Guest Blog: Four Flawed Recruiting Tactics To Avoid And What You Should Be Doing Instead

Kayla Kozan

November 21, 2018

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Are flawed recruiting tactics truly fixable?

The problem

It’s the same thought all over: “Good talent is hard to find.”

However, why this old saw holds true for today’s employers varies. Candidates drive today’s market as unemployment is at a 30-year low, and 60 percent of job seekers are finding positions within two months of beginning their search. The truth is this: the market is tight for companies looking to attract and retain the best employees possible.

Employers have to bring their A-game when it comes to hiring the most qualified team members. However, a significant hurdle for many companies may be that they are holding onto harmful and flawed recruiting tactics. Companies stand to lose out on great candidates if they don’t reconfigure their talent management strategies. So, if you are a manager or HR professional looking to hire, please read on for four flawed recruiting tactics you should steer away from, and strategies to use instead.

Avoid the reputation of a lousy recruiting and hiring process

One of the worst things a company can do is get saddled with the reputation of having a disorganized path from first contact to final offer letter.

Candidates expect a straightforward, professional, and upright hiring process. Much like how customers are looking for an exemplary and transparent experience from companies, candidates also want a well-crafted hiring experience. According to a candidate survey conducted by IBM, 58 percent of those with a prior negative impression of the hiring organization said they would not apply again in the future. The perfect candidate can fall through the cracks if the hiring process is not handled professionally.

So what can you do instead?

Companies should survey current employees and rejected candidates to receive feedback on their hiring experience. What worked?  What didn’t? What could have worked better? This will help HR, as well as participating managers, to identify the parts of the hiring process that are harmful to the process, and to your company’s reputation.

Avoid Informal and Poorly Written Job Descriptions

It is easy and convenient to create a template for a specific type of job and only change small details; however, companies do not benefit from this. Liz Ryan, a contributor to Forbes,was correct  when she said, “Why send your target audience the message that they couldn’t possibly be the person you seek?”

When employers fail to create job descriptions that are customized for the right audience, and appeal to the top-rung employee they’re seeking, they are not going to attract employees that fit the correct hiring profile.

Do This Instead 

HR should partner with the hiring manager to discuss all relevant duties, tasks, and potential projects associated with the position. They should then work together to craft a job description that is not only detailed enough to include relevant responsibilities and qualifications, but also a document that evokes the culture of the company and expresses excitement about what the right candidate will bring to the table.  The description should include information on how the company is different from competitors, and provide a brief insight into what candidates can expect to experience while working there.

Avoid a Lengthy Hiring Process

According to MRI Network’s Recruiter and Employer Sentiment Survey, 56 percent of recruiters said they could not make good hires because of a lengthy hiring process. Today is the day of the quick-strike phone screen, first round interview, and then time for reference checks or deeper background. Again, because this economy favors the job seeker, if your candidate receives another offer sooner, it is likely they will drop out of the running.

Do This Instead

Hiring teams should better streamline the hiring process. CIO mentioned some excellent ideas for conducting the entire interview and research process efficiently. One highlight from their list is to utilize technology as much as possible and take advantage of video conferencing for early interviews. This way, actual face-to-face meetings are reserved for those candidates reaching the last round of consideration. Employers can also reach out earlier to references instead of keeping this potentially time-consuming process as the final step.

Avoid a Paper Application Process

Using a paper application process is fraught with problems: mishandled or lost documentation, difficulty in sharing information, difficulty in monitoring where a given applicant is in the process, or even easy comparison between candidates.

The Society for Human Resource Management described the advantages of using HR technology in the hiring process.  As an example, they examined the advantages of a typical digital approach to candidate screening.

“Hiring software can automate processes, grade candidates and provide HR professionals with some guidance. […] The tool has algorithms to check forms for errors, describes steps for correcting those errors, and then double-checks completed forms.”

Hiring managers can speed up the hiring process, better segment potential candidates, and ensure the accuracy of forms.

What’s more, the right applicant tracking solution can be easily integrated into your company’s project management system. For example, by treating the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding of each new position as a separate project, HR professionals can lock into a step-by-step process that is easy to track and easy to report on.

So what can you do instead?

It is crucial for HR managers to find a comprehensive and robust HR management technology solution. Technology should never be a substitute for solid talent management and recruit strategies. However, investing in the right systems will make the entire hiring process much more organized and streamlined, which is a win-win for the company and the candidate.

Final Thoughts

63 percent of recruiters say that a talent shortage is their biggest problem. The past few years have been tough for companies looking to bring on new hires. Candidates have a lot more options at their disposal, and companies are having to put more effort into recruiting and retaining quality talent. In doing so, it is necessary to automate the recruiting process with new tools such as AI.

With all the challenges created by rapid company growth, going back to the drawing board to re-engineer your hiring process may be the last initiative management plans to undertake.   However, eliminating what doesn’t work is crucial. For companies that can re-tool their hiring process, increased professionalism, healthier work culture, and the caliber of new talent will more than offset the energy expended.

Chanell Alexander is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. She is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist. She has over seven years of experience in the nonprofit field, and enjoys blending innovative technology solutions with communications. When she is not writing, Chanell enjoys traveling, contributing to video game blogs, and embracing her inner foodie. See what else Chanell has been up to on her LinkedIn profile and Twitter page.