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Are These 5 Recruitment Mistakes Costing You Top Candidates?

In Hiring Strategy — by Kate Bones

A company’s road to success is paved by every new hire. It doesn’t matter the size of the business – a great hire can trigger a host of positive results to both big, international companies as well as to small, local businesses. And the inverse is true of a poor hire. Which type of hire you make depends largely on your approach to recruitment. These five recruitment mistakes will not only discourage ideal candidates from entering the building, but from knocking at your door in the first place.

1. Not allowing employees to use social media at work

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 38 percent of hiring managers, HR pros and workers say that social media is a time-waster at work. So banning social media at the workplace seems like it could be a great solution, right? But trust me, that decision will have serious consequences.

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It’s unrealistic – and potentially detrimental – to expect that your employees lose connection with the outside world while they’re at work. Today’s young professionals want to be able to connect with friends, business associates and former colleagues at all hours of the day. In fact, a Cisco report found that more than half of college students would either refuse a job offer from an organization that banned social media at work or find a way to circumvent the policy.

Don’t put your new hires in a position where they’re tempted to be rule-breakers on their day on the job. Consider your position on social media carefully and be prepared to discuss it during the interview process and clear up any misunderstandings.

2. Not interacting with job seekers on social media

Another reason not to ban social media at work? Social networks are basically goldmines of talented candidates.

It’s great to set up profiles specifically for recruiting and hiring, but don’t stop there–your job is far from done. Social media automation tools are great for helping to post messages frequently and consistently, but you can’t just set it and forget it, either. Many recruiters forget that providing support and actively engaging with job seekers is an important part of the game.

Time is of the essence on social media – if you fail to respond in a timely manner (say, 24 to 48 hours), candidates will feel ignored. Actively participate in online conversation, respond to candidates’ queries and show job seekers that you’re an engaged employer.

3. Neglecting your employer brand

Some organizations undervalue the importance of employer branding, choosing instead to focus on consumer branding and other marketing activities. But by doing this, you’re missing out on a lot of hiring potential.

Take a look at your company’s website. What does it say about the organization? Are you conveying your guiding values and principles? Are you accurately conveying your company’s culture? And what are people saying about you on employer review websites? According to an Indeed survey, 83 percent of job seekers base their decision on where to apply on company reviews.

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Experienced candidates have a good understanding of the value of company culture and do their due diligence to by researching prospective employers to ensure a good fit. So make their job easier by clearly communicating what your organization is about. Company culture is key to employee satisfaction, so show talented candidates that you’ve got what it takes to become a great workplace for them.

4. Disregarding boundaries

Recruiters can sometimes take it too far when wooing a talented candidate who is a perfect match for a job opening. Tactics like cold-calling candidates during the workday aren’t effective. They’re actually working, and thinking whether they’d like to leave their job and come work for you won’t be high on their priority list when getting things done. And even if they are interested, keep in mind they might be sitting right next to their supervisor.

Another common mistake is to ask candidates to come in for an interview after interview. It’s unrealistic to expect candidates to come in for more than two in-person interviews. Remember, you’re asking them to leave work, and they’ll most likely have to make up an excuse for their absence – most won’t be able to be open with their employer about going on an interview. No one likes being put in that position, especially time and time again.

When communicating and interviewing with candidates, remember that discretion and respect for their time is key.

5. Skipping the exit interview

If a position becomes vacant at your company, your first instinct might be to quickly draft a new job description and post it all over the web. But this might be a major mistake. Start by reviewing the exit interview – you did conduct this interview, right?

Exit interviews are critical opportunities for organizations to learn more about the reasons behind the vacancy. Explore why the employee elected to leave – was the decision motivated by culture? Or maybe it was about the work itself? Were they working too much or didn’t feel challenged enough? Were the benefits or salary inconsistent with what they found elsewhere? If you’ve got no idea about what went wrong here, you won’t be able to fix it.

Without conducting the exit interview, you may be able to quickly hire another candidate – but you’ll likely watch them leave in relatively short order and have to repeat the process all over again. The Society for Human Resources Management reports that every time a business replaces an employee, it costs six to nine months’ salary on average. That’s accounting for hiring, training, loss of productivity and the time it takes for an employee to fully ramp up. Investing the resources on employee retention will pay for itself several times over – but you won’t know how to invest these resources without conducting the exit interview first.

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Nobody said hiring is easy. But avoiding these major recruitment mistakes will help you to attract the right candidates to your company and build a strong employer brand that will only make your job easier in the long run.

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