Hiring employees is tough. It’s easy to mess up. You overlook a law, inadvertently irritate candidates, or create a step that adds limited value while taking a ton of your time. Here are some common mistakes we see and how you can not only avoid them – but use them to attract and hire better than your competition.
The Six Mistakes
It’s Too Hard to Apply.
This mistake has two parts. Let’s start with your careers page. Is it easy to find? If a candidate has to click more than once from your main page to see information about career opportunities, it is too hard (73% of Fortune 500 companies meet this standard). Even candidates that learn about your opportunity on LinkedIn or Indeed will want to learn more about you as an employer on your Careers page. Next, how easy is the process? Most candidates already have a job and aren’t desperate enough to spend hours just to express an interest. Make the application simple, the barrier to entry low, and, after that, the process can be more difficult. However, still be careful about how many hoops you make candidates jump through, especially early on in when the candidate still needs to be heavily wooed.
The Hiring Process Isn’t Automated Where It Can Be – or Standardized.
Holding candidates to the same standards is the most key part of your hiring process. This can often be automated. For example, your job application can ask about experience, education, and required licenses. Candidates who lack the core qualities needed for the positions can either be declined automatically (enter automation!) or flagged for hiring managers to decline. Of course, this requires clarity and a shared understanding of job requirements. In some cases, this is simple: a nurse needs to be licensed. But what are your knockouts beyond that for a nurse? What are your knockouts for a Sales Manager? If you’re interviewing first, or sometimes interview first, make sure candidates in this ‘workflow’ are held to the same standards as those applying online.
Candidates Are Not Evaluated on the Same, Job Related, Criteria.
Let’s step back for a second and look at how candidates are evaluated. Let’s say you’re hiring retail associates for a luxury brand and require two years’ experience. Fantastic. Do you have data to support that there’s a strong link between having two years of experience in retail and performance? If you’re hiring for a Marketing Manager and require a college degree in marketing (or a closely related field), how is this clearly related to performance? If we look beyond hard criteria, how confident are you that your hiring managers’ questions result in answers that meaningfully predict performance? Determine what is important to successful job performance, and then put the right tools in place to evaluate candidates according to those characteristics. Constantly seek data and results to test how your criteria predict performance. If you don’t have the bandwidth – we can help. And, as your roles and culture evolve – make sure to evaluate your criteria continually.
The Hiring Process Isn’t Consistently Followed.
Like I said at the beginning – hiring is tough. If you have a process in place, and people aren’t using it (or are skipping steps and picking and choosing what tools to use) – why? Securing the buy-in and not just compliance, but enthusiastic support, of everyone involved in the hiring process, is critical for both business results and a legally defensible process.
Candidates Are Not Kept Updated on Their Status.
This is by far the biggest offender – and also easy to fix. Candidates will frequently apply to companies and never hear back – not even a simple, “thank you for applying.” This damages your brand. Applicants who have a poor experience applying are likely to share with others – and less likely to engage with your company as an applicant – or customer – in the future.
Recruiting Is Treated with a Different Intensity than Sales.
Employees are the faces, hearts, and hands of your brand. Whether in manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare, or your corporate office – the quality of your employees sets a limit on what you can achieve. Think creatively and set just as high a standard for your recruitment process as you do your sales process. Your hiring process has to be constantly nurtured if you expect your candidate pool to grow.
What Are the Next Steps?
Now that you’re equipped with knowing the most common mistakes – you can not only prevent them – but use them to surpass your competition. You may be looking at reworking a lot of your hiring process – but where do you start? Check out our eBook for a framework to get started.