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5 tips how to avoid recruitment mistakes

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Finally, the demanding and time-consuming recruitment process has been taken care of and the prospective employee has been able to start their work. However, it soon becomes clear that, for one reason or another, the new employee is not suitable for the job in question. A frustrating situation for both the company and the employee!

Inappropriate recruitments occur constantly in working life. These situations are always unpleasant for all parties, when the time, money and effort spent on the recruitment process is wasted. So what are the most common causes of recruitment mistakes and what measures can be taken to reduce these risks?



A large number of companies will experience a situation at some point where the candidate does not meet the expectations of the employer. It may be that the employee is not performing their job effectively or is not adapting to the work environment. Inappropriate recruitments are not uncommon. According to a survey conducted by Opinion in Norway, the home country of our parent company, in 2019, as many as 40% of Norwegian executives have hired someone who turned out to be the wrong choice.



Research reveals that in most cases it is not known what it really takes to succeed in a task, what type of a person would be best suited for it, the job description does not present the task precisely enough, or the process is carried out in too much haste.

Hiring a new employee is a process that consists of two parts: recruitment and follow-up. The core challenge of recruiting is to get to know the candidate well enough to form an accurate picture of their skills. In addition to the job interview, the usual procedures are a personal assessment by a professional and an aptitude test (you can find out about our personal assessment services here).

Recruitment should be a two-way conversation in which the recruiter’s job is to sell the company to the applicant and the applicant their expertise to the recruiter. However, it is also worth talking openly about the potential challenges a new employee may face. If too rosy a picture of the job or the applicant’s skills is painted, disappointment is guaranteed.



Recruitment is a long-term process and involves more than one person. Unsuitable employee investments can cost significant amounts in both direct and indirect costs. It is expensive to pay an employee who does not perform their duties, but it is also expensive to dismiss them. The costs of starting a new recruitment process as well as the salary for a possible period of notice can be surprisingly high! Not to mention the hours and effort spent on the recruitment process.

In addition to the direct costs of inappropriate recruitment, the company also has to pay for the damage to their image. Job seekers are actively following the advertisements in a particular field and if the same position reopens soon it will raise questions. Where does the fault lie when the chosen employee did not stay on the job?

Unsuitable recruitment also has indirect consequences. An employee who does not perform their duties can also cause customer dissatisfaction. If this happens often, it will damage the company’s reputation, which involves a significant loss of revenue in the long run. Inappropriate recruitment can also affect the work environment. During our careers, many of us have come across people who also lower the work motivation of others. If one employee’s work input is not at the required level, it undermines other employees’ satisfaction and creates a poor work environment. The workload planned for the new employee will also end up as something for the other employees to handle if the employment contract is terminated for one reason or another.

At the end of the day, the time and money spent on thorough recruitment is a much cheaper and in all respects better option than paying the costs of inappropriate recruitment.



Many companies focus their recruitment process solely on their own needs, forgetting that the company should also be ‘the one’ for the employee! Sometimes it happens that the employer is happy with the candidate, while the candidate does not feel completely comfortable. This may be because the employer has not provided a sufficiently accurate description of the job and expectations for the employee early enough in the recruitment process.

It is important that both parties are honest with each other during the recruitment process. It is the employer’s responsibility to give as open and honest a picture of the job as possible so that the candidate can make their choice based on genuine knowledge.



One common reason for recruitment mistakes is that a new employee does not get enough help from the company to adapt to their new work environment. The various stages of the recruitment process should be carefully considered, but the process should also continue during the orientation phase. Studies show that the number of mistaken recruitments decreases significantly when you invest in orientation. Well-designed orientation programmes guarantee the best possible start for a new employee and reduce the likelihood of inappropriate recruitments. It is also important that the new employee becomes part of the social community. 

An orientation programme can last for several months and its purpose is not only to teach the tasks related to the job, but also to integrate a person into the culture of the workplace, to teach them how the company operates and the basic values.





Recruitment process is a well-planned marathon, not a sprint. At least if the recruitment is for a permanent need and on the company’s own payroll. If, on the other hand, the recruitment process takes too long, the best candidates will be employed elsewhere in the meantime. So, plan the schedule and course of the recruitment process carefully and stick to it! Be sure to inform applicants about the schedule and the progress of the recruitment process as well. 

Think carefully about the job advertisement and its wording; there is, for example, a difference between what is required of the applicant and what is desired of the applicant. Remember that the salary level must correspond to the level of difficulty of the job.



Ask the candidate for references to obtain accurate information about the candidate’s personality and skills! The most valuable reference is one that has been responsible for the candidate’s work as a whole, and not just followed from the side-lines. 

Depending on the position, it is advisable to test the applicant’s competence with preliminary assignments or a functional test performed at the workplace. In a job interview, you should also ask genuine questions that come up in the daily work and look for suggestions for solutions.



In some cases, a personal assessment by an external professional may be appropriate to determine which of the applicants is best suited for the job. Think about what qualities and skills you want the applicant to have and what things you are willing to be flexible about. The personal assessment provides more detailed information about the applicant’s characteristics, personality and working methods.



Sometimes you want to hire an acquaintance, an acquaintance of an acquaintance or even your own relative for the company. There may be great workers in your inner circle, but such choices may be made more through emotion than with objectivity, and the job may not be won by the most qualified person. If you want to recruit specifically from your inner circle, ask a neutral HR consultant for a separate evaluation of the candidate.



Describe the real requirements of the job and what the job is really like as honestly as possible already by the job advertisement. Try to give a realistic picture of the job and the organisation throughout the recruitment process. Be open about the challenges of the job, but be sure to also highlight all the good things that attract the best people to your business! Also, do not require applicants to have skills that are anyway easy to learn or that are not essential to success in the job.



Recruitment is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process that is often worth outsourcing to professionals so you can focus on your core competencies, or business.

Whether it’s direct recruitment to your own company or an interest in using rental workers, we help by genuinely caring about customers and employees. We like to say that we are not necessarily looking for the employee you want, but rather the one you need. 

Do not hesitate to contact us. Our experienced - and also extremely pleasant - consultants will help you solve your recruitment challenge.

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