5 common hiring mistakes that prevent firms from recruiting top candidates

Posted by Guest Contributor

June 17, 2014

By Ken Sundheim 


Hiring great employees is as is crucial as it is complex. Organizations around the world spend countless amounts of money, time and energy pursuing top candidates. While some consistently land the candidates possessing passion, audacity and intelligence, others continually fall short of their staffing goals. 

The main reason for their shortcomings is not an external factor such as availability of applicants, but rather, it stems from common hiring mistakes that can easily be avoided. Firms can make alterations in their processes to increase the odds of staffing dedicated, competitive and engaged employees.

Below, you’ll find five common mistakes that prevent many organizations from hiring top candidates.

1. Waiting for the perfect applicant. In 99 out of 100 cases, the perfect resume and job seeker doesn’t exist. Just like people, no applicant is ever going to be perfect. Strong management and honest appreciation make an individual great, not the content on his or her resume. 

Regardless, companies spend hundreds of hours and pass on top-quality job seekers because those individuals’ backgrounds fail to possess each and every requirement set forth by the employer. This carries the following negative consequences:

a. It greatly minimizes recruiting options.
b. It results in numerous competent job seekers being passed by.
c. It significantly prolongs the staffing process.
d. It lowers morale among hiring managers.  


2. Failing to write a compelling, thorough job description. Intelligent applicants only respond to intelligent, thoughtful job descriptions

Among other factors, a write-up should include the organization’s history, corporate culture and vision, as well as a comprehensive description of its product(s) and / or service(s). Additionally, the company should list notable clients and organizational awards.

Mentioning the following will also significantly increase response rates:

a. Daily duties. 
b. Where this individual could expect to be in the company if he or she executes all required tasks. 
c. Whom they will report to. 
d. Benefits of the job seeker working at the company. 
e. Ideal background.
f. Compensation.
3. Failing to manage the hiring process efficiently.From start to finish, a recruitment project should last no longer than six weeks, but should take no less than three weeks. If the process lasts longer than six weeks, the hiring managers tend to get fatigued and no longer approach the project with vigor. 

Conversely, when recruiters or employers make a decision without meeting an applicant multiple times, they risk making an impulsive, costly hiring mistake. 

4. Not choosing compensation based on market demands.Not paying enough is a lose-lose situation. When companies don’t compensate accordingly, they scare off top applicants and incite resentment amongst those whom they do hire.

Conversely, when firms pay too much for an employee, it often puts undue pressure on the candidate as the hiring manager can sometimes have unrealistic expectations, which ultimately lowers performance and moral. 

As a rule of thumb, an employee’s current compensation package should be the number-one factor when determining what amount of pay that individual should be offered. If a firm wishes to compensate less for a candidate, it ought to be more flexible about their background requirements. 

5. Failing to sell the position to potential applicants. Recruiting is about selling. A hiring manager's job is to stir up enough interest among the desired job seekers that they consider the organization their first choice for employment.

Therefore, an employer needs to present a compelling argument as to why that individual should want to work for their company as opposed to the other firms recruiting that individual.

In the end

Regardless of size, industry or budget, all organizations can recruit job seekers who are intelligent, competent, driven and reliable. While no firm will ever get recruiting perfect, the ones that come closest accurately identify their problems and can rectify those shortcomings.  

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Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement Recruiters, an executive search firm based out of New York City specializing in sales and marketing recruitment of all levels.  Follow Ken on Twitter at @Ken_Sundheim and through his blog.





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Topics: Recruiting & Sourcing