Seven hiring mistakes. Who makes them? What are the costs?

Seven hiring mistakes. Who makes them? What are the costs?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Seven hiring mistakes.
Who makes them? What’s the cost?
How are salespeople hired? How were you hired? Did you take an assessment? Some kind of sales proficiency test? Were you hired for skill or attitude? Were you hired based on your test results or on “gut feeling?” Hiring is expensive. Very expensive.

Hiring is subjective. Very subjective.

Training is expensive. Very expensive.

Firing is expensive. Very expensive. Ten candidates — all pretty qualified — who gets the job?

Hiring ain’t easy. Especially if you can’t judge character. FACT: Salespeople want to find the best job.

FACT: Sales managers want to find the best sales people.

FACT: When managers hire people they believe they’re making the “right” or “best” choice.

FACT: They’re also secretly hoping they don’t make a (big) mistake.

HARD FACT: Their intent is to hire the best qualified, brightest and friendliest people every time. REALITY: Most managers ask the same questions over and over.

REALITY: The reason managers make the same mistakes multiple times is because they just don’t know better.

REALITY: How are you supposed to know how they are going to act in six months?

REALITY: How are you going to find out how these people conduct themselves when the “pressure” is on them?

GRIM REALITY: How are you to know what the “work ethic” of these people is after the honeymoon phase? Call in an expert! Brian Parsley, a human capital strategist once known as Mr. Hire, was the founder of, a national employment site, and is now the CEO of KnowSuccess, a human capital assessment company. He has first hand experience at hundreds of interviews and reviewing thousands of candidates. He has interviewed hundreds of hiring managers. When I posed these critical questions to Brian, he gave me a huge AHA! “The answer to these questions can be found once you identify the potential mistakes you have been making BEFORE you hire someone,” said Brian, with a knowing smile. “I have found seven common mistakes that occur when hiring or being hired. If you make these mistakes it doesn’t mean you are a lousy interviewer; but if you see a mistake you have made and continue to make it, well let’s just say you will get what you deserve. And if you are a candidate for a sales job and the hiring person or manager exposes these to you, find a job at their competition.” Aha! Here are Brian Parsley’s seven deadly sins of hiring, being hired, and staying on the job.
1. Looking at the wrong time and in the wrong place. Do you only hire or look to hire when there’s a need? Major mistake! Hiring in a crunch is managing by crisis. Try looking for people you want before you have a need. If you need a great salesperson, they are probably not looking the classifieds, but working for your competition. You need to solicit the best people in your industry.

2. Asking dumb questions.
What kind of questions do you ask when you interview? “Name two strengths and two weaknesses you have?” or perhaps “Describe your ideal environment?” Sound familiar? Hiring managers ask these and other dumb questions because that’s how they were taught. Try asking questions that engage the candidate to think. Ask scenario-based questions that they may encounter on the job. This will give some insight on “how” they will react in the real world. “What would you do if…?” “How would you react to…?”

3. Making an offer just because you “need” someone.
How many times have you made an offer to someone you know is not the best person for the job? It may solve your immediate problem, but a new set of bigger problems is right around the corner. Guaranteed.

4. Not setting clear expectations.
Just because you understand what needs to be done does not mean your new employee understands. Ask for them to explain to you what they think their responsibilities are so you know they understand. By taking this extra step in the beginning you will eliminate confusion and frustration. Setting expectations means explaining potential roadblocks in addition to just stating company policies.

5. Not communicating to be understood.
Many managers assume they are communicating effectively with their employees. RULE ONE: Always ask the person to repeat the issue so you understand they understand. When employees feel involved they have a sense of being and feel appreciated. Communication or lack of will most likely pre-determine the outcome of an employee’s fate.

6. Forgetting to reward the ones you have already hired.
The three basic needs all people have are: To be liked. To feel important. To be appreciated. You can give a cash bonus, but if you do not appreciate them, or if you fail to make them feel important to the team they will leave. Rewarding employees is not an option.

7. Failing to create loyal employees.
Loyalty is determined by your actions or inactions when an employee has a problem. The way you respond to problems will send the message to everyone on how you feel about your employees. Loyal employees will create profits for the company. Well, there you have the Brian Parsley reality of why — or why not to take a job or keep a job. How many happen to you? So many people love their job, but hate their boss, that there almost needs to be a book called, “How to hire employees who love you AND love their job.” The subtitle would be, “Improve job longevity, employee morale, and company profits.” REALITY: No one starts a job to get fired or quit, but it happens everyday because managers fail employees.
FREE GitBit… Want the best questions to ask a prospective employer if you’re on a job interview? Sure you do. Just go to, register if you’re a first time visitor, and enter the words HIRE ME in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service at He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to

2003 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/333-1112