Switching from Screening to Recruiting

Many companies are still recruiting like we’re in a recession. Although the recession ended more than five years ago, it hit America hard and has had a lasting effect on hiring managers. I  recently spoke with an HR manager who began to say something about the recession, but had to stop and correct himself saying, “Actually, we’re no longer in recession.”

The irony of this is that companies still complain that they can’t find talent, but it is because they haven’t changed their recruiting methods since we came out of the recession. Managers need to change their mindset about how to recruit talent post-recession.

The problem lies in this: companies have the illusion that there are so many people out there searching for jobs, and they can just wait for the right resume to show up on their desk.

The truth is, candidates are looking, but they want the right career, not just a job.

Most markets are highly competitive for talent, and changing your recruitment strategies will put you ahead.

Recruitment is typically still reactive rather than proactive – the “wait around and they’ll come” method. And even when a worker does apply to a position, they are put into a long screening process and told to jump through hoops. News flash – this doesn’t work.

Here are some of the biggest recruiting mistakes, and what you can do to fix them:

  • Not engaging with top talent. Okay, so if you can’t sit around and wait for the right resume to come in, what do you do? Engage top talent through all available outlets. This means your company’s social media channels, referrals from your current employees, and yes, using a recruiter.
  • Checking off every job description detail before making an offer. There are no perfect candidates that will match your exact needs for a position. It still holds true that you hire for attitude and train for expertise.
  • Everyone in management needs to interview the candidate. This tends to slow down the process by adding unnecessary steps, and can cause you to miss out on a great candidate if another company makes them an offer first. Streamlining your process can help attract and land top talent; it makes them feel wanted when the process is going smoothly and quickly. If the process drags out too long, they will start to think they are no longer being considered and move on to the next opportunity.
  • Looking for reasons not to hire. Instead, you should be looking for the reasons someone should be hired. We all understand it’s important for a person to be able to do their job, but over-screening may cause you to miss out on why a person can do the job. Understand what trade-offs you are willing to make, knowing that there isn’t anyone that can do everything your current team members can.

Again, hire for attitude. The right employee for your company will have the education and desire to fill any skills gaps quickly. But if they don’t have the right attitude or they’re a poor cultural fit, it’s not something you can train.

  • Missing the opportunity to sell your company. This is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make. You might have a great environment, technology or culture, but people outside of your company don’t know that. When you are interested in a candidate, engage them early on and let them know about the things that excite you within the company. Employees want to work somewhere they can be excited about, too. Simply asking them why they would be a good fit isn’t enough. You have to tell them why your company is the best fit for them.

In all, the lesson here is that talent won’t necessarily come looking for you, and they won’t necessarily wait for you to screen and process them over a long period of time. Be active in your search and engage the talent you are interested in before another company does.

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