Every employer worries about making recruitment mistakes. You may well have been in the position where a candidate seemed like the perfect fit on paper, but failed to meet your expectations on the job.
Sadly, no matter how rigorous your recruitment process, there’s never any guarantee a new hire will work out. But there are some steps you can take to minimise the chance of picking the wrong person.
Here are 9 of the most common recruitment mistakes and how to avoid them:
1. A boring job advert
Employers often recycle old job adverts or piece them together from others they find online. Sound familiar? This is a big recruitment no-no.
You’re trying to stand out and attract quality applicants. So you need to write an ad that will engage your audience and draw them in. More often than not, job descriptions are endless bullet pointed lists. They might get the point across, but they’re not going to attract the calibre of candidates you want.
Be creative. Describe your ideal candidate and what a typical working day may consist of. Explain how they’ll fit into the company culture. Paint a picture that helps them visualise working there. Don’t be afraid to include quirky factoids or language, if it fits with your brand culture.
2. An unrealistic number of essential skills
Another mistake with job ads is listing an impossible number of essential skills and requirements. Not only is this daunting for candidates, it’s unrealistic on your part. As much as we all want super human employees, in reality, no-one is going to tick every single box. So be realistic. Which skills are essential and which can be learnt on the job?
Think carefully about what’s required for the role and separate your list into ‘essential’ and ‘preferred’ skills.
3. Sitting on CVs
Good candidates aren’t on the job market long. If it takes you 3 weeks just to look at their CV, they may well have lost interest or been offered a role with a competitor before you’ve even offered them an interview.
Make an effort to read applicant’s CVs as they come in and make a quick yes/no decision.
4. Lengthy application process
It should take around 30 days to fill a position, but it’s often more like 90. Why? Because employers drag things out that should be simple, like the application process. If a great candidate has to fill out a 30-page application form, write a cover letter and complete a series of tests before being considered for interview, it could put them off, especially if they’ve got other interviews in the pipeline.
Cut out unnecessary steps from the process. Do you really need a cover letter and application form? Are there questions on the application form you could ask at interview instead?
5. Lengthy interview process
It’s understandable that you want your recruitment process to be thorough, but you don’t want to wear candidates out. A good rule of thumb is to tailor the process to the level of employee you’re hiring. For an entry-level position, one interview should be more than enough to qualify them. But for a managerial position, you may need more than one, or want to include a presentation, depending on the demands and responsibilities of the role.
6. Not selling your business
Don’t forget that interviewing is a two-way process. It’s just as important for you to sell your company to the candidate as it is for them to impress you.
What makes the company unique? What sort of culture does it promote? Treat it like a sales pitch. Tell them what you love about the company. And talk up the perks of working there, whether it’s summer hours, bonus schemes or training opportunities.
7. Leaving candidates in limbo
If a candidate has made the effort to apply for the role and come in for an interview, you owe it to them to let them know the outcome as soon as possible, even if it’s bad news. Neglecting to do this can earn you a poor reputation, and is frankly just bad manners.
8. Lack of communication between recruiters and hiring managers
When a hiring manager and HR pair up to make a new hire, it can end in tears. Theoretically, these two parties should get along. After all, they share a common goal: to find the most qualified person to fill a position as quickly as possible. But when push comes to shove, there’s often tension, mainly because of an information gap. HR will never know as much about the position as the hiring manager. Similarly, the manager will rarely understand HR’s process, challenges, or constraints.
To avoid this, make sure they work closely and collaboratively from the get-go. This will save time and tantrums later on.
9. Scrimping on salary
Before hiring a new employee, you need to decide on a salary. It’s important to get it right as undervaluing the position could affect your ability to find a good candidate.
Make sure it’s fair by doing your homework. Check the current market rates for the role you’re hiring for. If in doubt, recruitment agencies are a good source for this information.
So there you go: nine hiring mistakes that happen every day. But knowing the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them will help your recruitment process run smoothly.