4 Major Recruiting Mistakes and How to Fix Them

May 31, 2016

by switchandshift.com

There’s something therapeutic about empathizing with others over shared awful experiences while recruiting for talent – especially if you can also share solutions to prevent those experiences from recurring.

Below, you will find some of the major recruitment mistakes that are often committed out in the field, along with some approaches to fixing the mistakes. If you’re experiencing a turbulent recruiting operation – or you just want to take a few minutes to learn about the solutions to costly and common recruitment mistakes – then read on.

1. Not Planning Ahead

Regardless of the industry you work in, strategic workforce planning is critical to any successful recruitment strategy. Workforce planning is not an easy task, but you can’t afford to disregard its importance to your organization’s bottom line as a whole.

To back this notion, Corporate Research Forum conducted a survey and reported that nearly half (47 percent) of firms polled had not conducted any recruitment forecasting for 12 months in advance. Failure to properly plan can result in a number of problems: overspending, inefficiencies leading to longer-than-necessary hiring processes, an inability to adapt to changing market conditions, a tendency to make rushed decisions, and – most importantly – a negative impact on the productivity and success of the organization.

The Solution

A way to remedy mishaps like these is to first understand that you can’t always predict exactly how your hiring will pan out. However, by taking the following steps, you can better develop proactive recruiting solutions and strategies in order to prepare for changes in the market:

  • Utilize the company’s historical recruitment data to understand where volumes lie within particular departments, business units, countries, and regions. This data also gives an understanding of candidate ratios required to fill a position and how long the hiring process is likely to take.
  • Study recruitment spend and where it is attributed (e.g., advertising, agencies, employer branding, social media, etc.).
  • Identify hires that are critical to the business (i.e., hires that have a significant impact on the overall business strategies and objectives).
  • Identify hires that are painful (e.g., hires that are known to take longer to fill than normal).
  • Identify periods of the year when recruitment could spike (e.g., before Christmas in retail organizations).

No matter the industry in which you work, reactive recruiting will only lead to a lack of the right people with the right skill sets at the right time. Get into planning mode instead and be ready for unexpected demand using the data you already have.

2. Insufficient Employer Branding

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon.

Employment branding should be treated like marketing, and your candidates should be treated like consumers. People now research their potential employers the same way they research products before buying them. With unemployment rates at (roughly) a seven-year low and the fact that we are in a heavily candidate-driven marketplace, wellpaying “good” jobs are no longer enough to attract great talent. Companies need to be engaging and transparent, and their employer brands need to be on point.

A CareerBuilder study revealed that organizations with strong employer brands attract at least 3.5 times more applications per job posting than other companies in the same industry, and LinkedIn found that strong employer brands can reduce a company’s cost per hire by about 50 percent. This supports the idea that investing in your employment brand will save you money, make you a more desirable place to work, increase the quality and volume of your hires, and reduce turnover rates.

The Solution

To build a best-in-class employment brand, please consider these points:

  • State clearly your mission and values and share employee stories about your company. Do so using videos, images, and graphics for greater resonance with candidates.
  • Utilize website video content to depict jobs, culture, and departments. Cisco estimates that by 2018, an amazing 84 percent of Internet traffic will be from video content.
  • Offer targeted messaging for candidates (e.g., use custombranded strategy pages for finance, sales, technology, and operations positions).
  • Launch a talent community (TC) and leverage a recruitment management platform that gives people the ability to sign up for your community on your career site. Managed TC communication engages members and encourages reapplies.
  • Implement a mobile-optimized application process for millennials and Generation Z candidates.
  • Leverage social media. Job seekers are increasingly going to social media pages to research companies before applying for jobs. Use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram (if appropriate) to promote a consistent message about your organization.

3. Candidate Rejection and Feedback

This is an aspect of the hiring process where many hiring managers can unsuspectingly cause serious damage to their employer brands simply by neglecting to give candidates due feedback. Understandably, hiring managers are incredibly busy and just want to find “the chosen one.” Still, all candidates that have been interviewed should be contacted and given feedback – even if they are no longer being considered for the role. This should be done as a courtesy to candidates and for the sake of the company’s brand.

The candidate experience is one of the key drivers of your employer brand.Should the feedback process be carried out incorrectly, word will spread. According to Glassdoor, “69 [percent] of candidates would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.”

The Solution

If your organization is guilty of not giving candidates the feedback they deserve, you can address the problem immediately by simply allocating a dedicated resource to coordinating and communicating with candidates at all points in the recruiting process. This should be a structured process – and a timely one, too. Candidates shouldn’t be waiting for weeks before they receive feedback.

4. Looking for the Perfect Candidate

The perfect candidate is a myth. Making a hire is always subjective, in the sense that you are interviewing people in order to uncover attributes that assure they are a good fit for your company.

Metaphorically speaking, let’s use a plate of food as an example. There is no such thing as a perfect plate of food, because everyone has a different taste. A dish that may taste great to you may be just “good” to others. Nonetheless, the dish is good enough for everyone to enjoy. Waiting around to find a candidate that ticks off all the check boxes will cause delays in the recruitment process, and that ultimately slows down your business’s progress toward its goals. Consequently, the quality candidates you passed on will get hired by more decisive companies.

The Solution

As mentioned before, rarely will you ever find a candidate that meets every requirement to a T. Still, you need to screen for both personality and skill set.

First, you want to make a judgement on whether a candidate’s personality would fit into the team and culture that is already in place. It is extremely important that you tackle this question before any others. You can always work on molding a skill set to fit a role, but the task of molding a personality to fit a team is almost impossible. Identify specific personality characteristics that are important to your team so you know what to look for in a new hire, and then make sure that all parties involved in the hiring process are consistently looking for the same traits. Once you have identified candidates with the right characteristics, you should then further screen for skill sets and competencies that are important to the role.

Do any of these mistakes sound familiar to you? If so, your recruiting process could probably stand to be overhauled a bit. The good news is that you are now ready to tackle any and all of these problems head on and make some major improvements for a better recruiting process. Apply these solutions to your next interview round, and you’ll see the difference they make in recruiting the talent your organization needs to remain competitive.

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