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People strategy

Key Challenges for Hiring Managers Today

Clare Hopping

Trying to do too many tasks at once will put any hiring manager on the road to failure. What other pitfalls should you look out for in today's recruitment environment?

A candidate’s recruitment experience is becoming an increasingly higher priority in the world of HR – it’s now essential to develop a smooth and seamless hiring process that accommodates candidates rather than frustrating them.

Time Is of the Essence

With so many technological tools at the modern hiring manager’s disposal, there’s no excuse for spending weeks and weeks connecting with candidates and discussing roles. The initial search and interview stages can all be done with ease and efficiency using online tools – you can now produce employer branding videos for your job advertisements and do initial (and even later) stage video interviews from the comfort of your desk.

Unfortunately, though, this has yet to become commonplace, and the longer candidates wallow in the hiring process, the lower their perceived value to the organisation becomes. This is, after all, a natural human response – after covering all of the good things a candidate can do for your organisation early on in the process, you inevitably start looking more closely at all their flaws and weaknesses.

The more you become acquainted with someone, the more you start to question their suitability for your firm.

Not only that, but taking too long to make a hire or forcing candidates through multiple rounds of superfluous interviews is a waste of time and money for both candidates and employers. Candidates stuck in a lengthy recruitment pipeline are essentially being told that they can expect more of the same indecisiveness if they do ultimately choose to work at the company.

When a company takes too long to go from initial application to hire, it also sends a message to candidates that says, as Tim Sackett's blog puts it, “You are so mediocre we just can['t] decide if we should pass on you, or hire you.”

Keeping it Internal

Many companies like to handle their hiring internally, to both save costs and gain more control over the process. Unfortunately, this process often fails.

Keeping the process moving requires constant attention and communication with candidates. Although the employer generally believes they control who they hire, they often miss out on top candidates when their hiring process is too drawn-out.

The top candidates are always the most mobile, and in order to recruit them, your company needs to make them an offer they can't refuse – and you need to do so in a timely, professional manner.

Asking Too Much of Candidates

Expecting every candidate who walks through your door to have a degree from a prestigious university and countless qualifications is unrealistic, especially given the vast skills gap affecting many industries' ability to find appropriate talent.

With a high unemployment rate, many businesses think they’ll have a high number of candidates to choose from. While that may be true, the proportion of highly qualified candidates is in fact no higher than usual – all of the top people are already employed, and the less-skilled ones are unemployed for a reason.

In times like these, credential expectations must be revised. Transferable skills are far more valuable in most jobs, since they’re not as easily developed, while more specific skills can be easily acquired after hire.

Paying People Less Than What They Deserve

Although there may be a large number of candidates looking for jobs, that doesn’t mean that they’re willing to settle for a lower rate than usual – not without some consequences for your business, anyway.

Underpaying employees is a recipe for failure – your workers will either be less productive in your organisation due to constant anxiety over finances, or they’ll quickly find a position elsewhere that offers them a better salary. You lose either way, both in terms of the time you invested in finding them, and in terms of time it will take you to find another candidate.

Devote Time and Attention to the Hiring Process

HR departments are often too busy handling day to day employment issues, and can find it difficult to devote the attention required to search for and hire new employees efficiently – huge amounts of time and attention are required to develop a solid recruitment process, but many fail to commit this level of energy. Many of these companies believe that an external recruiter could fix their unsatisfactory results, but are unwilling to incur the extra expense.

The best solution almost always includes investing more in your in-house hiring team, making it a separate business function with autonomy to do what’s best for your company’s future. A quality employee in the office is worth two in the wild, but if the one in your office is gone tomorrow, then you need at least two more potentials to fill the gap.

A seamless recruiting system is the backbone of any successful company.

(Main image credit:  Samuel Mann/flickr)

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.