This article was published as part of the Denver Business Journal Leadership Trust, an invitation-only network of influential business leaders, experts, executives and entrepreneurs.
I specialize in helping founders, entrepreneurs and small business owners find, attract and hire the talented professionals they need to be competitive in their respective markets. The types of positions my team and I work on range from CEO to summer intern, and cross-functionally throughout each organization. This provides us with a unique perspective on what works — and what doesn’t work — during the hiring process.
There are several noticeable patterns I’d like to explore. Here are the most common hiring mistakes we encounter:
1. Lack of alignment between the required skill set and the base salary
It’s important that you take the time to understand the current demand for the positions you are trying to fill. The labor market is very active, and there are plenty of jobs for skilled professionals across almost every functional area within your company, but when you set out to define the required skill set and profile, you shoot for the moon. Each skill or competency you add to the job description has a value in the market. You might think you need seven years of experience, but can the right person do the job with three years? The salary delta may be as much at $50,000 between three and seven years. It’s in your best interest to list only the required hard skills and highlight the personal values you are looking for to keep the base salary at a reasonable level.
2. Overly inflated titles
Startups notoriously inflate job titles in lieu of big salary and benefits packages. While it sounds great to give your product manager with two years of experience a director title, it can backfire for two reasons.
- They will likely be satisfied with that title and not the big salary for about six months, and then they will find out what directors make and ask for a raise.
- Your customers and business partners from large companies will think that they are speaking to a “director” and will be sorely disappointed in the results delivered by a product manager with a director title. This will reflect poorly on you.
Want to see the other hiring mistakes entrepreneurs make?
Read the full article here.