Are You Sabotaging Your Own Hiring Process?

February 12, 2019 Mary Lorenz



To borrow a phrase from one of the best films of all time, searching for qualified candidates in today’s competitive job market is like searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie. But while the competition for top talent is tighter than ever in many industries, it might not be entirely to blame for why you can’t find the right hires. The scary truth is, you might be sabotaging your recruiting efforts and not even realize it. Read on to learn the common recruiting mistakes that turn candidates away – and how to fix them.

You Use Off-the-Wall Job Titles

Trying to recruit data “rock stars” and marketing “ninjas” for your team? That’s fine, but if you’re using these terms in your job posting, job seekers might not see them – simply because they aren’t searching for them. Case in point: A 2017 Workopolis study found that job postings with standard job titles outperformed more off-the-wall job titles. The solution? Stick with traditional job titles and industry-specific keywords to boost your posting’s chances of showing up in organic search results.

Your Application Process Is a Mess

Try applying to a job at your company, and it may provide a clue as to why so many job seekers never hit “apply.” Does it take more than 20 minutes to apply? Are there endless screener questions? Do you have to enter your information multiple times? According to CareerBuilder research, 1 in 5 candidates won’t complete an application that takes them 20 minutes or longer, and drop-off rates increase as more screener questions arise. The solution? Streamline your application process as much as possible, and use software that pre-populates information to save applicants time and frustration.

You Give Candidates TMI (Too Many Interviews)

One interview isn’t always enough to be sure a candidate is “the one;” yet too many interviews can turn candidates away. Candidates only have so much time they’re willing to give you, especially if they are pursuing other offers. The more you demand of them before they’ve even been hired, the more likely you are to lose them. The solution? Keep the number of interviews to two or three max, and make it as convenient as possible for the candidate. Have the initial interview via phone or video, and bring in only your top candidates for in-person interviews to speed up the process.

Candidates Aren’t Feeling It

In today’s candidate-centric job market, the way you treat job candidates has a huge impact on your ability to recruit them. According to one study, nearly 80 percent of candidates would turn down a job offer if they were treated poorly during the interview. And of the 60 percent of candidates who have had a bad candidate experience (according to CareerArc), 72 percent have talked about it on company review sites like Glassdoor. The solution? The single biggest change you can make now is to improve your communication with candidates. A remarkable 82 percent of job seekers expect employers to provide a clear timeline for the hiring process and keep them updated throughout the hiring process, a CareerBuilder study found.

You’re Ignoring Your Best Recruiting Asset

Your employees, that is. There’s a reason employee referrals are considered the best source of quality hires: They’re the people who know your company best and can easily spot a great fit. The solution? If you don’t already have one, create a formal employee referral program that incentivizes staff members to participate, and send regular reminders to ensure it stays on your employees’ radar.

Your Hiring Process Isn’t Broken; You Culture Is

If you’re doing everything else right, and you’re still having trouble recruiting, there might be a bigger issue at hand. According to Glassdoor, the vast majority of job seekers (83 percent) research company reviews before applying to a job. If they see that employees are unhappy, they’re going to stay away. The solution? While a broken company culture is not impossible to fix, it does take time. Start with employee engagement surveys, which can reveal problems you may not be seeing, so you can get to the bottom of them.

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