10 Common Recruiting & Hiring Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

In an employer’s job market, a blindfolded zebra could find a good candidate for your job opening. When the labor market tightens, employers need to buckle down, fine tune their processes, and get creative.

Before you prepare to recruit, interview, and extend a job offer in today’s tight talent market, consider these 10 common hiring mistakes:

Recruiting Mistakes

1. You skipped the first step of the process. Far too often, the recruiting process is flawed from the very start due to lack of communication. Set up a meeting between the recruiter and the hiring manager to outline specifically what the hiring manager wants. Create a profile of the ideal candidate and then share this with each member of the hiring team. It’s next to impossible to find the right candidate if you don’t know who the right candidate is.

2. You don’t have a timeline. Before you begin to recruit, it’s also important to review your hiring process and timeline. Everyone on the hiring team will perform better when expectations are in place.

3. Your job description is boring. When preparing the job description, don’t forget to include the WIIFM (what’s in it for me). While it’s important to give candidates a clear picture of role and responsibilities, it’s just as important to help the candidates understand what life would be like if they accepted the job. What will their average day on the job be like? What is the vibe of the office? What are the job perks?

Job descriptions are often dry and impersonal. Give your job descriptions some personality to grab candidates’ attention and entice them to your company culture.

4. You didn’t put on your marketing hat. Once you have your ideal candidate in mind, brainstorm where this candidate can be found. Sure, you’ll post the job opening online – possibly your company website or one of the big online job boards, but what if your ideal candidate isn’t visiting these sites? Consider places like niche job boards and industry newsletters. Don’t forget to look within your own company walls; could you promote from within? Just as a marketer needs to appeal to their target customer, it’s your job to find and attract your target job candidate.

5. You only focused on active job seekers. According to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Midyear Job Forecast, nearly a quarter of employees at small businesses said they are likely or very likely to change jobs in the second half of 2016. Dissatisfaction with salary, limited opportunities for growth, and limited career advancement opportunities topped the reasons for seeking a job change. Translation: passive job seekers can quickly become active job seekers if the right opportunity comes along.

Interviewing Mistakes

6. You only talked about yourself. No one wants to go on a first date and spend hours listening to the other person talk about themselves. While it’s important to open up the interview with a brief description of the company and the role, put your focus on the candidate, not yourself.

7. You didn’t talk in future-tense. If you’re lucky enough to hire a five-star employee, you’re going to want this person to stick around for the long haul. The best time to talk about the future is now. Discuss opportunities for advancement and how you see the role evolving. (Note: Make sure to follow through once the candidate becomes an employee. Discuss career tracks often to avoid broken promises.)

Job Offer Mistakes

8. Your hiring process is sssslow. The most common reason that candidates turn down jobs is that they receive other offers. And the reason that they receive multiple job offers is usually due to slow hiring processes. While candidates wait for you, they look into other options and lose interest in your company. If your hiring process gets delayed, maintain communication with your candidates.

9. Your salary didn’t meet your candidate’s expectations. Candidates are more informed about today’s market rates. If your offers don’t meet their requirements, they’ll turn you down. According to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Midyear Job Forecast, 38 percent of small business employers expect to increase starting salaries on job offers in the second half of 2016. One in five plan to increase salaries by 5 percent or more. More than 3 in 4 small business employers say they are willing to negotiate salaries on initial job offers. In other words, your competitors are willing to meet today’s salary demands, and you must follow suit.

10. You didn’t learn from the past. Rejected job offers are inevitable, yet there are ways to increase your success rate. When an offer is declined, ask for a reason why. It’s important to understand how you can improve.

While the above hiring mistakes are common, they are easy to avoid. If you are going to focus on just one area of improvement in your recruiting and hiring processes, let it be this: communication. Communicate with the hiring manager to understand the hiring need. Communicate with the hiring team to get everyone on the same page before meeting with candidates. And, most importantly, communicate openly and regularly with the candidates to ensure that they know where they stand.

To streamline your processes, consider partnering with us! We’ll help you maintain momentum and serve as another source of communication with the talent – in other words, you can get a heads up when candidates are getting antsy. Connect with us today to begin the process of finding your next 5-star employee. We take pride in building long-term relationships with the companies we support.

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