As we alluded to previously, the recruitment game definitely isn’t a cheap one. Yes it’s a great investment if you get it right, but frighteningly more expensive if you don’t. A vacant role can be equally expensive though, so how do we make sure it’s our expertise doing the hiring, and not the panic of us getting a bum on a seat?
It would be very easy to almost fall apart at the mere thought of how much is involved in attracting and securing the right candidates. VERY easy!
But – don’t worry – we have your back and have put together some of the most common mistakes we see (besides rushing!) to help you avoid them in your own process…
There Are Gaps In The Hiring Process
It can’t be emphasised enough that you need a super clear hiring process. It is the stake in the ground amidst any uncertainty. Maybe you have new managers doing the recruiting? They’ll not yet be intimate with the needs of the team. Maybe you’re recruiting a brand new team? There will still be consistent requirements across the organisation which all recruits will need to meet. In addition to that, the needs of one team may differ wildly from those of another, so a clear outline of criteria is going to be essential.
Most businesses need to evolve and shift to keep up with or ahead of business trends and industry changes. Without a clear hiring brief to fit within this, your expectations and standards of recruits will be unstable and much harder to unify. It creates guesswork and magnifies the opportunity to get it wrong.
Hiring Personality Over Competence
This is such a big one! And understandably so as let’s face it – someone who is enjoyable within their interview is far more tempting than someone who took a while to warm up. This is another reason why a clear hiring process is so important. By all means gauge how sociable your prospect is if they are going to work within a team, but really drill down on the technical or knowledge requirements of their role.
Ask plenty of role specific questions and pay attention to their cues and body language while they answer – do they look and feel like they are confident when they get closer to their subject matter?
Obviously allow for nerves – if you’re offering a great job opportunity, your prospect will really want this so the pressure may come through. If this is the case trying to slow the interview down a little to calm their nerves will make it much easier to get a real feel for the level of expertise your candidate has. If you really are not sure, don’t make a snap decision – invite the strongest contenders back for an extra interview. It may feel awkward but it could save you a lot of money in the long run!
References Are Not Used Enough
This is one highly underused resource. For two reasons…
One is that it’s the age old way of endorsing your candidates. Asking another person who’s previously sought exactly what you’re currently looking for from this person is a no brainer right? You’ll be amazed how many people skip this step though! It’s actual, real time information on your potential recruit – the next best thing or the worst thing ever? This is insight so why not use it? Yes it may slow things down while you wait for the references to come in, but it’s confirmation of what you think something is and in the recruitment world that is gold dust.
Another aspect of references which is sometimes overlooked, is that if you seek references from old team members and colleagues too – it’s not only insight on whether your prospect is suitable for the role, but it’s valuable information on how you can support them too. By the time you’ve dealt with a few previous colleagues, you’ll have built up a clear picture of their previous working environment. If you know that they were happy in their last role and your values and practices are similar to those they are already used to, this is useful information. Conversely if you differ from this, you’ll know to be mindful that they may need a little more bedding in to settle in with you. Either way – the references hold the clues.
Keep Your Numbers Down
It may be great to feel like you have a barrage of interested candidates, but we promise you – before long they will all start to merge into one if you have too many. Each person you interview will potentially have strengths which you love, so it’s only a matter of time before your brain starts to pop at how to make a decision.
A defined filtration process will help you to narrow down the really strong candidates. Be very clear on what you are looking for and stick to it – this will help you to limit the numbers to only leave the creme de la creme by the time you’re at the second interview stage. Introducing a 10 minute telephone interview for instance would really help to speed up the recruitment process by eliminating the non starters earlier on. Take a good look at your process to see where you could introduce any opportunities to reduce your numbers, as this will allow you to really invest your time on the quality candidates who get to the final stages.
It’s Not Always Good To Talk
You know that infamous analogy – you have one mouth and two ears so use them in proportion. This is so true during the recruitment process. Think of yourself as a detective as there are always clues within any engagement – whether it’s written, verbal or in person – the ability to pay close attention is possibly one of the best tools in your recruitment arsenal.
If you are talking more than your candidates, you’re creating gaping holes in the information available to you. Your potential recruits are walking files rammed full of all the information you need to be able to make an informed choice. Let them open their files – share their information. Give them the information they need as a brief introduction in an interview for instance, but then pay attention to the balance of air time making sure they are given the opportunities to speak and engage.
Has that helped at all? If you are having any problems or need any advice on recruiting at all, we’d love to hear from you. Once you’ve identified your perfect candidates, you’ll want to offer them the very best start that you possibly can too, which is where a great onboarding system really helps. Get in touch if you’d like to explore just how easy it is to tailor ONBRD to your exact needs – let’s just say it’s far easier than recruiting!