Ask professionals in the talent recruitment space, and you’ll hear over and over that the system is broken. Ask any candidate and they’ll utter the same thing in a frustrated tone. I think we can all agree, the system has some major flaws and needs an overhaul!
Your company and your HR department work hard to hire the right job candidates who will bring passion to their job each day. But you still have high turnover as people who end up not being quite right for the job or the company quit, leaving you holding the bag yet again. So many wasted resources on being in a constant hiring process…
High turnover isn’t just bad for a company’s bottom line, it can also affect employee morale and their productivity as current employees spend time training new hires instead of solving the company’s other challenges. And how demotivating is it to constantly see colleagues come and go?
So what are so many of us getting wrong about the job search process? And what can we do better that can lead to a better candidate pool with higher retention rates?
Here are 4 areas where the recruitment process can go astray.
Communication is an essential part of the job search and hiring process, but a common complaint from job seekers is that many companies have poor communication practices. The most common job seeker complaints include:
- Not clearly outlining the hiring process and timetable to potential candidates
- Not communicating with candidates throughout the process
- Not communicating with rejected candidates
Poor communication between a company and potential candidates leads to confusion, frustration and reflects badly on the entire company. Job seekers who have had at least some initial contact with a company are now walking billboards…they’re a living, breathing advertisement of your culture of communication and how you behave towards job candidates. Treat them poorly and you’re risking negative feedback to your future potential candidates, and quite possibly to your current employees who may have referred their friend to the company.
Job candidates want what we all want…a clear understanding of what to expect, what is the current status of my application and what’s next. A simple series of emails and/or phone calls can clear up this one major source of frustration for candidates.
Real DEI – Not Just Words
Today’s employees want to know that they are working for a company whose values closely align with their own and for many, those values include having a diverse workforce. Diversity goals may be different from one company to the next, however many companies fail to reflect their DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) goals in the hiring process. Failing to include this aspect of company culture can lead to hiring candidates whose values just don’t align with the company, which often leads to unhappy workers and unnecessarily high attrition.
Instead, every touch-point in the hiring process should reflect ongoing efforts to align the company’s aspirational statements of values and culture with the experiences of staff. Also, if you value a diverse team, pay attention to how you treat diverse candidates. Be sure to demonstrate respect for and authenticity with people who represent communities that have been typically marginalized or excluded from professional opportunities and leadership. When internal promotions and opportunities for advancement are available, be sure to seek out employees who are both diverse and qualified, and point out those opportunities to them; sometimes an extra word of encouragement can have tremendous downstream effects.
Where Do You Focus?
There are a lot of different aspects that can make a job candidate the right one. But far too often the hiring process focuses on the wrong things or fails to focus on the big picture. A lot of attention is paid to hard skills–can a job candidate do the job and use the tools you give them to do it. Soft skills (like interpersonal skills) and personality are often disregarded or not given enough weight.
Sure a job candidate has the skills to get the job done. But can they communicate effectively with the team or with their boss? Does their personality fit the office culture or will there be clashes around the water cooler? When tough times come, will the employee stick with the company due to a firm belief in the company’s goals, or will they jump ship because there is no sense of loyalty or common purpose?
Poor alignment between a company’s culture and the preferences of an employee leads to a whole host of problems including poor productivity, mental health, and wellbeing issues, lack of collaboration, and attrition – all of which affect the company’s bottom line.
Relationships – Not Resumes
Many companies treat the interview process as transactional, as nothing more than trying to find an acceptable candidate who checks enough boxes and is willing to take the job for as low a salary as possible. If this is your mindset, you’re missing a golden opportunity to build something bigger and better – a culture that will sustain itself over time, lead to better performance, and a far stronger (and more satisfied!) workforce.
The recruiting process is not simply a transaction…it is the first step of creating a relationship. And this first step requires an investment of time and energy, and most definitely a new way of thinking. Making the recruiting process more person-centric and less process-centric benefits everyone. Focus on the human side of hiring by looking at how well the candidate melds with the company culture and by clearly understanding what the candidate needs and if/how the company can meet those needs. This is a relationship, not a transaction…these are people, not resumes…these are possible members of your workforce, not simply job applicants.