5 Reasons to Hire Slow (Even When It’s Painful)

Lots of business owners struggle with the hiring process.

And I don’t mean it creates some general unpleasantness within their day.

They make mistakes that negatively impact their businesses, their employees, and how customers view their brand—just because they want to fix the problem quickly and fill the role.

People hire fast because they think, “I’ve got to get someone in there really fast so I don’t have this problem anymore.”

But hiring fast is bad news. The decision to hire someone goes beyond the instant your open position is filled.


I work with a lot of business owners to help them through the hiring process, so I’ve seen it all. Today, I wanted to share some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen made when it comes to hiring fast, and then talk about the reasons to hire slow in these situations.

Hiring Someone You Know…That Isn’t Really Qualified

When business owners need to fill a role quickly, they mentally scan through their network of connections and think, “Oh, you know who could do this? My sister’s brother’s best friend.”

Instead of actually doing a search for someone who’s qualified for the role and has great skills that makes him or her a good fit, they plop someone into the role because it’s convenient. They forget to think about how they’d compare to other candidates or if the person being offered the job is even really interested in it.

The fix: Don’t go look for some friend or relative. The best hire comes from comparing the largest pool of candidates, so you want to get as many candidates as you can to find the best candidate in the pool.

Thinking Every Candidate is THE Candidate

Another mistake I see is that some business owners start to look at every candidate as a potential solution to the problem. They think, “This one has got to be the right person.”

When we look at candidates like this, we start to influence ourselves by interpreting their answers in a certain way and bending their responses into positives when they actually might be negatives. We tell ourselves what we want to hear.

The fix: Talk less, and listen more during interviews. Be skeptical. Play devil’s advocate against the candidate if you have to. Whatever you do: Keep your objectivity.

Rushing the Process

We create hiring processes for a reason. But when we feel the pressure of a problem, we sometimes hurry through the process—and things get sloppy.

During the first interview, the business owner thinks, “This person is the one, so I’m just going to go ahead and hire him or her.”

But that’s not how the hiring process you created was supposed to work. There has to be a round of second interviews, reference checking, group conversations—all of this is in place for a reason. You want to find the best possible person for the job.

The fix: Don’t skip steps. Complete the process, even if it takes a little bit longer.

Apples and Oranges

Business owners sometimes make the hiring mistake of selecting a candidate because they had some great skills and a solid track record at their last job—but they don’t consider how those skills might (or might not) translate for this new role.

They forget to ask themselves, “How much is that other place like this place—and how many of those skills line up with what I need here?”

Just because someone has been really successful somewhere else, it doesn’t always mean they’re right for your company, too.

The fix: Always take time to consider how the candidate’s skills and personality will work with your unique business and company culture.

Missing Materials

The number one mistake I see business owners make while hiring is that they don’t take the time to create an actual job description, a separate job posting, and an interview guide.

These items help define the role for both you and the candidate—without them, you’re grabbing at straws. It’s true: Interviews where the interview does not use a written interview guide and ask the questions on the sheet have about a 50% chance of predicting job success.

The fix: Create these assets before you bring a single candidate in for an interview to help guide you through the process—and take notes during each conversation. This will help you recall the facts, stay on track, and remember those important questions you wanted to ask.

So Many Reasons to Hire Slow

The old adage “Slow to hire, quick to fire” exists for a good reason. It’s great advice, really.

If you can avoid these common hiring mistakes, grit your teeth, and push your way through a slower hiring process, you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.

Kaleigh Moore

Kaleigh Moore is no stranger to small business. She's the Founder of Lumen -- a business that offers copywriting, social media services, and graphic design. When she's not contributing to the EnMast blog, you'll find her running or at the movies (because the running helps manage the movie snack consumption.) Connect with Kaleigh on Twitter, LinkedIn, or read her blog.

Speak Your Mind