Addressing the Biggest (and Most Common) Staffing Mistakes of 2019

Businesses have never done as much hiring as they do today, and have never spent as much money doing it. As we close out Q4, many organizations have approved their new budgets and are ready to kickstart hiring for the year 2020. However, not all organizations have modern, candidate-friendly staffing practices. Additionally, the evidence shows that many organizations don’t really seem to know what they’re doing. These businesses sometimes turn to staffing agencies to handle their recruitment efforts, or they continue along as they were. Whether your client is an organization doing its own staffing or a dedicated agency, share with them these following tips to address common mistakes in staffing.

The Hiring Process

Employers are obsessed with new technologies and driving down costs, missing the ultimate goal: making the best possible hires. Hiring can be revamped by:

  • Not posting “phantom jobs.”. It costs nothing to post job openings on a company website, which are then scooped up by online companies and pushed out to potential job seekers around the world. Some of these jobs don’t really exist. Employers may simply be fishing for candidates. 
  • Designing jobs with realistic requirements. Candidates must also have corresponding attributes, which is difficult since many companies have reduced the number of internal recruiters.
  • Passing on passive candidates. 
  • Understanding the limits of referrals. The most popular channel for finding new hires is through employee referrals. It seems like a cheap way to go, but does it produce better hires? Many employers think so. It’s hard to know whether that’s true, however, given that they don’t check. 
  • Measuring results. Few employers know which channel produces the best candidates at the lowest cost because they don’t track the outcomes. 
  • Persuading fewer people to apply. The hiring industry pays a great deal of attention to “the funnel,” whereby readers of a company’s job postings become applicants, are interviewed, and ultimately are offered jobs. 

Create a smaller, better-qualified applicant pool. Every applicant costs money and exposes a company to legal risk because the company has obligations to candidates (not to discriminate, for example). Collecting tons of applicants in a wide funnel will result in many unfit individuals which employers must then weed them out and employers aren’t good at that. Also, many companies make the mistake of not accurately portraying what is difficult and challenging about the work as well as why it’s fun so that candidates who don’t fit won’t apply. 


Interviewers should stick to questions that predict good hires—mainly about past behavior or performance that’s relevant to the tasks of the job—and ask them consistently across candidates. Just winging it and asking whatever comes to mind is next to useless.

Interviews are where biases most easily show up because interviewers do usually decide on the fly what to ask of whom and how to interpret the answer. Interviews are most important for assessing “fit with our culture,” which is the number one hiring criterion employers report using. Strong interviewing protocols must be in place. 

The advice on selection is straightforward: 

  • Test for skills.
  • Ask assessment vendors to show evidence that they can actually predict who the good employees will be.
  • Do fewer, more-consistent interviews.

Organizations that don’t secure staffing insurance solutions and check to see how well their practices predict the quality of their hires are lacking in one of the most consequential aspects of modern business.

About World Wide Specialty Programs

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.