Are These Hiring Beliefs Holding You Back?

Raffa Financial ServicesRaffa Financial Services on 12/13/2018

Many talented applicants have sold themselves short by giving up on a position before even applying.

But job seekers aren’t the only ones thinking inside their little boxes and missing out on potential opportunities. Plenty of employers also make assumptions and generalizations that keep them from hiring amazing talent.

Here are some common employment myths that are holding employers back

1.) This has to be a full-time position.

Does it, though?

If the job can be done in 30 hours a week, why hire someone full time? Don’t force a square peg into a round hole if it just doesn’t fit.

There are tons of smart, talented people struggling to balance the demands of work, family, and personal commitments. Many of them are excellent employees who would love to find a position that allowed them greater flexibility.

Bad assumptions

  • No high caliber candidates would ever be interested in a part-time position.
  • A part-time position will seem less critical, less important, or less worthy of funding.
  • We’ll get X hours of additional work out of whoever we hire!

Bad behaviors

There’s a fine line between offering part-time positions because it makes sense for the job and offering part-time positions strictly to avoid paying living wages and providing employee benefits. Don’t be THAT company. Design your positions fairly and pay your people what they’re worth.

Healthy, balanced lives lead to a healthy, balanced workforce. There’s no shame in creating awesome part-time positions.

2.) We need an outside expert.

Nobody is saying that outside experts can’t be helpful. But there is mounting evidence that inside hires are better business decisions.

Outside hires have to learn everything from the ground up. They also tend to command higher starting salaries. And the real kicker? They don’t last as long in their positions.

Because your current employees are already familiar with the culture and each other, the learning curve is shorter. Internal hires require less hand-holding, fewer resources, and they hang around longer. Win-win-win.

Bad assumptions

  • We need someone with “fresh eyes.”
  • No one here is qualified to step into this position.
  • It will be too hard to transition an internal candidate into the new role.

Bad behaviors

Choosing an internal candidate can’t be done willy-nilly, or with blatant favoritism. Promoting a marketing intern to VP of Marketing probably won’t go over well, especially if she happens to be the CEO’s niece. Establish a fair and sensible internal hiring process and apply it evenly every time.

Oh, and just because research says internal hires don’t demand as much compensation doesn’t mean you should lowball them. Make sure you’re offering competitive salaries and benefits.

Of course there may be times when you really do need to make an outside hire, especially if you’re planning on a major organizational overhaul. And that’s okay. But it doesn’t need to be your default.

3.) We can’t hire someone who is overqualified.

Here we go again. Making assumptions.

Unless you’ve way overplayed the substance and significance of the position, you should trust that anyone who takes the time to apply is actually interested in the opportunity.

Maybe they’ve done their research and are excited about your product, mission, or culture. You don’t know what drew your candidates to you. Until you ask.

There could be a perfectly good reason for them to be interested in a position that appears to be less than challenging. Perhaps they’re being challenged in other areas of their life instead. Maybe they have an ill parent or child at home. Maybe their spouse works 80 hours a week. Maybe they’re writing a novel, or training for an ultra-marathon. You just don’t know.

The point is, that “too qualified” candidate you just put in the no pile might be the best employee you never had.

Bad assumptions

  • This person will demand more than we can pay.
  • She will get bored and leave within a year.
  • He shouldn’t want this position. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Bad behaviors

There’s a big difference between hiring an occasional overqualified person and writing job descriptions with requirements that are out of sync with actual duties. While it’s true that an overqualified candidate might want to opt in, it’s also true that demanding a master’s degree for an entry level position is total overkill.

Be open and honest during the search process. Make sure your job postings paint an accurate picture of what life in that position is really like, including the compensation structure. This will help everyone decide whether or not the position and the candidate are a good match.  

Take off your blinders

Don’t let outdated recruitment and hiring assumptions affect your talent search. Expand your range of vision and you’ll be much more likely to spot your next best hire.


At Raffa, we work with businesses in the greater Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC area to implement strategic employee benefits plans designed to position them as coveted employers of choice. Whether you’re looking to build a healthy team, lower employee turnover, or recruit and reward executive talent, we can help. 

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Photo by gstockstudio 

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