by Emily Russen, Smartrecruiters.com
The recruitment process is generally thought of as applicants competing to get hired by an employer. This is usually the case, but there is another competition occurring behind the scenes: Employers facing off against one another to attract top talent.
The last thing any company wants to do is lose a great candidate because of a recruiting misstep. Unfortunately, just as an applicant can turn you off by showing up late for an interview, there are mistakes your company may be making that are hurting your hiring process.
Recruiting with Bad Job Descriptions
We have probably all heard the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” In a nutshell, one soup she tried was too cold, one was too hot and the final soup was just right. You need to pursue the “just right” approach when writing a job description.
If an applicant sees a job description with a second-by-second breakdown of his or her workday responsibilities, chances are the applicants will not be interested in applying for that position. It could come off as micromanaging before he or she even makes it through the door. Don’t account for every remote task the employee will have to do, simply rely on your catch-all phrase: “Performs other duties as required.”
There is often a magical balancing act between asking for too much or too little. If you undersell what an employee needs to do, you might be attracting the wrong people. Your dream candidate will look at the job and think he or she is overqualified because there is not enough detail while unqualified individuals will assume the position is perfect for them. Therefore, you have to make sure your job description is “just right” for your ideal candidate.
Not Seeking Clarification on Job Hopping and Employment Gaps
While job hoppers can be valuable to your company, take the time to ensure that applicants are advancing as they “hop” from job to job. Job hoppers can bring a wide variety of talent and skills to your company, so don’t discount them off the bat. However, if someone has a history of changing jobs regularly, it can be a sign the applicant is unable to commit to a company or multiple companies have quickly made the choice to part ways.
Employment gaps aren’t alway a “Proceed with Caution” sign. The last decade has been a strange time for employers. Employers are not in hiring spurts as they were in the 1990s and now most are holding back. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see more than a few applicants who have been laid off. This could be due to the economic downturn and nothing to do with the applicant’s ability to do his or her job. Take this information into account and see what category your applicant falls into. An applicant might have taken time off to finish off a degree or perhaps, were a victim of the recession. You can benefit from another employer losing a great employee and add him or her to your roster!
Failing to Keep Applicants in the Loop
HR can be classified as the “go to” department for just about everything. This can cause HR pros to have their hands in multiple parts of the organization. As a best practice, part of the job is taking all of the follow-up calls and emails once a candidate has submitted an application. Due to so many other things going on, it is not feasible for recruiters to send personalized emails every step of the way.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) enable recruiters to streamline applicant communications. An ATS, like Hyrell, can send mass personalized emails with the click of a button (or two). What used to take a few hours will now take less than a minute. This will also cut down on the deluge incoming calls asking for an update. Even if you reject an applicant, you should “close the loop” and let the applicant know you are going in another direction. Otherwise, the applicant still might be optimistically waiting for your call. Good applicants will want to be updated, even if it is less than desirable. They at least want know their applications were reviewed and not sitting in an Inbox. Sending a short email will help you to stay on good terms with rejected applicants. An applicant that is not a good fit for one position could be your first choice for another opening.
Lacking a Collaborative Hiring Process
Most of the time, department managers are included in the hiring process. If not, it might be time to start. HR professionals are the masters of recruitment. Recruiters and generalists know what to look for on applications and resumes – but that does not mean department managers should be excluded from the process. While it is not uncommon for HR to be the face of the recruitment efforts, department managers should give the resume a “once-over” before HR acts on a candidate.
Department managers know the responsibilities of their direct reports better than anyone else. For example, in a car dealership, a Service Manager will know what type of mechanic certifications are best, what type of experience is required, etc. This information should be passed along to HR so recruiters know who to start looking at during the initial screening. Department managers could potentially be saving the company from hiring an applicant who does not have the appropriate qualifications for the job. Teamwork is important throughout business and the recruitment process is not an exception. Choosing an applicant HR and the department manager are comfortable with will benefit the company.
Applicants generally are the people being assessed in the hiring process. However, that does not mean the tables can’t be turned on employers. Making job descriptions on point, keeping open communication and collaborating during the recruitment process are just a few ways you can correct common errors. If you have an applicant you feel is highly qualified, chances are, another employer noticed that too. Strive to make your hiring process as flawless as possible to ensure the qualified applicants you want to become the next great employee on your team!