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Guest Blog – 7 Hiring Mistakes That Kill Your Recruiting Efficiency

Adrian Dixon

November 11, 2019

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If you’re a hiring manager or recruiter, you probably make recruitment mistakes all the time. This is because everyone makes mistakes, and because the role of a recruiting agent or Human Resources professional requires plenty of human intuition – something that’s trustworthy but certainly not error-proof. While it might be impossible to assess a candidate with 100% accuracy every time, there are plenty of practices that can make you much more efficient and effective in general.

Here are some common recruiting mistakes, and how you can avoid them.

1. Losing touch too quickly

Often, both candidates and recruiters fail to reconnect after an interview even if it went reasonably well. A network of skilled contacts is invaluable for any recruiter, but they can grow cold if you lose touch too quickly after an initial content. As a candidate, not hearing back can give the impression that the hiring manager or recruiter was totally unimpressed – even if this wasn’t the case! Keep candidates up to speed about their application process, as well as occasional updates to ensure they remain warm leads for the future. Not only does this help to maintain your current network of talent, it ensures that candidates stay interested in your recruitment services.

2. Giving up on unresponsive candidates

You might not get a response upon reaching out to a candidate for the first time, but giving up on them is a mistake. Just as you expect job-seekers to follow up with employers, you should follow up on unresponsive candidates a few times before writing them off – you never know if your initial outreach was perhaps missed by accident.

3. Focusing too much on years of experience 

Remember that saying, attitude is everything”? When it comes to assessing candidates, attitude counts for a lot, and some recruiters make the mistake of focusing too much on years of experience and forget about assessing attitude. A candidate might not have many years of management under their belt, but if they’ve demonstrated their ability to lead team projects, proactively learn new skills, and possess a good track record, they just might have the attitude it takes to become the executive they were destined to be – regardless of their apparent lack of experience.

4. Failing to properly market your company

Top talent, especially in fields such as engineering and I.T., is generally in short supply compared to the demand. A candidate might be interested in a position at a new company, but don’t assume they don’t have several other offers. In fact, data scientists and developers with crucial skills tend to be spoiled for choice when it comes to job offers. Assessing a candidate to see if they have the right skills, experience, and attitude is part of your job as a recruiter or hiring manager, but so is marketing the company culture and selling the position to really peak their interest.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Many skilled professionals in engineering and technology are looking for more than just a decent salary. They want to know what kind of projects they’ll be working on, and the positive impact the company/project has on society and/or the environment. More and more, people are looking for challenging and meaningful work, and as a recruiter, you’ll really need to convey this, along with the company culture. Fail to market the company culture, brand, and the importance of the role, and you could risk missing out on some all-star candidates.

5. Doing everything by hand

AI recruitment software is key for saving time and increasing efficiency. Some recruiters and hiring managers spend too much time managing disparate spreadsheets and systems. Not only is this inefficient, but can lead to considerable human error. Candidate details should be managed with an automated recruitment software that enables easy access to data, and can automate follow ups, schedule meetings, and more. There are plenty of software programs designed for recruiting that save time, cut down on human error, and increase efficiency.

6. Relying on a single source to attract talent

Job websites can yield great results for companies looking to grow their team. Employee referral programs can also be an effective way to attract keen candidates. Relying too much on a single recruiting approach, however, is a common error; as effective as it might be in the short term.

Attracting talent should be a multi-faceted activity. While some channels might perform better than others, it’s also crucial to be open to using various sources. Recruitment activities can include hosting meetups, using social media channels, launching employee referral programs, posting to job sites, engaging a well-respected recruitment agency, and more. Make sure to identify the top-performing channels to understand which ones are the most effective. 

7. Holding out for a unicorn

Photo by Inês Pimentel on Unsplash

Wouldn’t it be nice to hire a Data Scientist with 15 years of experience, as well as a strong executive leadership track record; not to mention a megawatt smile and irresistible charm? It’s important to keep standards high, but also equally important to take a chance on a good quality candidate that doesn’t necessarily have every single qualification down to the last detail. Our world is moving at an incredibly fast pace – fail to identify the best candidate out of a pool quickly, or you could risk being understaffed for too long. There’s no such thing as perfection, but there is such as thing as finding the best person out of a set of possibilities without wasting time holding out for an unrealistic ideal.

Finding candidates is challenging and mistakes are bound to happen. Industries and their various hiring needs are evolving at lightning speed, making it hard for recruiters to keep up with all of the changes. As employee expectations and the demand for their various skills evolve, so should your approach to recruiting.

Recruitment best practices and the technology to increase hiring efficiency will probably continue to change from year to year, and automation software is here to make your life as a recruiter easier. Several current HR software platforms offer key functions, from payroll to candidate sourcing. While there is some investment involved in implementing a new technology, the payoff of an automated system is nearly always worth it. For example, it can help drastically cut down on data entry mistakes, as well as save a lot of time. Importantly, they provide key insights so you can make better decisions in the future – something that isn’t so easy with manually-compiled data. For hiring managers who aren’t keen on learning a new technology, turning to a reputable recruitment firm is an option, as they typically have the most updated tech tools on the market to handle your needs.

Miriam Groom is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Groom and Associates, a Canadian recruitment agency specialized in headhunting and HR consulting.