The $10,000 Hiring Mistake You Can’t Afford to Make

The $10,000 Hiring Mistake You Can’t Afford to Make (And How to Avoid It)

Hiring the wrong contractor is one of the costliest mistakes a business can make. The average failed hiring costs organizations a staggering $21,000 or more after factoring in wasted time, rework, missed opportunities, and legal risks. 

Yet an astonishing 74% of employers admit to making bad hires each year when engaging freelance or contract talent. Businesses encounter a mix of experiences when dealing with contractors. Some bring valuable expertise, while others may fall short of expectations. 

The impacts go far beyond just dollars and cents. Missed deadlines, subpar work quality, and security breaches severely damage productivity and client relationships. No business can afford those risks in today’s hyper-competitive landscape. 

The good news? Most of these hiring horror shows are completely avoidable by avoiding some critical mistakes in your vetting process. This guide will break down the 5 deadly hiring sins to avoid at all costs when bringing on contractors. 

The 5 Deadly Hiring Sins: 

Sin #1: Not Verifying Skills/Credentials 

It’s the most obvious pitfall – yet businesses fall victim daily. Far too often, contractors are taken at their word on skills and experience without proper validation. This is a surefire recipe for disastrous hires. 

From developers who can’t code to marketers who oversell their paid advertising skills, the examples are endless. Reverifying core competencies through test projects, skills assessments, and comprehensive interviews is necessary. Simply skimming a resume is not enough. 

Sin #2: Overlooking Soft Skills 

Even superstar technical skills don’t make up for glaring soft skills deficiencies. An inability to communicate, meet deadlines, or be a team player can quickly derail any engagement. 

Always evaluate candidates on non-technical factors like: 

  • Professionalism and reliability 
  • Problem-solving capabilities 
  • Ability to accept feedback 
  • Language and culture fit 

A contractor could be the best developer or designer out there, but if they lack these core soft skills, they won’t be a successful fit for your team. 

The Bullet-Proof Hiring Process: 

To create a Bullet-Proof contractor vetting process, follow this concise step-by-step framework: 

Skill Screening 

  • Evaluate technical abilities through test projects, assignments, and live auditions 
  • Use skill assessments from third parties to validate expertise 

Conduct Structured Interviews 

  • Ask probing questions to gauge soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork 
  • Use standardized scorecards to consistently evaluate criteria 

Reference Checks 

  • Always thoroughly check at least 2-3 professional references 
  • Ask about quality of work, professionalism, adherence to deadlines 

Verify Credentials 

  • Confirm educational background, certifications, and professional memberships 
  • For technical roles, use third-party verification services 

Background Checks 

  • Run criminal history and legal checks to flag any ethical issues 
  • Ensure no IP violations, legal judgments, or bankruptcies 

Proper Documentation 

  • Have clear contracts and NDAs that protect IP and liability 
  • Explicit scope of work, deliverables, deadlines, and terms 

Wrapping Up 

Companies that adopt a thorough vetting process experience significant returns on investment on their contractors. 

Today, contractors are a vital part of any organization’s workforce strategy. But leaving hiring processes to chance is an extremely costly gamble. By being aware of the 5 deadly hiring sins and following a bullet-proof vetting framework, you can consistently find and engage top-tier contractors that drive impact. A little extra due diligence upfront saves considerable time, money, and headaches from bad hires down the road. 

Contractor talent is a competitive advantage – don’t let easily avoidable mistakes let that advantage slip through the cracks. You can leverage Gocontract’s services and unchallenged hiring standards today to build world-class teams. Your bottom line will thank you. 


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