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5 Behaviors To Avoid As A Hiring Manager.

Being a hiring manager is a major responsibility. Making the right decisions to build out a team and accomplish your organization’s goals is paramount to both you and your company’s success. Making the right hire the first time prevents you from having to begin the process over again at the expense of time and resources that could otherwise be allocated to employees that are performing well. Here are five common behaviors hiring managers engage in that often result in hiring the wrong candidate.

  1. Fixing and Rescuing – Entrepreneurs, by nature, believe themselves to be the biggest factor behind affecting change. This mindset also has a habit of bleeding into how they feel they are able to develop employees, even if there is enough of a track record showing that employee is lacking the potential for growth, such as: lacking accountability and not being open to feedback. We love hearing about a legendary coach rehabbing an athlete into becoming a star. The harsh reality is that most managers don’t have the resources, skills, or time to help turn around a bad hire. 
  1. Validation Seeking – Surrounding yourself with hires who are “Yes Men.” People who don’t give voice to their perspective with constructive criticism, ask thought-provoking questions, or point out problems when they arise. A study from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management discovered that leaders who develop “heightened overconfidence from high levels of such ingratiatory behavior” will be less likely to “initiate needed strategic change.” Realizing that pointing out flaws is a sign of passion for one’s work instead of passiveness is vital. It shows the employee is paying attention, analyzing their work, and has the courage to speak up. Giving praise is easy. Giving an honest assessment and transparent updates is crucial. 
  1. Boundary Breaching – Phrases such as “We’re like a family here”, “We’re always there for each other no matter what.” are often used to signify that you’re fostering an empathetic culture in your organization. Which, when applied correctly, can make good teams into great ones. However, this can also lead to attracting high-drama candidates who will consume your team’s time. Take note of candidates who overshare. Presenting personal stories as mitigating factors for recurring problems could be a signal your team will have to pick up the slack for them in the future. 
  1. Micromanaging – Most people accept, at least in theory, that micromanagement is an undesirable practice rooted in self-doubt and uncertainty. Strong leaders encourage their team to be self-determined, autonomous and driven enough to take the reins themselves in order to get the job done. Taking risks, making mistakes, and challenging the norm is what separates the elite from the average. When a hiring manager hits at a culture of heavy oversight during the recruiting process, they will likely only attract candidates who tolerate inflexible environments. Those who lack passion, are not highly engaged and prefer linear work. Failing to attract creative, self-managing candidates can be an indicator of the signals you’re sending. 
  1. Detachment – At the other end of the spectrum, management that is too hands-off can send a message of “You’re on your own, good luck.” While it can show your team you trust them, emotional detachment tells people that they can’t come to you if they have a problem. Research indicates that teams with an absent leader often end up feeling like they’re in a sink-or-swim environment, which can become a breeding ground for unhealthy conflict. Being too distant from your team can result in a transactional group of individuals looking to clock in, clock out, and not be bothered. If this is your team, consider balancing the independence messaging with reassurance that a strong network and committed leadership are in place

These behaviors are not only damaging because of who they attract, but also because of who you miss out on. Every time a bad hire is brought in, the rest of the team pays a heavy price. Time and resources that could otherwise be allocated to ensuring goals are met are now put into replacing that bad fit. With self-reflection and an honest assessment of what is attracting candidates who are ultimately a detriment to your organization, you can then make progress on attracting top talent to your team.

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