5 Huge Mistakes Companies Make When Hiring

1.Getting tied up by process

Having a process in place is essential for any hire and having a smooth one will positively impact your organisations reputation sending a great message to market even from unsuccessful candidates. When your processes become overly complex; a time-consuming form has to be filled in for each candidate and uploaded on a user-unfriendly portal, or a candidate is required to attended 15 rounds of interviews so that they can tick that box then something has gone wrong. Some recruitment processes now resemble mortgage applications with various documents required throughout and repetitive formalities completed seemingly for the sake of it. What employers often fail to consider in doing this is the reputational risk to the company.

2. Starting recruitment with big questions remaining.

Budget for the hire and stability of the job are the two big ones here. If you are interviewing at a late stage when you hear the client has cancelled the role because they haven’t gotten budgetary approval for it there is little justification and you will rightly be somewhat irritated. The process should usually not have started in the first place, if you don’t have the money to hire don’t hire. Worse yet, I can think of countless examples of candidates going through a process and being hired and then several months later being made redundant because the business was not in a strong enough financial position to keep them on. This does not just affect start-ups it is true for companies of all sizes. Starting a process when you have no idea of how viable the role will be in the short-medium term is reprehensible and often leaves great candidates with relatively short stints at companies that need to be explained or gaps in their CV to be hidden. There are always going to be exceptional circumstances where this can’t be helped but for the most part hiring managers in these organisations seldom give enough thought to the welfare of the new employee.

3. Ignoring market feedback

As a specialist legal recruiter, I partner with a range of clients in EMEA, I am often approached by organisations that have really struggled to hire either directly or through another recruiter and don’t know why. If a role has been on the market for a while especially if it has been out with several recruiters, it has likely gone “stale”. Potential candidates have already made up their mind about the role often through second-hand or miss-information. Understanding what the perception of your role is within the market is critical to hiring a strong candidate. If you ignore a partner telling you that the market view is you are looking for someone with an impossible skillset, or to hire someone on the cheap or that your team has a high staff turnover you do so at your peril. Without this information (even though it may be hard to hear or just plain wrong) you are never going to be able to address these issues, either by rectifying the problem if genuine or addressing it by conveying a new positive and coherent message if incorrect.

4. Cost cutting

We have all seen the meme “if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional wait until you hire an amateur”. It is catchy and largely holds true. If you are looking for someone with in demand experience but can’t pay market rate consider alternate ways to cover the work. Low balling good candidates at the end of a long process is bad for you and them as a lot of time and effort will likely have been wasted and someone good will walk away with a negative impression of your business. The same goes for cost cutting with your service provider. Using a bad recruiter because they are cheap is not going to get you the person you want and worse it could confuse and damage your message to market making it harder to hire in future.

5. Endless delays

Time kills deals. If you have lots of holidays planned or a busy work schedule let your recruiter know. A lot can happen in a few weeks. The most in demand candidates do not stay on the market indefinitely. If you hesitate after you feel you have seen the right person you may lose that candidate. Radio silence during a process for a prolonged period or various unexplained delays are often taken as a bad sign by candidates and turn them off the process. Often candidates who are not active but have been headhunted for a new role start looking properly once you have gotten them into a promising process, these are some of the hardest people to lose because of a delay.


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