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Today’s Top 5 Hiring Pitfalls & How To Avoid Them

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We’re in a candidate-driven job market right now. Both the hard data and widespread anecdotal evidence is confirming it. 

A candidate-driven market is often something that isn’t always recognised by employers until they lose a bunch of staff or have to recruit. Then they’re hit head-on by the reality check from hell when they can’t retain staff, find a decent candidate, or worse - end up with a bad hire.

Candidates these days are often receiving multiple job offers, as well as having their current employers trying to offer more for them to stay on in their current roles. Current employees are also sniffing around for greener pastures, where they can obtain the kind of perks that top employers are offering in today’s job market.

So, if you’ve had your head slightly in the sand recovering from pandemic shifts - you need to keep reading to ensure you can avoid the most common pitfalls of today’s job market.

 

Pitfall #1 - Being about as flexible as a rock

The Issue:

It’s not just about salary to attract top talent any more, it’s all in the trimmings. Candidates have such a choice that they are able to command not just excellent salaries but also flexible working patterns, stronger study support, career development plans and whatever other perks necessary. There has been a significant social shift towards having a better work-life balance, employers need to get on board the change train now or risk being left behind. If you can’t offer what candidates are looking for, you will ultimately lose them to a competitor that can. 

The Fix:

  • Offer hybrid or flexible remote work arrangements - and be prepared to get a bit more flexible if the candidate requires it.

  • Map out potential career paths for the position and how to support that growth

  • PERKS! What can your business offer outside of the box? 

  • Make considerations for study support and emphasis on professional development

 

Pitfall #2: Neglecting culture, brand and reputation

The Issue:

Candidates want to work for companies with an enviable culture, great branding and a positive reputation. A huge majority of candidates will look into a company’s reputation before even applying for a role, as many want to work for companies that they can be proud of representing. Almost every candidate in the market right now is fixated on finding the right culture, at times even at the expense of a lower salary. When employers fail to embrace employer branding that emphasises the reputation, culture and values of the company they’re completely missing out on top talent who won’t even bother applying.

The Fix:

  • Make your company visible on all platforms with as much information, affiliations and success stories as possible. 

  • Do a Google search to collate what’s available for candidates to review, and ensure you’ve added anything that is missing.

  • Add a careers section to your website and include your vision, mission and values as well as video or written summaries from current employees on what makes your company great.

 

Pitfall #3 - Unreasonable expectations

The Issue:

Many employers overlook great candidates, hoping to land that ‘perfect candidate’... but there are more jobs than applicants available right now so finding perfect is pie in the sky stuff. While employers hold out for perfection, candidates who may not have ticked every box are being hired by competitors who see their strengths. Not every candidate will be able to fulfil every single requirement, and we’ve seen countless examples where a ‘not-so-perfect’ candidate has ended up being the most valuable. You may be missing out on top talent by being unrealistic in your requirements.

The Fix:

  • Revisit your requirements and mark the top 5 ‘must-have’ characteristics or skills, then be flexible on the rest.

  • Ask your current managers and/or employees what they think of your requirements.

  • Forget about the word ‘perfect’, instead look for the candidates who can turn into great employees in the near future with just a little training and support.

 

Pitfall #4 - Forgetting interviews are a two-way street

The Pitfall:

Interviews are a candidate’s opportunity to make sure they’re open to choosing to work for your company, for you, if they get an offer. Too often employers are spending interview time channelling the Spanish Inquisition, and not putting their best foot forward with a candidate. 

The Fix:

  • Make sure the interview is a conversation, not an interrogation.

  • Provide the candidate a true picture of what their day-to-day looks like and how that ties in to overall operations.

  • Get some feedback from recent employees on what their interview process was like and how it could be improved.

  • Provide more than one interval for the candidate to ask questions.

 

Pitfall #5 - Having a hiring process as old as the hills

The Pitfall:

We live in the era of digital transformation, ever-improving user experience and instant gratification. Expecting candidates to invest the time to submit outdated lengthy applications for employment? Ain’t nobody got time for that. If your process is lengthy, they’ll simply not apply for your job. Multiple rounds of interviews that delay decision making by weeks or months are sooo early noughties. But many companies insist on maintaining their status-quo, and find that by the time they complete their decision making process, top candidates have accepted job offers from employers who can strike while the iron is hot. 

The Fix:

  • Simplify your application process using a digital platform that is also available on mobile

  • Minimise the number of interviews required by involving key personnel in the process

  • Act fast - if you like the candidate then move quickly to make them an offer

 

Gone are the days where the candidate must chase the employer. Recruiting in today’s job market is tough, but it’s worth the effort. By avoiding the common pitfalls and focusing on what prospective employees care most about (flexibility, culture, reputation, advancement) you can not only hire top talent, but retain key staff and build a solid team of loyal employees.

 



We’ve worked with hundreds of companies over 25 years in Australia and Europe to source and retain top talent in the building services, engineering and IT sectors. Our non-prescriptive approach to today's evolving job market allows us to remain agile and adapt to the needs and requirements of employers. If you need assistance with recruitment, employer branding or head hunting, contact us today.

 

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