5 Old-School Hiring Myths That Employers Should Ignore

We live in a new era when it comes to how we work and how we hire. Hiring practices of ole’ no longer apply. Here are some common hiring myths employers should ignore.

Myth #1:  Judge candidates based on work history

In an age of millennial hiring, certain stereotypes of past work employment no longer apply. The thinking used to be that moving around from job to job every couple of years was seen as “flaky” and that candidates could only hold jobs for short periods of time. That thinking no longer applies. There is more emphasis now on performance potential and cultural fit than recent work history. It’s also relevant to note that 63% of job candidates and employees define loyalty by their contributions to their company, rather than the amount of time they work there.

Myth #2: Interview answers are the end-all-be-all

A face-to-face or video interview with a job candidate is one of the most important tools you can use to evaluate a person’s potential. But don’t assume that a candidate who interviews well is automatically the right fit. The amount of time spent speaking with a candidate in an interview is relatively small. Think of the job interview the same as taking a test—some candidates are great test-takers but don’t truly understand the overarching principles, some are horrible test-takers, but it doesn’t define their true talents. The problem is that even the best interviewers are prone to be influenced by things that aren’t important. The right approach to choosing a new hire includes interviews and assessments, tests, and reference checks.

Myth #3: Don’t hire anyone that doesn’t have experience 

This myth truly no longer applies. Employers tend to favor candidates with field experience for entry-level and senior-level jobs. However, well-rounded candidates with a variety of experiences bring a lot to the table. The goal should be to attract as many candidates as possible that are interested in your company regardless of major or work experience. Do they fit with your overall mission? How would they elevate your work culture? Do you have the aptitude for learning on the job? Do they bring to the table other skill sets that are needed? These are questions you should be asking when looking at new hires.

Myth #4: Don’t interview overqualified candidates

Wait, what? Yes, there was a time when employers considered excluding highly decorated resumes and well-qualified candidates based on one thing—the inability to compete with pay. Some companies thought that if they couldn’t offer competitive pay, then a candidate would automatically say no, “So, why bother wasting our time interviewing them.” That thinking is long gone. Millennials and Gen Xer’s are more interested in the fringe benefits that you may offer, along with a decent salary. Suppose you offer unlimited vacation, full health, and dental insurance, generous paid maternity or paternity leave, remote working capabilities, time off to volunteer, electric parking stations at the office, dry-cleaning services, 4-days a week work schedules during summers. In that case, these types of benefits may outweigh a huge salary.

Myth #5: Internal vs. external hires

There was a time when it was thought that either internal or external candidates best filled certain job vacancies based on the job demands. For example, employers used to feel that a senior-level vacancy was best filled by someone internally already familiar with the role and company. And, vice versa for other positions—a vacancy for marketing and communications might have been filled by an external candidate that was highly decorated with marketing accolades and experience versus an internal employee who knows the company’s messaging inside and out. What it truly comes down to is the “right fit” for each role. It’s a balancing act and one that shouldn’t be made based solely on whether the person already works for the company or not. Consider each candidate based on how they will best fill the role, what they can bring to the table, how well they understand your work culture, and what “soft skill sets” they have to best suit the job.

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