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Overcoming Pitfalls: 5 Ways to Improve the Hiring Process

Guest Author | 6/10/2019 | Recruiting

Companies should always be critical of their existing processes so they can identify areas for improvement. In this blog post, you’ll learn five common pitfalls companies can encounter during the hiring process and strategies to overcome them.

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Recruiting is an ongoing process in need of constant improvement

Recruiting is an ongoing process for most businesses. Companies often use job boards or job fairs to find fresh talent for their organizations. 

Even if businesses successfully recruit via these tools, they can fall prey to repeating successful practices and neglecting process improvement

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5 common recruiting pitfalls

At some point, candidate pools dry up or mis-hirings occur, and businesses have to adapt to compete for top candidates. 

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In this blog post, you’ll learn five common pitfalls companies can encounter during the hiring process and strategies to overcome them.

How to improve your hiring process?

Here is how you can improve your hiring process by addressing 5 common recruitment pitfalls:

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Pitfall #1: Not approaching hiring with an open mind

It’s something all businesses tend to do: narrow in on a seemingly perfect candidate. They create their wish list of qualities and try to find the perfect person to fill a role. The problem with this methodology is it assumes there is only one type of individual who can effectively perform in a given position.

For instance, hiring teams may zero-in on how many years of experience a candidate has in a specific industry or where an individual’s internship occurred. However, the best candidate may not be the person with years of experience in the preferred industry. 

Businesses need to consider if the candidate fits the company culture, adds value to the open position or will become an asset within the company. It’s not always as simple as looking at industry experience.

➡️ The solutions

Sometimes, it benefits an organization to consider the unconventional choice. This is a person who doesn’t meet the full list of requirements but may have the skills to become a top-performer. Hiring outsiders can help a company shake things up and gain unique perspectives.

Another candidate hiring managers shouldn’t ignore is the overqualified candidate. Their talents and skills will help a company no matter how long they choose to stay. For candidates who seem overqualified or unconventional, companies can ask them during their interview why they applied for the job. Their answers may surprise the hiring team and give an understanding of why they would like the job. 

There are strategies hiring professionals can use to mitigate narrow-minded hiring. They can bring in someone from the outside to review the candidate list. The second set of eyes is useful for reviewing and pointing out what someone inside the business may overlook. It removes internal bias.

Outside consultants can also review job boards for qualities that are missing in a job listing. Another way to gain outside perspective is to scrutinize what competitors want in their employees. Doing this can provide helpful insights for what is missing from a company’s recruitment strategy. 

The bottom line here is the perfect candidate does not exist. Hiring managers should not wait for someone to check-off every box in a job-requirement list; doing such will only waste time and resources.

Pitfall #2: Not investing in the future workforce

Many business recruit at the college level when they have entry-level vacancies to fill. They wait until someone is ready to leave college to start the screening process. However, businesses can benefit from getting in front of these potential recruits earlier in their academic careers.

➡️ The solutions

Companies that offer internships or shadowing opportunities can get a return on their investment when those individuals apply for a job after college. During such pre-employment terms, potential students can gain insights into the workplace environment and industry. If an intern or formerly mentored student applies to the company for a post-graduation job, the candidate and organization have the insights they need to make an informed decision. Such insights can contribute to lower turnover rates.

If shadowing or internships aren’t a good fit, businesses can partner with local schools and offer a class devoted to reviewing resumes or going over what a company wants in their future employees. Hosting such events is a way to instill positive sentiment in the community (and minds of future job seekers).

Recruiters should also be looking for opportunities to visit campuses during job fairs or associating themselves with relevant higher-education departments. The trust built between recruiters and college professionals will benefit a company. The professionals can point graduating students toward a business they know will be a good match for the student and company.

Pitfall #3: Miscommunication between recruiters and hiring managers

Although some businesses have open communication between all departments and individuals, miscommunications are bound to happen. Bringing in a new person or eliminating a role can lead to disruptions between hiring professionals and recruiters and increase miscommunications.

Some of the common problems between these two individuals include: hiring managers wishing recruiters had a pool of candidates available to choose from at any time; recruiters wanting hiring managers to communicate better on what they want in a potential candidate; and both parties wanting a better understanding of what jobs they are hiring for.

➡️ The solution

When continuous miscommunications occur between recruiters and hiring managers, it’s time for a business to go back to square one and rebuild the relationship

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Organizations should encourage people to listen at all times. They should have the recruiter interview the hiring manager about what they want in a candidate. Businesses can also utilize technology to record or manage these conversations.

Human capital management technologies now include talent acquisition and management components to facilitate communication between recruiters and hiring managers. By having one place for both individuals to visit, these technologies help both parties know what the other needs.

Pitfall #4: Not customizing the recruitment process 

In today’s digital world, there are many new and innovative ways for recruiters to find potential job applicants. If one way of hiring people continues to work year after year, recruiters likely won’t change it. However, this practice leads to missed opportunities for finding different or new talent.

➡️ The solution

A small way to test out a new recruiting method for businesses is to try something new alongside the current practices. For instance, using a social media ad in addition to a digital advertisement on job sites.

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Another solution is to hire a recruiting consultant. Businesses can view it as a learning opportunity. Hiring professionals can also expand on old practices and support them with new methods. Bringing in a consultant can encourage the organization to question their recruiting practices and provide insights for improvement of the company’s methods.

Pitfall #5: Not properly evaluating candidates

A sudden personnel departure or dismissal can throw even the best of companies into a tailspin. Hiring teams may make quick decisions about job candidates in order to fill a gap. Yet, in the long run, this choice benefits no one.

Urgent decision-making or numerous unsuitable hirings are signs that a business needs to review or change its hiring processes. It’s an opportunity to review what goes into the ultimate decision to hire someone and how recruiters gather information throughout the process.

➡️ The solution

The first phase in re-evaluating the hiring process is to take a step back. Organizations should review their most-recent hiring issues and ask themselves some tough questions. Was the position one that needed a quick filling? Or, was it a job that someone in-house could have filled or been distributed to other team members? 

What choices led to the candidate being hired? Did the hiring team and recruiter accurately define the job requirements? What did the mismatched candidate have to say upon leaving?

All of this information helps a company determine where a breakdown occurred in the hiring process. It also illuminates when the responsibilities of a departing individual can be distributed to remaining employees.

Closing remarks: Continually work on improving your hiring process

Establishing a solid recruitment strategy does not usually happen overnight; it requires a long-term strategy. Processes and checklists can help companies make the right match for their business. Companies should also be critical of their existing processes so they can identify areas for improvement.

The best businesses know when to update their recruiting and hiring methods. But even those companies can fall prey to the problems mentioned above. It’s important to know how to solve these problems and how to adopt new methods for hiring people.

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