Excellent talent is in high demand. Now more than ever, companies are having to sell themselves to potential hires. To stay relevant and maintain a steady stream of capable new hires, businesses should avoid these common mistakes.
1. Being Inflexible
One of the fastest ways to deter potential hires is to have a narrow perspective about how a job can be done. Flexibility in workplace arrangement has become more of a requirement than a bonus.
While you might be more comfortable with a social media manager who works from your company’s office headquarters, it’s usually possible for this job to be completed remotely. You might deter the best talent from applying to the position if you seem inflexible about the arrangement.
Frame job opportunities at your company in a way that demonstrates you are willing to compromise. The perfect employee might have ideas that will expand and improve a position beyond what you’ve imagined for it.
2. Making Team Members Inaccessible
Your existing team should be an excellent selling point for your company — so don’t hide them away! These are the folks who can attest to your company’s culture, benefits, and team dynamic.
It should be easy for job seekers to find information about your existing team. Team members should have photos and bios on the website, and when you’re really trying to appeal to a potential hire, provide them with the opportunity to chat with a team member. This will give them an honest idea of what the team is like and why your company would great to work for.
Additionally, encourage your happy team members to talk about your company on social media. This will appeal to potential hires who end up researching your company.
3. Not Responding to Applicants
Even if you’re inundated with applications, find time to send a generic “not this time, but stay in touch” email to candidates who didn’t get the job. The way you treat job applicants reflects on your company and says something about the way you will treat employees. Responding to applicants is a matter of respect and it can pay off for you down the line.
Just because an applicant didn’t make the cut this time doesn’t mean that they won’t be better suited to another position later. Perhaps after a few years of practice at a different company, they’ll become the perfect addition to your team. It’s best not to burn any bridges, and providing hard-working job seekers with no response is a quick way to alienate talent.
Furthermore, if word gets around that you were rude to applicants or ignored them, the perfect candidate might not apply at all because they’ve heard bad things about the way you search for hires.
4. Having an Endless Application Process
Applicants are looking for a job. They don’t have time to sit around and wait for you to invite them in for a second interview or send the details of the trial job. Your interviewing and hiring process should be easy, seamless, and quick.
If you need to outsource this process, do it. It’s your job to recognize if you are too busy to do this effectively. If the hiring process takes forever, it won’t only cost you potential talent, it will also frustrate your other team members and leave your company functioning at a disadvantage.
While you don’t want to rush into hiring someone unless you’re sure about them, it’s also important that this process be as pain-free and rapid as possible for everyone involved.
5. Poorly Executing or Not Paying for Trial Jobs
In the case that you choose to engage in a trial job with a selected candidate, that process needs to be seamless. Carefully arrange the trial job so that you have an opportunity to gauge several different skills in the candidate and see how they work with various members of the team. If this process is disorganized or unfair, it will raise a red flag and probably deter some excellent candidates from moving on to work with you.
Just like an interview, a trial job is a two-way street. This is an opportunity for the candidate to observe how your company works and interact with the team. This experience will either be a selling point for them, or it won’t.
Additionally, you should pay candidates for their efforts even in a trial job. Few things will scare off well-qualified candidates faster than trying to get free work out of them. A trial job is an investment into a potentially excellent employee and payment is one way of demonstrating your appreciation and interest.
Many of these mistakes are simply matters of respect and organization. Attract the best talent by streamlining the hiring process, being transparent about your awesome company culture, staying flexible, and treating candidates with respect. If you can do all of these things, great candidates will be lining up out the door.
Simon Slade is CEO of Doubledot Media.
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