6 reasons your staffing firm may be overlooking quality candidates

With nearly two job openings for every candidate, finding, and fighting for, qualified candidates can be exhausting. But is your firm overlooking the right talent for the wrong reasons? CareerBuilder investigated and discovered six reasons you -- and, thus, your clients -- may be missing out on quality candidates.

1. Credit check

Many employers still have strongly held beliefs that a candidate’s personal finances are an indication of their trustworthiness. Unless the position requires handling the company’s finances, credit cards, or other access to your money, we say let this one go.

People face financial hardships for many reasons, including ailing family members, exorbitant medical bills, and prolonged layoffs from the pandemic. You may find that a candidate with shaky personal finances can become your most valued worker. Why? Because they are grateful for the opportunity to get their finances back in order. A steady source of income is exactly what they need to help dig them out of this hole.

2. Reference checks

Much has been written about who job seekers shouldn’t put down as a reference (even if your frat bro has some ah-mazing things to say about your beer pong talents). But when it comes to employers asking for references, don’t ask candidates to get one from their current boss. Asking for a current reference, whether a supervisor or colleague, can put that candidate’s job at risk, something you don’t want to do. 

Are there exceptions to the rule? Sure. If the candidate’s current position has a definite end date, whether by contract or as a temporary assignment, their supervisor will likely be more than happy to help them secure their next position, especially if they have performed well in their role.

3. The perfect fit 

Rule #1: there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate. Even a job seeker making a lateral move wants to learn new marketable skills, whether to fill in professional development gaps, get exposure to a different area of business, or just for a change. Instead of crossing potential candidates off your list because they’re not PowerPoint wizards or masters of their SEO domain, gauge whether the candidate is a good fit with a company's culture and is passionate about the business’s mission. Hiring for potential allows employees the room they need to grow within an organization.

4. Flexibility

According to a recent SHRM article, biological prime time (BPT) acknowledges that there are hours during the day when people are more productive. Employees working remotely during the pandemic may have discovered that they thrive working evenings. Accommodate them by assigning more project-based assignments that don’t require client time. 

Also, consider alternative ways to work with people who need slightly non-traditional hours, such as swing shifts, four-day workweeks, or hybrid models. It’ll mean the world to parents juggling child care or workers with other personal or family commitments. Bonus: A recent MetLife survey found that employees who feel they have a flexible work-life balance are 1.8x more likely to stay with a company.

5. Salary

More than ever, job seekers are expecting transparency when it comes to salary. Yet, only 12% of postings from U.S. online job sites include salary ranges. Job seekers not only want to know upfront if the position is monetarily worth it before applying; they also want to ensure pay equity. 

When companies are more upfront about salaries, it creates trust and respect between the applicant and the company. A win-win for you and your talent pool.

6. What’s in a name?

Today’s top talent do their homework before applying. Businesses with excellent employer brands receive 50% more qualified applicants. If your firm's reputation is less than stellar or your company isn’t well known, now would be a good time to buff your brand. 

To attract the top echelons of talent, team up with marketing to develop your story and stand out from the crowd. And make sure to communicate your corporate culture and values upfront. You’re not just promoting a job opening; you’re promoting your company. Don’t sell it short.

With a few adjustments, you can shorten your time to fill and hire top candidates faster.


Read more about staffing firm challenges and solutions:

Losing staffing firm clients? Find out why.

Staffing firm clients want a few key things. Discover what they are.

Learn how you can win the race for talent amid the Great Rehire.


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