Talent Acquisition

Massive Recruitment Mistakes You Might Be Making

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies” – Larry Bossidy

The phrase you are what you eat translates nicely to recruitment. Companies are built on great employees – hiring is therefore the most important thing we do. There are so many recruitment channels in today’s digital society that it’s increasingly difficult to stop stuff slipping through the cracks.

This is by no means an indictment on the state of recruitment, but there is always room for change, room for innovation. If a shark stops swimming it will die; constant improvement is the only way to become a better recruiter.

Your job adverts aren’t helping

Automation is great, right? With just one click your job ad can be in front of thousands of eager candidates. The problem? The rules are different now. There is no horde of active candidates waiting to find your jobs and apply. Adverts tend to be presented in employer-centric terms; there’s little focus on genuine engagement.

Do away with costly advertising and focus less on products that let you post your job to hundreds of boards with one click — less than half of recruiters think this actually works well anyway.

There is a clear information asymmetry here. Recruiters are struggling to connect with the best candidates — neither party is satisfied.

Better LinkedIn research means better results

We all know how useful LinkedIn is for approaching talent, but how often do you research the end user before you send that in-mail message? Carelessness at this stage can easily put candidates off.

Taking just five minutes to check if a candidate is the right fit for your organisation is all it takes.

  • Do they have similar past employment — if you’re looking for a enterprise sales rep, do they have experience in the role?
  • Do they have the right skills?
  • Where are they based? We often overestimate a candidate’s willingness to take on a horrific commute or relocate. This alone doesn’t necessarily rule a candidate out, but it should play a role in our decision.

There can be exceptions, but candidates who tick all the boxes here will be far more receptive to your approaches.

Your applications are too long

Would you want to apply for your job? It’s easy to hide behind the rhetoric that ‘the more you know about a candidate, the better placed we are to judge them’. Do we really need to know how many As they got at GCSE, though? Probably not.

This is driving the increase in gamification — recent research suggests that by the end of 2014 more than 70% of the world’s largest companies will have at least one gamified application. L’Oreal saw significant success with its “Reveal” campaign. Allowing candidates to participate in the launch of a mock product, the game attracted more than 15,000 players — many of whom would never have considered applying.

Communicate better

Great hiring is so much more than just matching candidates with job descriptions. The best recruiters take time to get to know their candidates. They find out what makes them tick and learn what they’re actually looking for. The problem? Currently most companies lack the framework to roll out this kind of continuous engagement process. Candidates slip through the cracks and are abandoned if they don’t meet requirements at that moment in time.

Instead, by redirecting these candidates to a talent community we can continue to evaluate them and provide them with carefully curated content. Maybe there’s a different role that they would be better suited for? Maybe in six months time you will have more suitable openings for them? A pool of engaged talent lets you develop an internal referral system. You already know who is ready to be hired before roles become available.

Interview like a pro

Behavioural competency interviews are not the gold standard. Following a strict playbook of questions that are designed to determine candidate suitability often leads to a leaden, inflexible process.

It’s still essential to determine that a candidate has the core skills that will allow them to succeed in your company. When you’ve established this, you should consider the idea of ‘hiring for cultural fit’. How will the applicant fit in with your or your client’s team? Would you want to sit next to him/her for eight hours every day? Will he/she be invested in the business, or is it just a stepping stone for them?

Asking the right questions and getting the answers you really need will let you work out what kind of colleague he/she would be. Is he/she worth it?

Start following up, now

The treatment of candidates you don’t hire has never been more important. Hard-won recruiting reputations can be quickly damaged by disgruntled applicants on social media and review websites like Glassdoor.

At this stage a shocking 73.8% of the feedback candidates receive is little more than a standard template — hardly conducive to a great candidate experience. Taking a little time to correct this will help stem negative reviews and may even lead to unsuccessful applicants referring their friends.

Image: Shutterstock

By Ben Slater

Ben Slater is the VP Growth at Beamery - Beautiful Recruiting Software Powered by Artificial Intelligence. If you're interested in learning more, feel free to check out a short video