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Recruitment Mistakes to Avoid

Making the correct hiring decisions will reduce staff turnover, help your budget and give your company more time.

With any recruitment campaign you want to be sure you are not only attracting the right candidate but actually getting that person into the role efficiently. It is true that there is now a vast amount of recruitment resources available, far more than in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that attracting the best talent has become any easier – and avoiding common mistakes is key to success.

There are a few little mistakes that are often made by hiring teams that can end up having a big impact on a campaign’s outcome! We have identified what these are to help you avoid them during the recruitment process and maximise your hiring potential…

Rushing the job description and forgetting to proof your copy
One of the most commonly made mistakes is in the copy itself. Many companies find themselves posting job information that is out-dated and doesn’t truly represent the responsibilities of the job in question. Not only is the correct description important for ensuring you get the best response and don’t find yourself inundated with applications from inaccurately qualified candidates, it is also the person specification that you should be comparing applicants to – and not to each other (more about that later).

Your job description should be effective in providing the primary function of the role and what skills and qualifications are required for success. Make sure that this copy is well proofed as inconsistencies or errors in job descriptions can end up turning away the best applicants.


Offering below-market wage rates
If the wage you are offering is below the appropriate bracket for the role in question, your applicants are naturally going to be less qualified. Offering below-market wage is problematic as it is likely to turn away applications from individuals with the right skill set and experience. If you’re not competitive with your salary, people either won’t apply to your job, or you will receive candidates whose level of experience matches your salary range. If you’re not paying enough, the candidates that apply might not match the calibre that you’re expecting. You need to have realistic expectations for both the calibre and quantity of applications you receive, based on your advertised salary. For example, if you want to recruit a Manager but you’re only paying £20,000 – you are extremely unlikely to have people of management level with good experience applying to your job.


Sourcing candidates from limited resources

If you only advertise on your own website, you’re going to really limit the number of people that see your job since people need to know about your company before they’d even think to visit your website to see if you have any openings. The same holds true for advertising across only 1 or 2 external places or job boards – you won’t reach the whole market that’s available to you. Suppose that you run an advertisement on one external website and it reaches 30% of the total job seeking market. Now think of how many people out of that 30% will be ideal for your specific role – probably not a lot. You need to give yourself the best chance possible, and the only way to do this is to target the widest range of job-seekers possible.


Building a candidate pipeline for non-existent positions

Doing this really makes no sense whatsoever. You’ll create a ton of extra administration work for yourself, and you’ll be unfairly giving job-seekers false hope that there is a potential job for them. Not to mention, candidates are usually only live for a short amount of time if they are actively job seeking, so there is very little point in keeping a static database of people. By the time you do have an opening and go back through the list, you’ll probably find that the candidates who once applied are now no longer interested.

Resisting candidates with fresh ideas
If you instantly reject candidates on the grounds that they don’t fit with the generic likeness of current employees you can end up stifling evolution within your organisation. New ideas in a role could help breathe new life into the workplace and provide solutions that your team perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise considered.


Over-reliance on group consensus about applicants
It can of course be beneficial to consider your team’s feedback about applicants but it is a mistake to allow this to sway you. Relying too heavily on group consensus could result in the hiring of a popular personality over a less-popular, but far more qualified, professional. Always consider that not all personalities shine during the process – and remember that skills and qualifications really do matter.


Automatically rejecting overqualified candidates
If you have a process of automatically putting thumbs down to candidates who appear overqualified, you could be negating the potential for business growth. Some hirers say no to overqualified applicants as they fear they may not stick around or will become too expensive – but highly qualified applicants could end up giving your business the edge you need.


Confusing years of experience with competency

If you reject less qualified applicants without properly considering them you could be missing out on a potentially harder-working and willing employee. Always assess each application on their own strengths. Using years’ experience can be a good benchmark, but it immediately disregards candidates that have the drive and ability to do the job well. If a candidate looks great on paper but only lacks an arbitrary number of years working within a role, why not interview them anyway? They might be a great personality fit for your organisation. If they have most of the skills and knowledge required and have the tenacity to be successful within the role, give them a go – even if they lack a few years’ experience. Motivated people tend to excel greatly, so use this to your advantage.

Not considering the potential of skills above prioritised skills
Make sure that you take into account skills above the ones that you have identified as integral to the role in question. Putting too much weight on these skills could cause you to overlook the potential in others.


Comparing applicants to one-another instead of the job description
This is key to hiring success. If you judge the success of applications based on how they stand up to other applications, you aren’t focussing on the role. Always ensure that each application is judged based on how they stand up to the job description.

There you have it – common recruitment mistakes that, when avoided, could help you maximise your hiring potential

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you discover the right people for your business


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