Hiring mistakes to avoid

28 May 2024 by
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Hiring mistakes you must avoid.

Have you wasted time and money searching, interviewing, and on-boarding the most suitable person only to have discovered that you made a big mistake?  Accordingly to Deloitte, the cost of replacing an employee is 1.5 – 2 times their annual salary so such errors come at a significant cost.

We have put together a short guide that will ensure you minimize such risk, plus it will increase your employee engagement and retention. 

Don’t just fill a vacancy, but look at 2-3 jobs the individual can do

This strategy forces you to think immediately about the candidates’ competencies such as their ability to learn quickly, effective communication, and leadership thus moving away from the tasks they performed in their previous job role.  It’s better to assess past behavior because it is a direct correlation to future performance.  Your interview questions need to be open-ended.  For example, in your previous role when have you had to solve a problem? What was your approach and what you would do differently if faced with the same problem again?  The questions naturally open up a conversation where you can dig deeper, making it much more difficult for candidates to lie or embellish.  Such questions also allow the candidate to speak openly about their skills that may not be apparent on their CV.  

Avoid hiring friends or family

Many start-up legal practices begin with friends or family, but as the business grows you need to look further afield.  Begin by drafting a job specification including the competencies that you are looking for.  Job boards will attract actively searching candidates so be aware that they are likely to be interviewing at various places, so you must be clear on why your firm is different.  Specialist agency fees are more expensive but you should receive CV’s that meet your criteria without having to sift through scores of CV’s saving you time.  Engaging with your practice association is a fantastic way of building your brand and attracting direct applicants which is usually free of charge.

It’s OK to talk about money 

There’s an unwritten rule that you shouldn’t talk about money in the 1st interview, but it’s better to assess early whether you can meet the candidates’ expectations. You need to find out how much they currently earn including all benefits and bonuses.  You must also ask what salary they are looking for.    Transparency builds trust, so feel free to mention what you have in mind for the position.  Before doing so however make sure you have done your research on market rates.  Glassdoor.com is a great site to get guides plus specialist recruiters often publish salary surveys.  If you have a salary range, be sure to compare the candidates’ skills and experience between the lower and upper amounts.   

Go through your offer letter with them

After conducting all interviews you have found the right person and want them to join your organLsation. It’s very possible that they have been interviewing at other places and may even have offers on the table so you need to stand out from the competition.  A sure way of doing so is to give them a call before emailing or posting the offer letter.  The conversation will give you the opportunity to go through your offer including all benefits, plus an overview of their 1st 3 months and how they will develop with your firm.  It will give you the opportunity to answer any questions or concerns they might have and it’s another opportunity to keep building trust.

Make their 1st week exceptional

A study conducted by CV-Library confirmed that 1 in 5 people leave their job within their probationary period, so after tough interviews and testing, you want your newly appointed employee to commit for the long term. A well-planned onboarding process is what’s required for them to settle in and flourish.  Be prepared for them on their first day and begin with an unexpected welcoming gift.  Ensure desk space and IT logins have been organised.  Introduce them to staff, and induct them on systems and processes.  As the week develops check in on their progress, take them out for a coffee or lunch, and listen to any concerns they may have. As your business grows you may not have time to induct everyone, but it’s important that your values and objectives are communicated by managers so all staff understands how significant they are to the team.


Making the decision to hire new staff should be an exciting time for your company but there are many pitfalls that you must avoid.  Planning your course of action from job specification through to onboarding will ensure a smooth, inexpensive process.  

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