — by Erin Engstrom

Raj Sheth, the CEO and co-founder Recruiterbox, was a recent guest on the B2B Nation: HR Edition podcast. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice, explores a variety of HR trends and challenges through conversations with industry leaders.

In this episode, Raj discussed the biggest hiring mistake companies make, how HR managers can learn, and the importance of structure in the hiring process.

Here are Raj’s four biggest insights from the conversation.

1. The biggest hiring mistake companies make is not knowing exactly what you’re hiring for.

“What I mean by that is we start by saying that, ‘Hey, here’s a title and we need somebody.’ Let’s say it’s an account executive. I’ll just take a simple example. We require somebody to do sales. However, a lot of the times we don’t really define exactly what business problem this role will solve. After this person comes in, what exactly will be transformed and sold and what will I not have to worry about? And to solve that, what are exactly the activities that this person would be doing? So if you don’t define, to a greater level of clarity, what a role will be doing, then we will not really know how to evaluate for that role because once you know what a person is going to be doing, you can map that to the requirements of that role – be it skills, or characteristics, et cetera.

“Then comes in all the process stuff like putting your opening out there on generic places, trying to flood your inbox or ATS with candidates from a lot of sources because usually we are working on timelines and deadlines, and it just psychologically feels better if you’re getting a larger volume of candidates, but that might only distract you from making better evaluation decisions. I would say one and two in terms of faux pas.”

2. I have really come to understand structure.

“We talk to a lot of customers. We have 15,000 active users in over 1,500 companies that are using us right now. And so many others that trial with us and we may or may not be a good fit. We talk to these people and essentially the folks that have a long-term view of the hiring, what they set out to do is – whether it’s the HR person or the head of the department or the founder – they set out, ‘What do you we want to interview this person against?’ Right? Should I go back to the characteristics? So they have a structured evaluation template.

“Even if there are four people in the team that are going to do the interview and the other two, three people might be peers or members of that team – they’re not responsible for hiring – but HR and the group leaders will essentially make sure that they have done the groundwork, the homework, to put that structured evaluation template. When another member of the team is performing the interview, they know what they are interviewing for.”

3. You have so many interviews surprisingly that are still ad hoc conversations, and people will still say that, ‘Hey, I’ve always had a great gut about this. I don’t need to ask any structured questions. I’m just going to have a chat. I’m going to have a casual conversation.’

“While that may be, it should be a part of it for culture fit, et cetera, the point is that without having a conversation against a fixed set of characteristics, people are going to be all over the place. You’re not going to be able to take that feedback and do anything with it. People may be very diverse in their feedback. That’s a very specific example of structure for me: who should be doing the interviews, how the interviews should be done, what’s the weight we should put on each characteristic, et cetera. And it’s not really complicated once you have put that in place. In fact, it makes things simpler because people don’t have to guess. They interviewed seven candidates, and guess what? They interviewed all seven against a static set of characteristics.”

4. The truth is that this should be done very, very early on because it’s going to define who are the first 20, 30, 70 people that form that company.

“Structure is usually important and, in fact, the other mistake that I personally made, to be honest, is that I thought, ‘Oh, that is when your company has 100 employees, and you have HR and dedicated folks to work on it.’ If you’re not doing it at the get-go, it will be very difficult to get people to change their habits later. We learned this the hard way, internally, but that structure is super-important in your interview evaluation hiring process.”

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company looking to help buyers find the best HR software, payroll systems, and more. The interview was conducted by Josh Bland.

Trakstar Hire is considered the most user friendly hiring software on the market. If you’re ready to take your recruiting and hiring to the next level, request a Trakstar Hire demo today.