When it comes to recruiting, the pressure is always on: pressure from above to fill the position yesterday, pressure from the hiring manager to find a pool of flawless, magical individuals who may not exist in real life, and pressure from job applicants to reply ASAP with information that won’t be available for another week. There’s also the pressure of knowing the price your organization pays for a bad hire. 41% of companies surveyed for a CareerBuilder report said that bad hires had cost them up to $25,000 in the last year. But by avoiding a few recruiting pitfalls, you can make the process a little easier for everyone involved, especially yourself. We’ve turned to our favorite blogs to teach us what not to do when recruiting.
1. Posting Bad Job Descriptions
Poorly written job descriptions can confuse and dissuade great potential candidates. Poorly written can mean too vague, too severe, boring, or even inaccurate. Fewer people apply to these kinds of job descriptions, and those who do are less likely to be a good fit. Tim Sackett at Fistful of Talent has some tips to draw more of the right kind of attention to your posting. Tim wrote the tips for recruiters in IT, but they apply to almost any field.
2. Using Complicated or Outdated Hiring Software
Frustrating, out-of-date applicant tracking systems (ATS) can also dissuade potential applicants. Tess Taylor and Ryan Golden at HR Drive point to a CareerBuilder survey that found 60% of all applicants quit online applications because they were too long or complicated. Rather than torture potential candidates, an ATS should adjust to the modern world with responsive functioning and integrated platforms.
3. Relying Too Much on Algorithms
It’s tempting to think of algorithms as infallible formulas that can take all hiring pressure and the potential for bad hires away. Kevin Wheeler at ERE reminds us that algorithms can make plenty of mistakes. They work only when recruiters remember the algorithms’ limitations and know when to take their output with a grain of salt.
4. Having an Inordinate Number of Interviews
Dr. John Sullivan at ERE breaks down the costs, financial and otherwise, candidates pay when they have to attend multiple interviews for the same position. Of course, different fields have different demands, and some roles may require more interviews. But if candidates are coming in more than three times to answer the same question asked by three different people, the system is broken.
Y’all, don’t do this. Just don’t do it. If candidates have gone through the trouble of adjusting their schedules, dry-cleaning their best suits, getting their hair cut, and practicing responses to “where do you want to be in five years,” you should let them know if they haven’t gotten the job.
Suzanne Lucas, a.k.a. the Evil HR Lady, talks about why this behavior is not just a faux pas but also a potentially reputation-damaging move. If you work for a large organization, you may not have the time to write a separate email to everyone who isn’t a hire. If that’s the case, set your ATS to send a standard email to rejected candidates.
Recruiting is never a straightforward or simple process. But when you take the time to write strong job postings, avoid relying on algorithms, and follow up with candidates, you’ve gone a long way to both find the best applicants and protect your organization’s hiring reputation.
Have you ever learned the hard way what not to do while recruiting? Let us know in the comments! (Don’t worry, we won’t judge.)