May 11, 2020

Not getting the candidate you are looking for?

The 7 most common mistakes in the recruitment process and how to avoid them.

Unless your company is big enough to have a human resources department or an internal recruitment specialist dedicated to ensuring your company follows ‘recruitment best practice’, chances are there are some common mistakes you are making that are impacting your ability to attract and hire the best people on the market.

A strong business relies on building a strong team and hiring the right people. We are passionate about helping companies hire well which, in turn, enables them to operate a successful business. So, we have compiled the top 7 mistakes we see across all the industries we work with.

1. Using generic advert content, and not highlighting the ‘what’s in it for me’

By the time you get through liaising with the hiring manager, reviewing or creating the position description, and ascertaining the skills you really need for the role, many businesses rush through the next, but arguably the most critical, part of the recruitment process – the advertisement and how you attract candidates.

We do a lot of education with our clients on how to write a great ad, and we can’t stress this enough – a great ad will attract great candidates. There are usually thousands of job ads online at any one time. That means A LOT of competition to get candidates. At one point, job board Indeed quoted 26 jobs for every 1 job seeker. That means your dream candidate has 25 other choices. Why should they choose your ad?

You can either engage a professional to write the ad for you, but if you go it alone, the most important point to remember is ‘think like a job seeker’.  What do they want in their next job and what is going to convince them to apply to your business? For example, a Truck Driver wants to see that they would receive competitive pay, whether they were working day or night shifts, what kind of truck they would be driving. In comparison, a Social Worker wants to see if they have flexible hours, what the company values and culture are like, and if you encourage professional development.

It is critical that you highlight your values, your culture and what you offer to your employees. Job seekers are just as interested in this as a list of job duties. That is what your position description is for.

2. ‘Just get the ad up’ media selection mentality

Sadly, we hear this all too often - “just get my ad up, I don’t have time to think about other media options.”

Take a moment to consider this: 67% of all job searches start at Google. Facebook is the second biggest deliverer of candidate traffic (according to Talent Propeller 2020 Q1 statistics) and there are a whopping 1,100 media choices available to you for your recruitment ad. But let’s add another layer to that. There are 5 generations in the workforce at present. Do you know which demographic you are trying to reach? And do you know where they are looking for jobs?

Media selection is all about advertising your vacancy where your candidate will be looking, or where your passive candidate will already be online. Instead of purely utilising the same media you have always used, be more targeted and specific about where you spend your advertising budget.

3. Unrealistic expectations – are you actually looking for a unicorn?

This goes back to the planning stage and asking yourself if you are being realistic about the skills and experience you are asking for, and then considering that against the salary you are offering.

Be realistic. If your salary is fixed, then consider what compromises you will make – will you take 2 years’ experience with a qualification? Or 4 years’ experience with no qualification. It’s important to know what is ‘essential’ in a candidate, and what is ‘nice to have’.

If you’re unsure of what is realistic, then make sure to consult an expert. What job seekers are looking for today (especially post-COVID-19, in a candidate-rich market) is different to what they were looking for 6 months ago, and differs again depending on the industry. Finding this out from an expert will be invaluable to your hiring process.

4. Great candidates move fast – so why are you waiting two weeks to reply to applications?

If you’re struggling to find a candidate to interview because everyone you call has already accepted another offer – take the hint. Make sure you get back to your candidates as soon as the campaign has closed, or better yet, as soon as they apply, as we know that great candidates are snapped up quickly.

5. Ever heard of judging a book by it’s cover? Try not to do that with candidates.

It’s easy to glance over 50 CVs and decide that you haven’t seen the ‘right’ candidate yet, but can you read between the lines of a CV? How do you know if the candidate really wants the job or if they are simply applying for every job under the sun?

Tip: Use multiple resources to assess a candidate’s suitability.  Their resume is just one part of the total package. How about skills testing to see if they have the aptitude to perform in the role, despite experience perhaps not being demonstrated in their CV? Could you utilise video covering letters to gauge if a person’s personality is a fit for your culture and the role? Failing that, a five-minute phone conversation could help you decide yay or nay.

6. You wouldn’t leave the last square of chocolate in the packet – don’t leave your candidate’s journey unfinished either!

Don’t forget about your unsuccessful applicants in the process of finding your perfect one! Even if you have found a candidate to hire, getting back to unsuccessful candidates is an incredibly important and frequently overlooked part of the process. Thanking them for their application, and asking to keep their details on file is a great way to build rapport, improve your employer brand, and turn a negative experience (not being accepted for a job you applied for), into a positive one (interacting with the company you applied for and being kept in the loop for future opportunities)!

7. You’ve found a great candidate – make sure to treat them like the gem they are!

One in four new employees leave or look for a new job within the first 90 days. Why? Because their onboarding experience and the job itself didn’t align with their expectations.

If you want to avoid this, make sure your onboarding process is seamless! Whether it be a staff welcome morning tea, an introductory video sent pre-start date, or something else, make sure to welcome them to your team and make them feel valued right from the get-go.

Simple things like making sure their desk and equipment is set up, introducing them to everyone and having payroll/HR/internal forms all printed and ready for them to sign make ALL the difference in making your new recruit feel valued, organised and cared for.