3 Hiring Mistakes to Avoid This Year


Hiring the right talent has a large impact on your ability to make your number. The key is to look forward to the strategy of tomorrow. As your strategy continues to evolve, your hiring practices need to keep pace. You’ll have to predict who you’ll need for the future.


What is the best way to do this? You can start by avoiding these 3 common mistakes.  


#1 – Only hiring from your industry

Often, many companies tend to hire from their industry only. The problem with this? As emerging best practices continue to advance, yesterday’s successful talent could now be obsolete. What do top companies do instead? They draft the “best athletes”, not just those who know the offense and playbook. Those things can be taught. It may take longer to ramp up their industry knowledge. But the upside potential is much greater, making the tradeoff worth it.  Ultimately you should hire for competency over experience.


#2 – Only considering the role you’re hiring for

Yes, you need to understand the role you’re filling. That is definitely important. But it’s not the only piece to the puzzle. You have to make sure the person you hire can work across all functions. Think about the other departments they will be working with. For example, will they work well with the marketing team? Because if not, it can cause a lot of pain. It can cause distrust between departments. And it can cause wasted time and energy on “fixing” the issues. When hiring, be sure they will be able to work well across the organization.


#3 – Being reactive when hiring talent

Being reactive when it comes to talent causes a lot of issues. It leads to hasty searches, and oftentimes hiring the wrong person. The impact of these mistakes can be felt for years. The average cost of a mis-hire is 5-7 times the first year cost. And that’s just the hard cost. The ongoing impact can linger for years. Instead you should be proactively sourcing capable talent. Find folks that can fill current and future corporate, product, marketing and sales positions. You need a constant supply of top new talent for your team.


Organizations can only succeed in the marketplace if they place the right talent in the right performance conditions. What steps should you take to do this successfully?  


The first step involves understanding the other functional strategies. Are they clear? After reviewing, do you understand exactly what talent you need?  Once armed with that knowledge, the next step is profiles. This means understanding what good looks like. Following profiles, you must next focus on assessments. This involves determining whether you have the right people. Are you letting the right folks into the organization? The next piece is sourcing. As we mentioned earlier, you need to understand where to find the best talent for your organization. And then comes the hiring process. This doesn’t just mean screening interviews and going with your gut. Instead consider a job tryout before hiring. 


If you’ve followed the steps above you, you should now have the right talent in place. But it doesn’t end there. Once you’ve selected a new hire, you have to consider onboarding. And this is more than just some introductory videos and classes. It’s about shortening the road to productivity. You must teach the skills and behaviors needed to perform the job. Then, to guarantee continued success, you must have both talent development and succession plans in place. This allows you to continue to grow and develop your team successfully.


At the end of the day, there is no shortcut to ensuring you have the right talent. Having these steps in place is a great place to start. If you need help with your talent strategy, sign up for our workshop. One of our experts will walk you through how to acquire the right folks, and grow revenues as a result.



Ryan Tognazzini

Works closely with B2B companies to solve strategic business problems so that they will make their number.
Learn more about Ryan Tognazzini >

Ryan joined SBI in 2010 as a Senior Consultant. Since then, he has worked extensively with emerging growth technology companies, including SaaS, enterprise software, systems integrators and OEMs. Additionally, Ryan works alongside numerous private equity investors, performing both sales and marketing due diligence and organic growth initiatives inside their portfolio companies.


Among a long list of accomplishments, he developed and implemented a sales and marketing strategy that resulted in the turnaround of a $1B IT integration clients. He executed organic growth initiatives to help a $100M software company achieve 40%+ year-over-year growth in preparation for an IPO. And he worked with a $1B enterprise software client to transform their sales and marketing go-to-market strategy for their cloud and SaaS offerings. Not surprisingly, in 2014 he was voted SBI Employee of the Year by his peers.


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