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How to Lose Candidates and Alienate the Market

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The Top 4 Recruitment Sins

In the world of the employed, sitting at your comfortable desk with a hot coffee, it is easy to forget what it is like to be a candidate on the hunt for a new role. The mixed feelings of anxiety, excitement, disappointment and anticipation that candidates go through, the hours of resume tweaking, job board scouring, endless phone interviews, waiting for feedback, waiting for interview times, waiting for interview day, waiting for feedback and outcome of an interview…. waiting…. waiting…. waiting.

There is no doubt it is a stressful time for candidates, especially if they don’t have the luxury of having an existing role while they look for a new one. When on the hunt for the best candidates, many companies lose the battle before it has begun by committing certain recruitment sins and overlooking common recruitment courtesies. Because companies don’t tend to look at recruitment from the candidate’s point of view, it’s easy for employers and hiring managers to miss the very things they do that actually alienate candidates – rather than attract them.

To attract and secure the best candidates, there are 4 Recruitment Sins you need to eradicate from your recruitment process yesterday. These are:

1. Dragging out the interview process longer than a week

Yes, that’s right, a week. A week is like a month for a candidate looking for a job. Add in a candidate who is awesome and they could be off the market in 48 hours – which is something we see happen week in week out, particularly in the sales candidate market. If you are serious about hiring a candidate, the interview process should be completed within a week and result in one of two outcomes – decline or offer. Unless a decision maker is interstate, there is no reason this process should be longer than a week.

2. Being dishonest in your advertising

Candidates are not stupid, and they know that 95% of the time “Sales & Marketing Executive” actually means sales. Why lie about it? Yes, sales candidates can be tough to find, but that doesn’t mean you should get creative with your wording about what the role would entail day to day. If there is cold calling involved in the role, say so. You’ll get the right type of candidates this way, and not lose great candidates when they realise they’ve been duped into thinking the role was something else and waste everyone’s time. When searching for sales candidates, having an extremely quick turnaround time from application to interview is even more critical than almost any other role type, so focus on expediting the process, not duping candidates who will probably decline your offer anyway.

3. The price is wrong, don’t come on down!

The old adage still applies here: Money talks. According to research, 49% of employees who plan to leave their companies this year are doing so for more money. In a recruitment process, if you’re not offering what every other business is offering, it’s pretty clear as to why a candidate would continue to look around. Companies talk about the “culture” and the “benefits” of working for said company, but the truth is that both of those things are subjective, and neither of those things can be demonstrated in an interview. It’s simple. Money is the universal language of recruitment. If you want the best talent, you need to be paying on par – or more – than the market is paying.

4. You’re getting named and shamed on Social Media/Job Sites

In today’s increasingly online world, you can’t get away with too much without people knowing about it. Instances of candidates being rejected or employees fired due to inappropriate online activity (read: drunken Facebook photos or slagging off their current company /boss/clients) will be the folklore of our generation. For employers seeking total transparency about prospective employees, a fishbowl society might seem like a brilliant effect of social media and the World Wide Web, but it is a double edged sword. If you’ve treated candidates poorly, not lived up to your recruitment promises, pay terribly and expect overtime and weekend work, websites like glassdoor.com will expose your dodgy practices. Using these sites, a candidate can find out all they believe they need to know about a job or a company before even meeting with a hiring manger. If you have a poor online reputation and don’t do anything to counter it with positive social media activity, you’re fighting a losing battle – regardless of the salary you offer.

So in summary . . . .

If you are committing (any of) these “4 Recruitment Sins”, chances are you are not only losing candidates, but you’re also alienating the market. Ignorance may be bliss, but unless you want to risk damaging both your employment brand and your ability to recruit top candidates, you need to be aware that these sins could be the reason you are losing the candidates you need. Always look at your recruitment process from a candidate’s perspective and ask yourself – “If I was a candidate, would I feel engaged in the interview process and motivated to work for me?”

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