3 Hiring Mistakes Every Leader Should Avoid


Growing your team as a leader is both a blessing and a curse. Although hiring is a positive indication of scale, it is a challenge to find, train and retain the right people.

Most business owners add to their team based on a person’s interest, affordability and availability. They think as long as a candidate demonstrates proficiency in an area, interest in the job, and is affordable, they are a good fit. 

Unfortunately, following this logic is more likely to result in a warm body to fill the seat than a dedicated team member. Hiring the right person for your business is more than just an interview and a job offer.

As a business leader, it should be your desire to grow a team you can trust. 

A trusted team enables you to confidently step away from working “in” the business, so you can get back to working “on” the business. 

A trusted team allows you to delegate outcomes, rather than miscellaneous tasks. They execute how they want while following your vision, values and parameters, so you can spend more time working on money-making activities, than hovering, micromanaging and being the “doer,” when you should be the leader.

When you have a team you can trust, you experience freedom as a leader to take your business to the next level and achieve the scale you desire. 

But it all starts with how you hire. 

Here are 3 hiring mistakes every leader should avoid. 


  • Hiring a Mini-Me.


Business owners often say, “if only I had another one of me, everything would be fine!” But you are not the solution to all of your problems. 

Hiring someone who is exactly like you can be very dangerous. Think of all the tasks you hate to do or how you react to certain situations. Rather than hiring a “mini-me”, add team members who complement your skill set and personality. 

If you are a big picture thinker, but struggle with execution, hire a doer who can keep you accountable to goals, like a project manager. 

When you know yourself as a leader, you know what kind of skills to look for in a candidate to round out your team’s expertise and culture. 

When you hire a diverse team, even starting out with just you and one Executive Virtual Assistant, you’ll see the benefits of varied talents and outlooks. 

  1. Neglecting due diligence

Whether it’s employing a family friend, hiring based on emotion, or neglecting to do your research on a candidate, without due diligence, you are setting yourself up for failure. 

Every successful business needs a strict system and process for hiring. At Priority VA, this is called the Gauntlett. The Gauntlett is our rigorous standard for adding new team members. Even if we have a “gut feeling” about a person, or are in a rush to fill a gap in our staff, we always follow the Gauntlett — because we have been burned before. 

Perform reference checks with former employers, complete background checks, and ask the candidate to complete a skill assessment. Not only that, but factor in questions that gauge a candidate’s soft skills during the interview. 

Ask them how they would handle interpersonal conflict, or prepare questions about a real-life scenario to see how they would react. Do not tell them before the interview that you will be asking these types of questions. You want to see how they perform under stress. 

It’s not uncommon for business owners to feel empathy when interviewing candidates. Maybe you want to help somebody out or hire a family friend because they need cash. 

Before you extend a job offer, take a minute to pause. Take emotions out of the equation. 

Evaluate if this person is truly passionate about the role you are hiring for. Do they have the proper skills and proficiency to be successful? Taking this a step further, do they understand their purpose within the company, and are they excited about that purpose? 

Remember, you want somebody that will add value to your team culture and morale. You can always train up small gaps in skill, but you can’t change a person’s character. 

Do your due diligence to hire someone who measures up to your standards. They better they are, the more they will own their role so you can stop being the “doer” and start being the leader. 

  1. Hire without desired outcomes

It is so much easier to prepare for hiring when we think about outcomes, or goals, we want to achieve, rather than individual tasks we need to delegate. 

New hires succeed faster when they understand how their role is going to help the company reach its goal. 

For example, “I want to launch a new product by the end of the year, so my new team member’s job will be to grow our email list by 10,000 and generate interest through social media and blog content.”

Nobody wants to be a useless cog in an aimless machine. 

Think of every member of your team as a laser beam. Your light shines brightest, and is the most intense, when you all point in the same direction and at the same target. 

Being a leader means you have a vision for your company. That vision needs to be articulated to every new hire. Once you articulate the vision, it’s your job to empower your new recruits to take this vision and make it happen. Get them excited about owning their role. Stop hovering and micromanaging and let them execute. 

When business owners avoid these three common hiring mistakes, they are taking the steps to grow a trusted team. 

Getting the right people in the room is half the battle. Now, you must focus on the systems and strategies they need to succeed in their role. 

If you don’t know what those systems and strategies are, take our free assessment at PriorityVa.com/assessment. The assessment only takes 5-10 minutes to complete and tells you exactly which areas of business you need to focus on to scale with momentum.

For all other information on how Priority VA can help your business, visit PriorityVA.com


Positive Phil Podcast
About the Author
Positive Phil is a motivational keynote speaker & start-up consultant. Focusing on revenue generation & new business acquisitions. Founder & CEO @Audio inc. Business developer since age 12. Public Company Start up CEO, $investor -Public speaker #podcaster #motivator Enjoying life.

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