9 Telltale Signs Your Approach To Hiring Is Wrong

In this blog post, we'll delve into 9 telltale signs that could indicate your approach to hiring is flawed and provide effective strategies for improvement.

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Hiring the right candidate is not only about filling a position, it is about investing in a resource that will add value to your organisation. If your hiring strategy is misaligned, it can lead to wasted resources, diminished productivity, and missed opportunities.

In this blog post, we'll delve into 9 telltale signs that could indicate your approach to hiring is flawed and provide effective strategies for improvement.

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Signs That Your Hiring Approach May Be Wrong

Every organisation aims to hire the best talent available, but sometimes, the methods can be counterproductive. Recognizing the symptoms early can make all the difference.

1. Lack of Job Postings Internally

Overlooking the talent within your company is one of the first signs your hiring approach may have some flaws. Before posting a job vacancy externally, it's essential to consider whether a suitable candidate might already be part of the organisation.

Internal job postings boost employee morale and ensure that individuals who already understand the company's culture and goals are filling those roles. Ignoring this can deprive your firm of leveraging existing talent and lead to demotivated employees, especially when they see a potential opportunity in an open role that the company didn't inform them about.     

HCM and ERP systems can further promote such internal mobility.

2. Low Percentage of Internal Hires

While external hires bring fresh perspectives and skills, relying too heavily on them can be a red flag.

A meagre percentage of internal hires can indicate that current employees aren't being considered or groomed for advanced roles. This could be due to a lack of training, development, or the lack of internal job postings.

Relying predominantly on external hires might suggest the company does not value its current employees' growth and capabilities. Over time, this can lead to decreased employee loyalty and commitment.

3. High Costs of External Hiring

While external hiring is necessary to bring in fresh talent and expertise, it can be costlier than promoting or moving internal talent. Expenses like recruitment agency fees, advertising costs, training, and onboarding can add up.

If the organisation is spending exorbitantly on external hiring while neglecting internal talent development, it could suggest an imbalance in the hiring approach. Moreover, when the employee incentive program isn't aligned with the hiring strategy, it might not yield the desired retention outcomes.

4. Frequent Employee Turnover

A high turnover rate is one of the most glaring signs of an ineffective hiring approach. While numerous factors can lead to employee attrition, consistently hiring candidates who don't fit the company culture or aren't adequately prepared for their roles can be a significant contributor.

Frequent turnover not only increases hiring costs but also impacts team morale and productivity. When a company continually loses employees shortly after hiring, it's a clear indication that something is wrong with the hiring process or post-hiring integration.

Evaluating the effectiveness of the employee incentive program, along with refining the hiring strategy, can help address such challenges.

5. Decreased Employee Morale and Engagement

A flawed hiring approach doesn't only impact recruits. Current employees are affected too. If they perceive that there's a lack of fairness in hiring or that inadequate candidates are consistently brought on board, their morale can plummet.

Observing a string of ill-fitting hires can lead to doubts about the company's future and their place within it. Such perceptions can also diminish engagement, making employees less invested in their roles and responsibilities.

Furthermore, if current employees believe they're passed over for promotions or new opportunities in favour of external hires, it can be disheartening. Organisations should ensure their hiring strategies align with their broader goals of employee satisfaction and retention.

6. Prolonged Time to Fill Vacant Positions

fficiency in the hiring process is paramount. If roles remain vacant for extended periods, it suggests that there might be inefficiencies in the hiring approach, such as an unclear job description, poor screening methods, or a lengthy interview process.

Prolonged vacancies can strain other employees who might have to take on additional responsibilities in the interim, further pushing down morale. Moreover, these delays can also lead to lost business opportunities, especially in roles directly impacting company growth and customer engagement.

7. Increase in the Number of Unqualified Candidates

Consistently receiving applications from unqualified candidates indicates that the job descriptions might be unclear or the sourcing methods are not targeted correctly.

If a significant number of applicants don't meet the basic qualifications, it's a signal that the job advertisements and postings need to be revisited. Ensuring clarity and precision in job descriptions and leveraging the right channels for posting can help attract the right talent.

8. Poor Employer Brand Perception

Your employer brand is the image potential candidates have of your company as a place to work. If there's a perception in the market that your organisation does not have a solid hiring process or doesn't treat employees well, you'll struggle to attract top talent.

Negative reviews on platforms like Glassdoor or word of mouth can deter potential high-quality candidates. It's crucial to ensure that the hiring process reflects positively on the company, treating every candidate with respect, providing timely feedback, and ensuring a smooth onboarding process for new hires.

9. Declining Productivity Due to Vacant Roles

Every unfilled position in a company represents a productivity gap. The longer these gaps persist, the more they can impede organisational growth. Employees might be stretched thin, covering for unfilled roles, leading to burnout and decreased overall productivity.

A delay in hiring can also mean a delay in projects, deliverables, and overall business goals. In industries where time-sensitive tasks are paramount, like sales or customer service, these delays can have pronounced impacts on the bottom line.

Incorporating an effective hiring strategy is not just about filling roles but ensuring the seamless operation and growth of the organisation. By recognising the signs of a faltering hiring approach early on, businesses can make the necessary adjustments, ensuring they attract, hire, and retain the best talent available.

Strategies to Improve Your Hiring Approach

An efficient and effective hiring approach not only fills vacancies quickly but also ensures that the right talent is onboarded, setting the foundation for sustained organisational growth. Let's explore a few strategies that can aid organisations in refining their hiring processes.

1. Increase Job Postings Internally

Promoting from within can be an advantageous strategy. Internal candidates are already acquainted with the company culture, require less training, and typically have a vested interest in the company's success.

Moreover, providing opportunities for growth and advancement can boost employee morale and reduce turnover rates. By increasing internal job postings, companies can show their commitment to employee growth and development and also harness the talent they already have on board.

2. Design Realistic Job Requirements

Sometimes, job descriptions are either too vague or overly demanding, deterring potential candidates from applying. It's essential to strike a balance. Job requirements should be an accurate representation of the skills, experience, and qualifications genuinely needed for the role.

Unrealistic expectations can intimidate or mislead potential candidates, leading to a mismatch of skills and job demands. Engage current employees in the role or department heads in creating these descriptions to ensure they're both accurate and inviting.

3. Expand the Pool of Candidates

Diversifying the places where you search for candidates can result in a more varied and rich talent pool. Leveraging multiple job boards, attending career fairs, engaging with educational institutions, or partnering with specialised recruitment agencies can cast a wider net. With a more extensive range of candidates, there's a better chance of finding the right fit for the role.

Additionally, consider implementing an employee referral program, where current employees can recommend potential candidates, often resulting in a more cultural fit and enhanced employee morale.

Furthermore, integrating elements like an "employee incentive program" into the referral process can motivate existing staff to actively participate in the hunt for potential candidates. After all, who better to recognise the value and fit of a potential new hire than those already immersed in the company culture?


Hiring is an art, blending both intuition and strategic planning. It's not just about filling a vacant position but about bridging the gap between organisational needs and talent. The strategies outlined above can help businesses not only identify and rectify issues in their current hiring processes but also build a robust, future-ready hiring approach.

As the business landscape continues to evolve, so too should hiring strategies, always keeping an eye on the ultimate goal: securing the right talent for the right role at the right time.

In this ever-changing global market, adaptability is key. Organisations should continually assess and refine their hiring techniques, welcoming feedback from both candidates and current employees, to remain competitive and ensure they are always at the forefront of talent acquisition best practices.

Author Bio

Melissa is a community outreach manager at Criterion. She is passionate about workforce management and leadership development. Outside of work, Melissa loves to play tennis and spend time with family and friends.

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