Successfully recruiting and hiring top candidates in this current market is not easy. In fact, the margin for error is practically non-existent. That’s why you can NOT afford to make recruitment mistakes in your pursuit of top candidates.
Unfortunately, the recruitment process is a veritable “landmine” of potential pitfalls. There are plenty of opportunities during the process to make a misstep. As a result, the process blows up and you have to start all over again.
This is why it’s vitally important to practice vigilance every step of the way. It doesn’t matter which stage of the process the recruitment mistakes happen. Even one can be enough to cost you the opportunity to hire a top candidate.
That’s why this blog post is dedicated to recruitment mistakes that you should avoid at ALL costs. If all it takes is one mistake to prevent you from hiring the candidates you want to hire, then your goal is to make none.
Recruitment mistakes: preliminary stages
Mistakes are common during the preliminary stages of the hiring process because well, it’s the preliminary stages. However, as we’ve discussed, vigilance is just as crucial at the beginning as it is as the end. Below are recruitment mistakes in the preliminary stages of the hiring process:
- Working with a shallow talent pool—What would you rather have? The top candidate in a shallow talent pool . . . or the top candidate in a deep pool? The answer is obvious. An A-level candidate in a shallow pool might only be a B or C-level candidate in a deeper pool. The deeper the pool, the better the talent.
- Starting with a bland job description—Nobody wants to do bland work. People want to do exciting work. That’s why the job description has to be more than a litany of dull duties and responsibilities. You must infuse it with excitement. You must entice candidates with it and get their attention.
- Not fully understanding what is needed—Whereas pizzazz is needed for the job description, accuracy and understanding are required for the job requirements. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, then how in the world do you expect to find it? Even small deviations between the perceived job requirements and the actual ones can cause both figurative and literal headaches.
Recruitment mistakes: screening candidates
Hopefully, you’re drawing candidates from a wide and deep talent pool. Now it’s time for the next step in the process. Below are recruitment mistakes in the category of screening candidates:
- Not conducting a phone screen—You might think that you don’t have time for this step. However, you actually save valuable time by NOT skipping this step. That’s because the phone screen helps you to identify which candidates are contenders and which ones are pretenders. And the last thing you want to do is invite a pretender to a face-to-face interview.
- Only considering “perfect candidates”—Okay, let’s get this out of the way. “Perfect candidates” do not exist. That’s especially the case in a tight labor market like this one. There’s nothing wrong with looking for a “diamond in the rough” or somebody who could grow into the position and be a top performer.
Recruitment mistakes: face-to-face interview
We’ve covered this ground before, specifically in the blog post titled “Keep Your Clients From Making These 4 Interview Mistakes.” In the interest of brevity, below are the four mistakes that you (or your clients) should avoid:
- Holding marathon interview sessions
- Holding too many rounds of interviews
- Asking the same questions repeatedly
- Asking why they’ve decided to leave their current employer
Here’s the golden rule in terms of the interviewing stage of the hiring process. You must respect both the time and the confidentiality of the candidates. Top passive candidates are employed, and they want to keep their job search confidential from their current employer. You certainly can’t fault them for that.
Recruitment mistakes: after the face-to-face interview
The interview is over, but you’re “not out of the woods yet.” There are still plenty of obstacles and challenges with which to contend. Below are recruitment mistakes you should avoid after the face-to-face interview:
- Not conducting reference checks—A corollary to this mistake would be “Not conducting reference checks well.” If you’re not going to conduct them well, then you might as well not conduct them at all. You must ask in-depth questions not just about skills and experience, but also about character. You want a great fit all the way around.
- Not engaging the candidates enough—Actually, this mistake is one that you could commit all the way through the hiring process. First, you must communicate with candidates on a consistent basis. If not, then they’re going to think the worst: that you’re not longer interested in them. Second, you must keep them apprised the next steps in the process.
- Low-balling candidates on the offer—Once again, this is a candidates’ market. That means candidates have the leverage. Trying to low-ball candidates during the offer stage of the hiring process is a big recruiting mistake. Top candidates are not desperate. They can pick and choose what they want. They’re not going to choose a low-ball offer.
Recruitment mistakes: after the hire
Believe it or not, you’re still not safe. Why is that? Because the candidate who accepted the offer has not yet started work. After all, they could still conceivably “ghost” on you and never show up for their first day of work. With that in mind, below are recruitment mistakes to avoid after the hire has been made:
- Poor onboarding process—Remember, the onboarding process starts the moment that the candidate accepts the offer of employment. If they don’t hear from you or your client for two whole weeks, then that could be a problem. They might start wondering if they made the right decision. Other employers could extend offers to them. That’s why an engaging onboarding process will keep the candidate excited about their decision and less likely to doubt it.
In today’s market, organizations wanting to hire (and recruiters helping those organizations) should conduct a thorough analysis of its hiring processes and procedures. The elimination of recruitment mistakes at any stage of that process is a prerequisite for hiring success.
Top Echelon offers a free monthly webinar as part of its Recruiter Coaching Series. After the webinars are over, we post the recorded version of the webinars on our website. These webinars touch upon a variety of recruiter-related topics. These topics deal with both candidates and clients. As always, our goal with these webinars (and corresponding videos) is to help recruiters make more placements.
Industry trainer Greg Doersching has a webinar video on the Top Echelon website that can help you eliminate recruitment mistakes from the hiring process. The title of that video is “Keep Up the Momentum! Post-Interview Next Steps!”
In addition to training and webinars, Top Echelon offers other recruitment solutions. These solutions include the following:
- Big Biller applicant tracking system
- Top Echelon recruiting network
- Top Echelon Contracting recruitment back office
For more information about Top Echelon and the products and services that it offers, visit the Top Echelon website by clicking here.