4 Recruitment Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Staff

Recruitment MistakesEighty percent of staff turnover is caused by bad hiring decisions, according to the Harvard Business Review. But few organisations question whether it is their own recruitment mistakes which are turning away potential talent.

“In fact, I am sure most people blame the candidates if the work relationship turns sour.  But if your recruiting strategy exhibits any of the following obstacles, it’s time for a rethink.”

1. Self-Absorbed Job Advertisements

Most job ads speak extensively about the talent, skills and qualifications a candidate must have, but do nothing to sell the company or business to the applicant. Why should someone choose your organisation, what are you really offering beyond “just a job”?

A three page list of essential requirements tells potential candidates that you care more about satisfying a HR check list than you do about nurturing your staff’s potential and attracting the best people for the job.

Instead of being involved with the company’s culture and the prospect of working for you, talented applicants are likely to run for the hills. Remember, that talented candidates always have other options so the job needs to be more than a checklist of skills.

2. Time Sucking Processes (for no real benefit)

Studies have revealed that nearly a whopping 50% of job candidates have bailed on a prospective employer because the hiring process was so frustrating. Difficult-to-navigate recruitment portals, requiring registration to even download job descriptions, onerous communication between several company representatives (some of which have no idea what the job is even about or what your qualifications mean), long winded application forms and ambiguous job descriptions fall into this category.

“Ask yourself – would you apply if this was the process?  And if the answer is No, then you need to think about the type of people who are going to go to all this trouble to apply, and are they your ideal candidate.”


3. No Human Element

If your business spends thousands on marketing but stuff all on its recruitment communications, you’ve got the balance wrong. Talented applicants deserve more than being ignored unless they are the one chosen for the job. So, thank the candidate for applying and let them know that you will get back to them in due course.

Give them human contact (shock horror) and a direct phone call or email address. Most of all, tell them what happens next. Candidates who receive clearly-identified recruitment steps and a realistic time table are more likely to stick around.

Plus, many emails can be interpreted wrong, but a 5 minute phone call with applicants can clear up any misunderstanding about the role and how genuinely they really want it.

4. Close-Minded Culture

Every organisation has a culture and, whether you want it to or not, it will shine through your recruitment practices. Candidates use the application process as a barometer for the organisation’s working environment: show inflexibility, and the candidate has every right to assume that he’ll have little independence in the role.

Most people want to work in organisations that put their people first. They want their boss to show respect for the work they do. They want consideration for the little hiccups that life throws in the way – can they work from home, can the work part time, can they buy extra annual leave, can they work 5 days over 4.

Throw them into a recruitment process that disengages leadership, favours process over empathy or delegates the recruitment decision to an unqualified third party, and your applicants are not going to champion your firm. Before you know it, the best talent will have gone elsewhere where they feel more valued as a person and not just a number.

You recruitment process reflects on your business in so many ways. It is the first impression candidates get of how you value your staff, how they will feel when they work with you, and if in fact they want to work with you or your organisation.  As much as you think recruitment is just you sussing out the candidate, trust me, they are judging you just as much.

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