Guest Contributors

10 Recruitment Mistakes To Avoid as a Startup

Written by Kelsey

Hiring a new employee is a sign of growth for any startup. However, finding the right person who fits your team can be difficult.

Often, companies make the mistake of recruiting the wrong person, costing them a major loss. So without further ado, here is a list of the most common recruitment mistakes frequently made by startups that you should try your best to avoid.

1. Avoiding Employer Branding

Employer branding refers to the business identity of your company. It is the process of building and managing your reputation as an employer among job seekers, your employees, and stakeholders.

With positive branding, you attract and retain high-quality talent. However, if you have negative branding, you will lose the best talent and your current employees’ loyalty.

Maintaining good employer branding is essential; however, it is not just the recruitment team’s work to do. Others such as the marketing, search engine optimization team, HR’s, the CEO, and other brand advocates also play a crucial role in building and maintaining the organization’s reputation.

An employee wellness program can also be an important part of the employer’s brand to differentiate it from the competition by developing a culture that effectively supports employee well-being.

2. Depending on One Channel to Source Candidates

Every working professional is your candidate or a potential employee. If you rely on the traditional job searching boards for sourcing candidates, you narrow down your search and eliminate the chances of hiring great talent.

The modern sourcing strategy includes using a variety of platforms such as social media, employee referrals, job boards, internal postings, recruiting agencies, and more. It opens the door for a wide range of talent.

3. Not Checking References

When you ask candidates to supply you with references, you get the best possible overview of their competency in this job role, and even you can rest easy knowing you tried your best to ensure you hire the best person.

This process might be time-consuming, but it is necessary. As a startup, you cannot simply afford to sideline this as it will affect you and your team negatively.

4. Neglecting Candidate Experience

Candidate experience is a differentiating factor, so you need to give your candidates positive experience. A bad candidate experience will affect your reputation. From making your candidates wait to hear back from you to having a long application process, all of this adds to the candidate’s bag of bad experiences, and you surely do not want to be that person!

5. Delay in Your Response

According to a survey from a hiring agency, nearly 23% of candidates lose interest in a business if they do not hear back from the recruiters within a week after the initial interview. Another bunch of 46% of people said that they lose interest if there is no application status update within one to two weeks post an interview.

Hiring an ideal candidate takes time, but startups need to create a timeline and be punctual in responding to candidates to avoid losing some incredible talent.

6. Rejecting a Diverse Workforce

Today’s workforce is passionate about DEI initiatives and company’s who don’t prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion will suffer the consequences of missing out on top talent.

You want someone who will justify the job title but do not become too restrictive in search of that. Stretch your network and consider candidates from diverse backgrounds and identities.

Sometimes, a business needs an alternate perspective to push it to the next level, and a diverse workforce can bring this viewpoint to the table.

7. Preferring Skills over Attitude

Yes, skills are necessary for justifying a job, but overlooking a candidate’s attitude and not inspecting whether they fit your company culture is where recruiters go wrong. The candidate must possess the right mindset to adjust to your company.

You need to understand that a wrong employee will not only churn out faster but also ruin the company’s culture. The correct attitude should go hand-in-hand with proper experience and correct skillsets.

8. Not Having a Proper Hiring Structure

Refusing to form a structured hiring process is yet another crucial mistake employers make. Recruitment is a long-term process that drives long-term results. HR managers and recruiters need to understand what the company needs to achieve in the coming years and how they can utilize employees to reach their aim. In order to achieve these goals, you should make a strategic recruitment planning process.

A proper hiring process requires structure. Often the lack of time forces recruiters to prioritize speed over quality, skipping a few crucial hiring steps. Regardless, you should always seek a balance between quality and speed for effective hiring. For better hiring, prepare detailed job descriptions, give out proper responsibilities, knowledge, and skills required for the job role.

Layout a proper recruitment funnel that defines in detail what happens at each stage of recruitment. To keep the process streamlined, you can even take the help of an applicant tracking system.

9. Turning Back on Candidate Feedback

Have you ever taken feedback from a candidate you rejected? Most recruiters avoid taking candidate feedback due to the fear of getting negative reviews or simply find it useless. However, it is anything but useless!

Collecting feedback from accepted and rejected candidates helps improve your hiring process. Their suggestion can contain something they loved about your hiring process, or maybe something they did not like. Regardless it helps enhance your recruitment process.

10. Avoiding Other Staff Members

When HRs or recruiters do not work closely with managers and their teams, they leave out a whole box of knowledge on the latest trends related to the job role or the recent skills and requirements necessary for the job post. This costs them time and makes the hiring process longer by attracting the wrong crowd.

Hence, in order to ensure that you get the right set of people to apply for the job role, you need to coordinate with the rest of the team and the manager.


Recruiting is a tedious and challenging process. However, you need to understand that any mistake in your hiring process can negatively impact your business and affect your working environment.

Moreover, along with your recruitment team, the entire organization is responsible for the hiring process. Keep in mind the points mentioned above and try to avoid these mistakes at all costs!


Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager at Jobsoid, an applicant tracking system.

Kelly is responsible for leading the content and social media teams at work. Her expertise and experience in the field of HR enable her to create value-driven content for her readers – both on Jobsoid’s blog and other guest blogs where she publishes content regularly.

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