As a leader and manager of any successful business, a key component is the successful acquisition of the right people at the right time, with the minimum amount of time and effort expended.
We encounter countless fundamental errors that companies big & small make on a daily basis that are massively hampering their ability to attract and recruit the “hidden elite”. This is the best talent in any market sector. Make sure you don’t fall foul of our top 5 hiring howlers:
1. Your interview process takes way too long:
Everyone wants to thoroughly interview prospective recruits, however thoroughness doesn’t have to equate to a lengthy recruitment process.
We continually encounter situations where candidates become disillusioned with the length of time an interview process takes. We’ve known examples over 12 months! Our advice is to aim to conclude the process as quickly as possible, with an absolute maximum limit of 4 weeks from start to job offer made. People get bored, lose momentum and enthusiasm.
In our business, no news is usually bad news and a lack of information, delays following an interview create feelings of doubt, uncertainty, disorganization and a waning of interest from even the most eager of candidates. Get your plan sorted before embarking on a recruitment process to prevent this happening and give yourself the strongest possible opportunity to hire the best people.
2. You fail to think deeply about what you actually want prior to beginning the process:
Another common situation we encounter is clients who start off interviewing, then start to drastically change the job specification during the interview process.
The best interviewers will tweak and evolve their requirements when they are actually exploring their hiring options. That’s fine. What’s not fine is wholesale changes to the spec.
Usually this is as a result of a lack of detailed analysis and thought of what the job entails before the interview process starts. All jobs should have a detailed, 2 page job specification. Job specs are tough to write, but the process forces you to critically analyse what you want and saves you countless wasted hours interviewing the wrong people.
3. You’ve found the right candidate, but the job offer process is botched:
Aside from whether the candidate can “do” the job, the 3 common barriers to hiring are salary, location and motivation. Before you even interview a candidate, our advice is to clarify these 3 issues. Most companies don’t.
Once you’ve decided to make a job offer, find out exactly what the candidate is looking for in an offer. This part of the process is primarily about communication. Many companies will just “make an offer”, in the hope that it’s right and the candidate will accept. This isn’t good enough. Find out whether your offer is right before it’s made. If the offer is too low it could turn the candidate off completely.
As a professional recruiter, these small details are crucial. We always ensure that a client is armed with the information required to ensure that the offer will be accepted. It’s a “risk analysis” situation. Identify what the individuals’ needs, wants and motivations are and you’ll have the best chance of satisfying their needs and agreeing a deal.
4. Failed to “sell” your company at the interview stage and the candidate you want isn’t interested:
Anyone over the age of 40 will wax lyrical about “old skool” interview techniques of overpowering, aggressive interviewers with arms folded, bellowing “what can you do for us then?”. Fast forward to 2014 and this approach doesn’t work any more. Employing people is very much a 2-way process. Not only does the candidate need to “sell” themselves to you the employer; you need to sell your company to the prospective candidate. Our best advice is as follows.
Think of the 3 top reasons someone would come and work for your company doing the job you’re hiring for. Use that as your “sales pitch”.
Irrelevant of your first impressions. Assume that everyone you interview will be recruited, so sell the company professionally all the way through the interview. We’ve lots of examples of companies who haven’t liked someone on first impressions, then been luke-warm through the interview; but towards the end realised that “hey, I was wrong I really like this person and I want to hire them”. Problem is – the first 30minutes they were luke-warm have put the candidate off and they reject the job offer.
5. The internal politics haven’t been resolved prior to beginning the recruitment process:
This is a common issue that causes wasted management time, wastes candidate & recruiter time (which ultimately has a negative PR effect towards your company). Candidates and recruiters will be less inclined to take you seriously, and it can have a damaging effect on your candidate pool and your reputation in your industry. We know many companies that the best people simply will not talk to, as they have a reputation for wasting time, not giving feedback on interviews and being disorganised.
It’s a tough one as most companies have internal issues which cannot be 100% resolved prior to starting a recruitment process. The big problem here is if you have an issue that will actually prevent you hiring the right individual. This could range from differing views within the management team on the profile of the right individual, to the fundamental issue of no budget “signed off” to hire the individual.
Risk analyse your situation prior to starting a recruitment process, and ensure everything is in place to allow you to complete the hire. If an insurmountable obstacle is in place then ultimately the process is a waste of time & effort and will fail to deliver what is required. Deal with issues before you start.