In Australia, we do so much right but here are the 7 Deadly Sins we witnessed by Hiring Managers this year:

1. Recruiting without looking at Cloning your Stars

You have brilliant people in your business, individuals who fit your culture like a hand in glove. Yet, we see so many organisations go to market for new employees without ever asking themselves “How do I find another star like John?”, “What is it that makes John so engaged with this company?”, “What attracted John to this company in the first place?”. Getting the answers to these 3 questions could have greatly helped in putting together the job brief, advert, etc.

2. Hunting without a Plan

As the saying goes, “To fail to plan is to plan to fail”. You need to plan the hunt before you go hunting for talent. Where does the expertise lie, what providers in our industry have access to the unique talent (and not just the talent that everyone has). Will you search? Will you advertise? Will you look overseas? How will help you? From our viewpoint, if a client gives us exclusivity on finding talent for a role, we work so much harder than if we are one of many – give this some thought before you go hunting!

3. No interviews, just a coffee, then an offer!


The cafés of Australia are celebrating that their tables are filled with interviews. As a hiring manager or recruiter, these meetings are brilliant – casual, relaxed, informal; they have their place. But they should not take the place of a full, behavioural, competency based interview to really understand the candidate’s ability to perform in the role. Most good candidates expect and understand this, so don’t be afraid to make your process intense but not cumbersome.

4. Loose reference checking

It is our belief that by the time you are conducting reference checks on your preferred candidate, you have often already psychologically attached yourself to offering that candidate the job – this can be very dangerous. Reference checking MUST be rigorous, non-emotional, thorough and objective; it may give you the news you did not want in your preferred candidate, but it could save you in the long run. Ask the right questions and listen intently to the answers!

5. Seeking a career minded candidate by using a “body on seat” agency

Simply fact; people hang out with morally like-minded individuals. So, if you are after a long-term candidate who will view your organisation as a long term home, associate yourself with third parties that exude a long-term, career minded partnership. The best candidates usually gravitate towards agencies they can trust.


6. Lack of “newcomer integration”

Weeks or months of process, hard work and negotiations landed you a fantastic new employee; and then they get lost in the system without a fulfilling onboarding process – what a waste that was! Using the Day 1, Week 1, Month 1 approach where you keep in touch and help the newcomer settle and integrate will have you thanking yourself in the first year and beyond. Have an induction / orientation process that exposes the newcomer to as many nurturing colleagues as possible – help them feel like they are home as soon as possible as being the “New Person” never excites anyone!

7. Not closing out with candidates, thus killing your employer brand

The amount of times we hear from candidates “I went for an interview but never really got feedback afterwards” is unreal – we have systems in our business to systematically avoid that fate for our candidates. If you do nothing else, the courtesy to get back to candidates and close out the process will set you apart as an employer with a difference. Whilst we all need to adhere to anti-discrimination legalities, transparency is the new order of the day with customer service.