Recruitment is an expensive operation for most companies and finding the right candidate is crucial for the success of the business. Not only do you need to find someone who is willing to learn and develop on the job, you also need to find someone capable of fulfilling the role and fitting in well with the team.
And yet, many companies are still making the same old mistakes. Here are 10 of the most common mistakes you should be avoiding.
Being too vague about the role
The first hurdle for any recruiter is to describe the role succinctly and accurately so that anyone applying for the role knows exactly what they are getting themselves into. Too many jobs descriptions are recycled without much thought or are written in a rush, leaving out crucial details.
A clear layout with accurate spelling and grammar will immediately increase the number of applicants you have and remember: you don’t need to write everything in paragraphs, having a bullet point list of responsibilities and requirements is an easy way to skim through for the candidate.
Having a clear role description will give you points to measure candidates against.
Failing to sell your company to prospective employees
It’s easy to forget that when people apply for new jobs, they are also interviewing you.
When you write your job description, you must also take this opportunity to sell your business and explain what your values are. You need to persuade the best, most highly qualified candidates to apply and they are looking for companies that do a bit more.
Rejecting overqualified candidates
Recruiters have a terrible habit of rejecting overqualified candidates, not realising that they could be getting a lot more skill and experience than they had bargained for without having to spend more!
People apply for roles for all sorts of reasons so assuming that an overqualified candidate will move on, or won’t fit with the role could be a huge mistake. At least get them in for an interview to find out.
Relying too heavily on the interview
The interview is one of the easiest ways to establish whether someone will fit in with your business or not but you shouldn’t rely too heavily on this one process.
Asking for references, reading through their CV and even asking someone in for a trial shift are all ways to get a fuller picture of each candidate. Lots of people don’t do as well in interviews as they would on a normal day and, vice versa, some people are excellent at bluffing their way through.
Use all your assets to determine which candidate will be best suited.
Asking the wrong interview questions
Failing to ask the right questions often comes down to lack of preparation. Before the interview commences, you should have a list of concise questions you want to ask to give candidates the best chance to impress you.
If you are asking about what their favourite TV show is when you really want to know more about their qualifications, you are obviously on the wrong tack!
Asking illegal interview questions
Lots of questions that might feel quite innocent are actually illegal.
For example, you must not ask about a candidate’s age, race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation. You must also not ask about the number of sick days they’ve had or whether they have any previous criminal convictions.
Asking any of these questions could lead to big problems for you and your business so if you aren’t sure, don’t ask.
Waiting for the dream candidate
The dream candidate is smart, fun, work-orientated, well-dressed, conscientious, charismatic, highly efficient, a strong motivator, a good team player… and entirely fictional.
The dream candidate does not exist and if you are waiting for them to come along and wow you, then you are looking in all the wrong places. Rather than looking for the complete package, you should be looking for the people who have potential and are eager to learn.
Failing to embrace diversity
Diversity is a very modern issue and in the UK, more emphasis is being put on diversity throughout the business hierarchy.
To improve the diversity of your business, you should ensure that you are more open to people from different backgrounds with different experiences and new things to add to the team. Of course, you want to find someone who will fit in with the company culture, but that doesn’t mean that you should employ clones.
Failing to implement a probation period
Finding the best fit for any job is always something of a risk which is why implementing a probation period is a good idea. The probation period is usually where people show their true colours, those who might have been shy in the interview will gradually come out of their shells and prove themselves but those who bluffed will quickly find themselves in hot water.
This period is for both you and the candidate to decide whether you are fully happy working together or, if not, make an amicable split.
Failing to recruit internally
When you have to go through so many processes to find a suitable candidate, it is daft not to consider internal applicants who might just have what it takes to do the job properly.
Yes, you will probably have to advertise for their role later, but if it is a more junior role, it will probably be a bit easier to fulfil. The great benefits of internal applicants are obvious but worth listing here: you know them, they already fit in with the team, they already understand the job and they are clearly already invested in the company.
Getting the recruitment process right is mostly about paying attention to the details and allowing yourself to be surprised by the candidates who apply for the role. The more open-minded you can be, the more likely you are to find a diverse team who work well together and bring new ideas to the business.
And now you know what to avoid, the process should be a whole lot simpler!
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