Last updated on August 26th, 2014 at 01:56 am
Is your HR department driving away some of the best prospects?
I’m a Full Time Job Seeker
I believe wholeheartedly that unless you’re within 3 years of retirement, you should always be looking for better opportunities. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean leaving my company (it could mean pushing for a promotion or a new career path with my current employer), it does mean that I’ve become quite familiar with hiring & interview processes that are typical in my industry. Considering that the stigma of being a job hopper has lessened over the years, mainly due to a lack of long-term benefits that used to come with employer loyalty, I’m still consistently surprised at how poor some of the HR departments I deal with are. When it comes to looking for good employees there are steps HR and recruiting departments can take to ensure they get the best available talent out there however, many companies seem clueless. Here are the 3 things that most affect a company’s ability to attract and hire the best people.
1. Cumbersome Application Processes
I recently saw an interesting job listing online and decided I’d apply. I went to the company’s website and began the application process. After about 15 minutes I realized they were never going to ask me to upload my resume – they actually required me to manually type everything into their form-based system from scratch; every job for the last 15 years with start and end dates, every task, every skill, every certification. I closed the window and moved on to the next company.
You see, I consider my time to be valuable. I also pride myself on being an efficient worker. You can’t be both of those things and still subject yourself to a cumbersome application process that involves typing in stuff you already put on a resume. My resume has all of the information presented in a clear fashion that makes sense. It also allows me to showcase my ability to present and communicate unique information in a format that is easy to read and visually appealing. As an employer it also means you have the chance to weed out someone who is incapable of presenting information in a pleasant and concise way. It doesn’t hurt to mention that when you try to copy/paste Microsoft Word documents into an internet form, the formatting invariably gets messed up to the point where you pretty much have to go re-edit every line anyway just to make it look half decent.
Internet forms are fine when collecting the basics – name, address, phone number, etc… but your hiring process needs to allow an individual to upload a resume without retyping it all back into the system. This is a must for HR departments because in a job market where less than 1% of applications even receive a callback, the most qualified people typically skip these types of applications and move on to the next listing. They know it’s a waste of time to spend 20% of their job search time on a single application that only has a 1% chance of landing an interview. Your HR department doesn’t even see the best applicants; you only get to pick from the job seekers who don’t know how to analyze time or recognize that their work is inefficient – in short, you get substandard applicants.
2. Recruiting Departments Tap-And-Go
I once had a recruiter email me via my LinkedIn account which has a complete and always-updated copy of my most recent resume. The email stated they had seen my resume and thought I’d be a perfect fit for an opening with their company. The email gave a brief description of the position and location so I responded back that I was interested. I got zero response – nothing. About 2 weeks later a different recruiter from the same company for the same position also emailed me and I again responded that I was interested and that I’d been contacted previously. Again no response.
I began to wonder if this was just some spam email, but the company website was legit and as it turns out, I actually know someone who works there. I mentioned it to him and he said, “Oh yea I know both of those recruiters.” He actually talked to both of them and verified they really emailed me and it was a legitimate position but yet again, even after him approaching them I got zero communication. Now I know that being a recruiter is tough work and you have to filter through a lot of paper, but you reached out to me in the first place at least have the decency to confirm that you received my information.
What does this mean for that company? I’ll probably never give them a chance as a potential employer, they’ve proven it’s a waste of my time and resources. Down the road there may be a position that opens there for which I’m the perfect candidate and guess who won’t be responding to their emails? The last thing I want to do is work for a company with poor communication and an inability to follow through. It’s a recipe for a miserable job experience. Your recruiting department is the face of your business to potential employees, don’t skimp on giving them the proper training and tools to do their job most effectively.
3. The Silent Treatment After an Interview
In my career, I’ve had lots of job interviews and I’m one of those candidates that usually has a lot of questions during the interview. One of those questions is, “after your selection process is completed, if you’ve decided on another candidate will you contact me to let me know that’s that case or can I expect to not hear back at all?” Every single time the answer has been, “oh yes, we’ll definitely contact you to let you know in either case what our decision was.” I’ve interviewed probably 50+ times and only once has a company called me to actually tell me that they chose someone else.
Not only does it convey to the candidate that you won’t follow through on what you say, it also gives them the feeling that you are afraid of confrontation and that you don’t respect their time. And again, in the future if they ever become the perfect candidate for a position, they may not even apply because who wants to work for a company that can’t show a little respect?
Always make sure that your HR or recruiting department contacts candidates who’ve interviewed and makes them aware of the decision and what skills they were missing. This helps the candidate with their job search and it helps you continue farming people who many not be ready for your organization now, but might be in the future. The person you interviewed might even know someone who would be a perfect fit, but if you blow them off you’ll never find out.
Why These Poor Recruitment Practices Are a Blow to Your Business
Personnel Today, an HR news and guidance organization, says that the most common recruitment practices that put them off when they didn’t get the job were not being told and a general lack of feedback. Furthermore 28% of applicants aged 25-34 who didn’t receive a job offer after an interview said their experience was so off-putting that it stopped them from doing business with the company altogether as a result. The Pharmaceutical industry has had similar studies showing how these recruitment practices consistently cost the industry millions of dollars from hiring the wrong people or leaving positions unfilled due to an inability to attract qualified workers.
Dice Resources recommends that in order to get better hires you must make a personal connection with your candidates. It’s good advice, and you can take it to the bank.
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