As recruitment consultants we are involved in an ongoing recruitment process year-round. But for hiring managers, recruiting is but a small slice of their large, overflowing pie of duties. We’ve listed 9 recruitment mistakes made by hiring managers that can cost them top talent. Make sure you’re not falling into these common traps.

 

1. Asking for two positions in one

 

Why this is bad:

We’ve all been faced with tight budgets, but trying to squeeze two roles into one to save money can actually be more costly than thrifty. Nevertheless hybrid roles are still commonly found.

The problem with this is employee turnover. How can you keep someone engaged enough when they only love half the job? There are very few in the talent pool that actually enjoy and seek out hybrid roles. For the most part, hybrid roles end up being filled with someone who is desperate for work and willing to take on half the duties of something they are not interested in. So when a another opportunity  in their field pops up they’ll jump at the chance.

What you should do instead:

It’s better to decide what skill set is more needed in the business and hire for that particular role instead of focusing on securing two separate skill sets in one person.

 

2. Insisting on seeing a set number of candidates (and making great candidates wait)

 

Why this is bad:

Weighing our options is human nature. I’ll visit 10 stores to find the perfect sofa and end up buying the one I saw at the start in Ikea. While recruiting isn’t the same as me buying my HÄRNÖSAND sofa, there are definitely similarities in thought patterns. “This candidate seems like exactly what I want, but I’ve only seen this one candidate. How do I really know if this is the BEST candidate out there?… I better wait till I see 10 more.”

The problem with putting a good candidate on hold while you wait for more applicants is you run the risk of losing them. Unless they are as common as my HÄRNÖSAND sofa, you’ve potentially lost a one-of-a-kind star employee.

What you should do instead:

Respect candidates in their job search process. Top talent are hot commodities and won’t sit around forever. We’ve seen many employers lose their top choices to competitors because they were indecisive and didn’t communicate enough interest to the candidate. Set expectations and be clear about the hiring process if you expect delays but want to hold their interest.

 

3. Ticking all the boxes

 

Why this is bad:

Having requirements is important. You need to be clear about what skills and experience are necessary to the role in order to have a successful hire. But focusing on EVERY requirement with equal importance will severely limit your options unnecessarily. You’ll be excluding some incredible candidates by being too specific and impractical.

What you should do instead:

Revisit your list of requirements and pick out only the key MUST-HAVES. Then decide whether it can be learnt as part of the training process or it’s essential to have prior experience. Also consider how important ‘fit’ is in comparison to depth of technical skills. Sometimes hiring someone whose personality and workstyle fits better with the company can result in a better, more loyal hire.

 

4. Low-balling

 

Why this is bad:

We all enjoy getting a good deal. So what’s the harm in throwing in a little low-ball offer in the off chance that they accept?

We don’t advise gambling with the salary offer, mainly because it’s just that – a gamble. High calibre candidates can feel disrespected by an undervalued offer. Not all candidates are comfortable playing ‘the salary game’ and instead of providing a counter offer, will walk away completely.

What you should do instead:

Being clear about salary expectations on both sides during the interview process will avoid any surprises in the offer stage. If employing a recruitment agency, the recruitment consultant can comfortably navigate mutual waters for both parties.

 

5. Overselling the job

 

Why this is bad:

There are many ways to oversell a job. It can involve dangling carrots like bonuses, advancement opportunities or incredible employer benefits that never truly see the light of day. But basically it’s all simply inflating the role and making it sound more attractive than it is.

While it may not even be intentional, hiring managers who oversell a job risk losing credibility, as well as their new hire.  Once a new hire starts in the role, they can be quickly become disenchanted when they realise the role was not entirely as promised.

What you should do instead:

The key to successful recruiting is finding the right ‘fit’. Be honest about the role and company, the good sides, the challenges and the opportunities. It’ll increase your chances of finding the right person for the job who can tackle the good with the bad.

 

6. Not having the proper people interview

 

Why this is bad:

Perfecting the skill of interviewing takes time, and unfortunately not everyone who is sent in to interview candidates have honed those skills.

A trained interviewer will know what questions to ask, how to ask them, watch for cues, and probe for more information, while only speaking about twenty per cent of the time. Relying solely on an inexperienced interviewer means the hiring process might proceed without all the full information needed.

What you should do instead:

Try to make sure at least one experienced interviewer is in the room or is involved somewhere along the hiring process. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have key players involved, but make sure they are prepped with the appropriate questions and know the objectives for the interview. Our Headhunters pre-interview all candidates for at least one hour before sending them to a client. We can also provide clients with interview guides, sample questions and what to look for in the answers.

 

7. Failing to do reference checks

 

Why this is bad:

In the midst of a time-consuming hiring process, overlooking reference checks is a huge missed opportunity. Reference checking is integral for validating the information a candidate provides (and catching any resume lies), as well as creating a fuller picture of how they performed in past roles and how they may perform in your company.

What you should do instead:

Do reference checks. Plain and simple. They are a critical part of the recruitment process that can give you great insight into what a candidate is really like, how they work, and any red flags. If you are using a recruiter, they should perform reference checks on your behalf. All our Headhunters conduct thorough reference checks with at least 2-3 references, normally before the candidate is even presented to a client.

 

8. Using ‘gut feeling’ to hire

 

Why this is bad:

Going with your ‘gut feeling’, more often than not, means going with what you feel comfortable with and not what necessarily is best for the business. The right person for the role might not be that cookie cutter, “you remind me of me” candidate.

What you should do instead:

Having a structured hiring process that involves phone screening, thorough interviews, reference checking to make an informed decision will lead to more consistent long-term hires. Take the time to evaluate the role and define the criteria for what would make someone successful in that role and stay on track. Think about the department or team as a whole and the dynamics needed for high performance.

We highly recommend using talent assessment tools to give you unbiased insight into applicants. Assessment tools can be used to predict better ‘fit’ for clients and candidates, reduce turnover and improve productivity. As part of our recruitment process, ALL candidates who come through The Headhunters take a Workstyle & Performance Profile Assessment. The results of which are shared with both the candidate and the client.

 

9. Not having an onboarding program

 

Why this is bad:

We’ve written a whole other blog post on the importance of onboarding. But the bottom line is this: the first three to six months are critical for new hires and companies who fail to nurture them during this period run a higher risk of failure. Onboarding programs ensure you have a high-functioning employee faster and improve retention.

“New employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years.” – The Wynhurst Group

What you should do instead:

If you don’t have an established onboarding program, it’s time to get one! If you don’t know where to start, we’re happy to help you. The Headhunters and TalentClick have created a comprehensive employer’s guide to onboarding – “Onboarding – Preparing for a New Employee”. It includes the onboarding checklist, templates for welcome letters, performance reviews and employee questionnaires. To receive your free copy, email connect@theheadhunters.ca



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