Fatal Hiring Mistakes That Startups Make


Hiring the right person for a job is crucial for a business’s success. A hiring mistake can be costly in the long run, both monetarily and for the company too. And when you are just setting up a business, making the right hiring decision becomes more important, as you do not have the luxury of course correction.

The cost of a bad hire ranges from 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings to sometimes well over $100 million for big corporates in the words of Zappos CEO Tony Hseih.

Startups have the advantage of running lean and mean organizations. One good example is Instagram, which had only 13 employees when Facebook bought it for $1 billion in 2013. More than the numbers it is about building the right team.

Common Hiring Mistakes Startups Must Avoid 

Hiring the right talent is not an easy task. The right talent can easily take your startup from the ground level to the penthouse. Here are a few common hiring mistakes that startups should avoid

Hiring someone you know

When starting out in business, people tend to rope in acquaintances, relatives and friends as a way of saving on time, effort, and trustworthiness. You know them, so it is safer.

This is a big hiring mistake as they may be good friends but may turn out to be the worst employees. Authority is compromised here, and they may take things easy or get more assertive, neither is good for business. Keep it professional and take some time to recruit the right candidate.

Do not go on a hiring spree

Startups that get investments, generally tend to go on a hiring spree to make things work faster. Keep in mind that you are a startup and things have yet to settle down and processes, roles and procedures to be established. Hiring people without a proper job description or profile leads to chaos.

Another common hiring mistake that startups make is hiring interns. You do not have the time to train newbies, so avoid. Startups may be a good place for interns to get a feel of business from the ground up, but for companies that are just finding their feet, interns do not bring anything to the table except an extra pair of hands.

On the flip side, hiring a jack-of-all-trades to do your admin work, finances, hiring, etc. is not a good idea. It may save you money, but then you compromise on the quality of work done and are just getting by. Hire right and see the returns. A good administrator or a good accountant increases efficiency and pushes the company forward.

Going by the personality rather than the skill

Sometimes a gregarious and bright personality overshadows the whole process of hiring and you end up employing that person because they come off as bright and talented. But are they the right fit? Do you need a diva at the office and is he or she a team player?

Making the hiring decision based on a lesser salary offer

Competencies may not match, and you may end up firing that person, which can cost the company. This does not mean that you pay above your allotted budget. But do not compromise on quality – it’s one of the biggest hiring mistakes you can avoid.

Hiring based on a flashy resume

Getting someone who ticks all the right boxes and has been to the right institutes and big organizations may be a dream come true, but do your due diligence. It might be that the person is passionate about working in a startup but does question the motives. And undertake a thorough background check. Ask relevant questions.

Also, when hiring, keep the company culture in mind. You may be a startup, but you have a vision and a path that you want to take reaching that goal and you want like-minded people on the journey.

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Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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