Staff Selection 10 Top Stressful Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

You require the “right” employees for your company. It’s shocking that so many managers aren’t careful in selecting their employees. Selection of staff is a expensive process. Avoid these ten errors. Find better employees, lower the cost of your operations and make managing less stressful.

1. Uncertainty about what you’re doing

The reason for selecting staff is to get the task accomplished. It’s not, I repeat – to pick an individual. It’s the same as buying something to run your business. First decide what you would like to accomplish. Then , you can purchase something or someone else, who can help you achieve your goal. You’re the one buying. The buyers are the sellers. Not the reverse. It’s not your intention to “sell” your company to them. You’re trying to “sell” their skills and knowledge to you.

2. Poor Job Analysis

You’ll need an output-focused job analysis, not an overly long job description that has “and additional duties as needed” to the end. It’s important to know before that you begin what you’ll know the certainty that you’ve achieved success. To achieve this it is essential to have an exact, quantifiable idea of what the task is intended to accomplish.

3 imprecise job ad

When you choose to employ an ad or an agency be aware that the aim of the job advertisement is to draw in the “ideal” applicant and dissuade all others from applying. You’re after “few but perfect” candidates. If your ad gets lots of responses, then you’ve made a terrible advertisement. Assess the effectiveness of your advertisement by its quality of the content, not the number of applicants. Make it clear to potential applicants. Tell them “Only apply if you are …” you are interested” or “Do not apply unless you are sure of your qualifications. …” You are sure that your advertisement is precise and specific instructions regarding what you’re looking for.

4. Asking For Written Applications

Never, ever, ever ask for written applications. Do you think you could buy a brand new computer by placing an advertisement in the paper and asking each retailer that you could to write to you to give you the reason what you need to know before buying their laptop? Don’t “buy” employees that method either.

Include your name and telephone number on the advertisement. Invite applicants to call you. Examine them over the phone. Request an interview only when you’re sure they can meet the goals of the job. You must be “tough yet honest” in your evaluation. In the event that an employee, consultant or agent sends you an application with a resume, return it immediately. Include a friendly note soliciting them to contact you, as stated in the advertisement. You will save time. Save money. Eliminate anxiety.

5. Failure To Test

I am amazed that competency tests aren’t required for the selection process for staff. This is true for everyone even those who are applying for a managerial job. You can’t tell what an applicant is capable of just by speaking with them. If a candidate claims they’re able to do something that they can do, there’s only one way to know if they’re actually telling the truth. Make them do it.

6. “Experience Trap” 6 “Experience Trap”

Your primary concern is what the applicants – sellers – could provide for your business in the coming years and not based on the work they’ve performed for someone previously. But so many managers focus on their past performance when selecting candidates. This is important, but it’s not the only thing to consider. Always ask yourself “What effects will this person bring to my company in the near future?” Make sure you don’t get fooled and then fall into”the “experience fallacy”.

7. Reliable References and Referees Reports

I will not mince words. Don’t ignore references written in any form. Examine the verbal references of referees with suspicion. Candidates will only submit written references that praise them and praise their talents and abilities. What is the reason to pay attention? The applicants will name people who will do the same. Even if a written report criticizes the applicant, you won’t know if the person who is referring to “has an agenda to pursue” or has a “hidden plan” or at the very least they are hostile towards your company. Make sure you request documents proving the claimed qualifications of candidates who “pass” the phone screen.

8. Overvaluing the Face To Face Interview

Face-to-face interview is a significant privilege that should be only granted to candidates who meet the criteria.


  • You’re completely satisfied with the demanding requirements of the screen on your phone.
  • They demonstrated their expertise in a manner that was satisfactory to you.


The face-to-face interview is only for the few candidates that you have a good idea are able to perform the job. It serves three main purposes.


  • In order to help you determine whether they “fit your lifestyle”
  • In order to help you resolve all concerns that you might have
  • To answer any questions that they may have about the job, your conditions and general aspects of working for you.


Interview as few applicants as you can. It should be among the last actions you take during the process of selection. Face to face interviews should be focused on “culture suitable” not about competence. I’ll repeat it again. You can’t discern what people are capable of doing simply by speaking to them. It doesn’t matter how skilled an interviewer you think you are.

9. Neglecting the PR

The process of selecting staff members could also serve as a publicity activity. People from different backgrounds are contacting your company for the first time. Be honest and sincere with them. Even if they are completely unsuitable, their coworkers and friends may be potential customers or customers. Keep your manner professional and courteous.

Another thing to note is that unsuccessful applicants need to be aware that they are not successful as soon as they can during the process, most likely in the phone screening. Also, whatever it is, you must honor the exact wording of any promise you make to a candidate. If you say to a potential applicant that you’ll contact them at 10 am on the next day ensure that you adhere to that.

10. Being Rushed

Hasten slowly. You’re planning to invest tens of thousands, maybe hundreds or even a few thousand dollars into the development of a new resource. You’re hoping for a huge ROI on the investment. Make sure you take your time. Be thorough in your preparation. Create and implement scripts for each interaction you have with any candidate through phone, face-to- the face, or in any other manner. The more quickly you hurry your response, the more likely to commit a mistake. Incorrect selection of staff can extremely costly.


I’m aware that a lot of what I’ve spoken about challenges the accepted wisdom of selection of staff. This doesn’t bother me in the least. I’ve been working on and around selection for a long time. I’ve written articles, books guides, eBooks, manuals, and self-help texts on the topic. My primary goal is to ensure that managers make the most effective decision regarding their business’s selection. If this causes a rift with those who are referred to as personnel selection “professionals” then so be it. However, if it does help to dispel the mythology that they have created to guard their personnel selection “patch” I’ll be thrilled.

Leon Noone helps managers in small-medium enterprises improve their employee performance, without having to take training courses. His thoughts are quite novel. Leon is challenging the conventional wisdom about management training, people management and is highly effective in improving the performance of employees in small and medium-sized businesses.


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