Six Common Workforce Mistakes to Avoid


In the haste to fill crucial vacant positions and get new workers started, it can be easy to make missteps along the way—even for a seasoned hiring manager who thinks they may have seen it all.

Here’s a quick look at six common workforce errors, and how to avoid such pitfalls, from the selection process to the initial training of your staffers.

Overlooking Diversity

A diverse workforce is a strong workforce, and by building a staff of differing age groups and cultural backgrounds you set the stage for better brainstorming, more outside-the-box ideas and probably a better array of skill-sets. Make a conscious effort to instill a healthy diversity into the composition of your team and you’ll be rewarded with a better bottom line.

Background Blunders

Unless you’re working with a professional hiring firm that fully reviews job history and references, don’t make the mistake of underrating the importance of background checks. Try to speak with at least one reference that has worked with the candidate, as well as a personal reference. It’s easy to look at someone with an Ivy League education and impressive work history and want to snap them up, but the fact of the matter is people can put whatever they want on their resume—and often do. Better safe than sorry when making a big hiring move.

Leaving Your Team Out

 It’s easy to fall into the habit of being a ‘one-man show’ when it comes to your company’s hiring and staffing, but it can be a serious oversight to not involve input from your current employees and executives when making hiring moves. If you’re hiring a graphic designer, for example, make sure to include the creative director and whomever else might be working closely with the new hire, during the outreach/selection process. Some companies even put together small ‘decision-making’ teams for new hires to ensure these key choices aren’t made at the whim of one executive.

Underrating Attitude

Imagine you’ve narrowed a position down to two candidates; one has the necessary skill-set and beyond but has put you off slightly with their attitude and lack of enthusiasm—while the other candidate has somewhat imperfect qualifications but seems a great cultural fit and eager to pitch in with a team. In these situations it’s always best to remember someone can always learn Photoshop and Excel (for example), but you can’t teach someone to have a good mindset about the work if they don’t already. A great attitude is something that should be treasured as much as any tangible skill.

Ignoring Interim

Leaving a few positions unfilled for a bit might seem somewhat harmless on first thought, but recent studies have shown that job openings left vacant for too long cost U.S. companies more than $72 Billion annually. One approach that can help avoid your organization taking a hit to its bottom line is through the use of interim employees, which not only help prevent a churn with your efficiency but also provide some ‘cover’ while you continue seeking the ideal long-term candidate. A similar strategy is hiring ‘contract-to-hire’ professionals, which will get the position filled and not commit you to hiring someone on a more-permanent basis.

Under-training Incomers

 It’s an everyday practice for organizations to expect workers to learn ‘on the fly,’ in their eagerness to get new workers contributing. But dedicating that extra time to thoroughly training your new workers before throwing them into the thick of the work is an investment that can’t be overvalued. You’ll avoid key mistakes from them down the line, and dodge the constant need to hand-hold them in the future. Anyone who has worked alongside improperly trained workers knows what a burden that can take on the rest of your team moving forward.

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