5 Common Recruiting Mistakes

Recruiting the right employees for the job advertised is a critical human resources function contributing to increased retention and profitability of the company. If you hire the wrong person for the job, you may be looking at correcting issues caused by the employee, disruption in the culture, upset among other employees, replacement costs of the employee hired and beginning the recruitment process all over again.

You want to confirm that you have an effective recruiting strategy. You want to decrease bad hires and increase good fits. Remember, your candidates are reviewing you as well during the recruitment process—and that’s good. You want your candidates determining if they’re a good fit for the job and culture. You want them to like your team. You want them to see themselves at your company. If they’re not a good fit, it’s much better to find out before they get hired.

Let’s take a look at some common recruiting mistakes.


1. Screening resumes with algorithms alone

Many employers rely on applicants completing questions in an applicant tracking system or use an algorithm-tracking system to screen resumes by searching for specific keywords, such as a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. These types of systems often skip overqualified applicants that a human may identify.

A business wants to recruit smart, talented, capable employees. These tracking systems can’t identify individuals who may have the appropriate skills, but perhaps, not the required education.

The resume or cover letter gives the candidate the opportunity to explain that they may have been a stay-at-home mom or an individual in the military. That individual has the requisite skills but never had the opportunity to complete his or her schooling. A human may pull those resumes out for further consideration. An algorithm system would kick them as not qualified.


2. Failing to sell the opportunity and culture

Don’t get so caught up interviewing the applicant that you forget to spend some time selling your company and culture. That’s why you’re interviewing the applicant, right?

Showcase your culture, including your employees, your benefits, your flexibility, your office, and your perks. Why would this candidate want to work for you? What are your values? What are your ethics? Do they align with those of the candidates? Would the candidate be proud to work at your business?

While the candidate is at your office for his or her interview, let the candidate spend some time with some of your employees. Give the candidate (and your employees) a chance to interact. Remember, your recruiting process is a two-way street. This gives both your employees and the candidate a chance to get to know each other and see if there’s a fit.


3. Neglect to offer fair compensation

Your employees want to be paid fairly. While recruiting, don’t dance around compensation. Be transparent.

Don’t ask your employee what their salary was at their previous job or their current position. (In fact, in some jurisdictions, you can no longer legally do this.) Don’t try to low-ball your candidate based on what they are currently making. (Hence, the new laws.)

With the salary history ban laws changing across the country, you should contact your employment law attorney to make sure you are addressing compensation legally in the recruiting process. The goal with transparent compensation is to treat all candidates fairly.


4. Offering a poor candidate experience

A candidate’s opinion of your business begins with their first contact during the recruitment process.

After a bad experience, 72 percent of candidate’s report their bad recruiting experience online. After reading these negative reviews, 55 percent of new job seekers intentionally avoid these companies.

When recruiting a candidate, be sure to communicate with them throughout the process. If you go for periods with no communication, your candidate may pull out of the running, thinking they are not a top pick. With competition for talent being high, the candidate is more than likely talking to other companies as well. Understand that if you draw out the process, you may potentially lose your top candidate choices.

Further, treat your candidates with value and respect. Focus on your candidates from the first contact to the last contact. Encourage your other staff to treat your candidates well when they’re in your workplace for interviews. It’s all about the experience. Make them feel welcome. Deliver a fantastic candidate experience.


5. Fail to recruit above-average, qualified employees

When was the last time you reviewed your recruiting process? How are you recruiting? On-line job boards? Recruiters or placement firms? Word of mouth?

Employee referral programs are popular recruitment tools. In fact, 82 percent of employers state the employee referral programs generate a higher return on investment than any other referral program.

Eighty-eight percent of employers say that employee referrals are the best source for above-average candidates. Additionally, after two years of employment, 45 percent of referred employees are still employed compared to 20 percent of employees hired from job boards.

Not only are employee referral programs effective recruiting tools, but employers also have access to opportunities that will make these programs even more accessible for their employees to use. For example, employers can implement technology that will connect with potential candidates that match their open positions using their employees’ social media connections.

This is different from these myopically—focused algorithm systems because here, the technology is searching for skills—skills that may exist in your employees’ connections that your employees may not realize. After all, your employees may have thousands of connections. This technology benefits your employees because it makes employee referrals easy for them, and it helps you—the company—with an above-average, qualified applicant. Everyone wins.

Don’t fall into one of these bad recruiting strategies. Recruiting talent is difficult enough, don’t make it harder on yourself. Review your recruiting program. Make changes and updates where they need to be made. Focus on making your company attractive to candidates. Develop additional strategies that will attract candidates to your company.

Not all strategies require sweeping change. Some required just a bit of focus and attention. Remember your end game. You want to recruit the right employee for the open position while increasing retention and profitability. Time to get ahead of the competitive curve.

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