4 Outdated Hiring Practices That Will Hurt Your Ability to Recruit

January 4, 2016

There can be a danger to working hard.

Yes, there’s something incredibly admirable about getting up every day, not complaining and giving all your tasks the upmost enthusiasm. But, the thing is, if you’re strategy is wrong or your processes are outdated, all that hard work and energy could actually be hurting your organization’s efforts.

Yes, hard work is critical, but so is strategy. And, to help you shape that recruiting strategy – or, more accurately, give you some warnings of what not to do – we went to Quora to find four outdated practices that actually hamper your ability to recruit. 

They are:

1. Having HR write boilerplate job descriptions

Shared by Piaw Na:

“There's one that gets repeated over and over again: relying on HR people to write job descriptions and job ads without vetting from technical managers.

My favorite example is from a talk with the CEO of Sybase, where he said "we saw job ads for 5 years of Sybase experience when we'd only been around for 3 years."

You might think that such obvious cluelessness is mostly harmless, and you'd be wrong. Smart technical people see these job descriptions, and immediately know that the company involved is either (1) clueless, or (2) has managers that can't be bothered to be involved in the hiring process. Neither bodes well for attracting good candidates.”

A better alternative: Job descriptions shouldn’t be just a list of qualifications. As Lou Adler suggests, use job descriptions to explain what a new hire will have to accomplish on the job. Not only is this approach more engaging, also does a better job of setting expectations and attracting the right people.

2. Believing in the “post and pray” philosophy

Shared by Jared Krouss

“Posting to job boards. Not to say you shouldn't post to job boards, but a lot of companies with poor hiring processes are overly reliant on them. They live (and will eventually die) by a ‘if we post it, they will come’ mentality.”

A better alternative: Only 30 percent of professionals are actively looking for a job, so if you are only seeking candidates via a job advertisement, you missing out on 70 percent of the market. A job advertisement should be part of your strategy to recruit, but reaching out to passive candidates – i.e. professionals not actively looking for a job – is just as important.

3. Limiting your job search by geography

Shared by Michael O. Church

“Not paying for relocation is often a hiring filter/eliminating factor and it's presented as financial prudence. This makes sense if you're on a shoestring budget and fighting for your life, but a $10,000 relocation package is nothing compared to the value of a good hire. If you can't afford to pay for full relocation-- and that means a full-service move, not just a one-way plane ticket-- then you can't afford to hire full-time employees.” 

A better alternative: Indeed the math hear proves the geography should not be a factor when hiring. It is well worth it to pay a relocation fee if it means getting a great hire, as the cost (maybe up to a $10,000 one-time fee) is greatly diminished by the gain (a great hire can be conservatively be worth four times more than an average hire).

Of course, recruiting locally is much easier from a practical standpoint. But it also greatly limits the size of your talent pool. So it might be worth the investment to remove geography as a limitation while hiring, especially for high-impact hires.

4. Seeing the interview solely as a one-way conversation

Shared by Chi-Hwa Michael Ting

“Not providing interview training to interviewers and conducting ineffective interviews is a big mistake.

Interviewing is an art and assuming someone is capable of interviewing is flawed. Remember that your interviewers represents your company just like a spokesperson and they probably spend more time on the phone with prospects than your PR or sales team. Do you know what people say about your company after an interview and what impression your interviewers leave?”

A better alternative: How you treat your candidates in an interview has a lasting effect on your employer brand and even your sales. So take some time to train your managers on how to best interview candidates for the sake of your reputation if nothing else.

*Image by Katie Mollon

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