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8 ways you could be sabotaging your recruitment process

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 21 Feb 2019

Your recruitment process could be hampering your business' progression in more ways than one. Of course, as we all know, it's a tough process to get it right. You can't always predict how candidates will perform once they're past the interview stage. And with new roles coming into fruition and widening the skills gap, talent can be thin on the ground.

In this post, we look at some of the biggest mistakes employers make when meeting potential candidates, which could ultimately sabotage their chances of finding and retaining the best talent.

Focusing too much on salary

Higher salaries aren’t the only way to attract candidates. Don’t forget the importance of deeper, more meaningful factors such as a sense of purpose, feedback and training opportunities. You might feel that you’re outdoing competitors by offering a high salary, but studies have proved that this is no longer a priority for budding candidates. Especially millennials, who look for other perks such as flexibility, philanthropy and similar cultural values.

So while money undoubtedly plays a huge factor, a candidate's decision will likely be influenced by non-monetary factors too.

Lack of on-boarding

According to Insperity, 'on-boarding' is a process; a series of events that help a new hire understand how to be successful in their day-to-day job. Failure to invest time into creating an effective on-boarding process could impact a candidate's future at your company. A successful on-boarding programme keeps new employees engaged and committed and lets them know you’re invested in them. It helps hem understand your culture and organisational focuses, which contributes to greater motivation and job satisfaction.

You could have the hiring process down to a tee, but you could risk losing the candidate’s enthusiasm (or the candidate themselves) in those all-important early stages if you neglect to on-board properly.

A focus on personality rather than skills

In life, you’re not going to be compatible with everyone you meet, and you’re not going to like everyone you meet. The same applies in your professional life. While some personality traits might be necessary (e.g. personable and friendly for customer service roles), a diverse mix of personalities will make for a richer culture that will appeals to a wider demographic of customers and clients. Hiring with too great a focus on personality is a huge mistake, since you run the risk of losing out on valuable skills and abilities.

Not recruiting for a cultural fit

On the other hand, always keep in mind the dynamics of your organisation, or what we also know now as organisational 'culture'. Hiring without your cultural values in mind can jeopardise your chances of retaining existing talent. One poor culture fit can cause the entire dynamics of your workplace to shift, ending in high staff turnover. Before you enter the interview room, think about your organisational values - is this person aligned to them?

Neglecting social media

It can't hurt to run a quick check of candidates’ social media accounts. You're not looking for a squeaky clean feeds, but it's worth remembering that when you take a person on board they will be representing your organisation. Ask yourself if you still feel comfortable about that after reviewing their social presence.

People can always pull a filter over themselves during interviews, but how they present themselves online could be a good indicator of whether or not they meet your cultural expectations. 

Asking inappropriate or illegal questions

Most likely, these are the type of questions that are asked innocuously as a way of starting the conversion, but edging into territories regarding age, children, religion, or marriage could invite litigation. Everyone is entitled to equal opportunity in the workforce regardless of their time in life, gender, race, or religion. If you reject a candidate after asking their religion or whether they have children yet, it might be taken the wrong way. Stay away from territory that could lead to unwanted legal action.

Skipping a phone interview

A simple phone interview is the best way to optimise your time by asking basic, foundational questions that allow you vet out who is worth meeting in person. Critical skills needed to perform the role, such as a good command of English or a clean driving licence, can quickly be confirmed by a telephone interview.  This needn't take more than 10-20 minutes, and if you like what you hear, you'll be certain they're worth meeting in person. 

Not checking references

Unfortunately, some people lie, exaggerate and bend the truth, especially on their CVs. While this might only be a small portion of jobseekers, it always pays to check viable references that can vouch for what the candidate claims to be true. Imagine calling a reference to find out a candidate has lied about their previous salary or time spent at the business. It could save you money and time.

Hopefully this has helped you identify ways to tighten up or improve your recruitment process. Perhaps, after years in business, you feel confident in your approach and you're able to instinctively detect who is a good or bad fit for your company. But as our climate shifts and new roles are manifesting, it's about being comfortable in broadening and diversifying your workforce. If you have any more tips you've like to share, we'd love to hear them.  

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Topics: recruitment

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