Hiring & Recruiting

Major Hiring Mistakes – and How to Avoid Them

“You can’t expect great employees to find you,” says top consultant, Gevity HR. Their research has identified five mistakes managers must avoid if they want to attract exceptional employees.

Oh, that nasty feeling when you first realize that a new hire isn’t what you hoped—not up to doing the job, can’t motivate people, or whatever. It’s the dreaded hiring mistake.

Gevity (the company serves as the full-service HR department for small and mid-sized organizations) has identified five ways its clients fall down in their hiring efforts. Every HR manager will benefit from taking a look at Gevity’s “fearsome five.”

1. Relying strictly on traditional recruiting sources. If you’re still putting an ad in the paper and hoping for the best, says Gevity, get with it. There is a wide range of options beyond that, including online job boards, university job fairs, recruiters and employment agencies, and your own website. More and more organizations report that many or most of their hires come from Internet-based sources. The reason: That’s where many of the best people are looking for new jobs.

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Other organizations are having great luck using their employees as recruiters—some report getting nearly half their new hires that way. The referral system doesn’t bring in many duds—employees know the people they refer, and they don’t want to be the one responsible for bringing a bad apple into the company.

2. Offering candidates uncompetitive compensation. That doesn’t mean just cash. Benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans, opportunities for growth and advancement, a positive work environment, and flexibility also play a large role. “Always focus the prospective hire on the total package,” Gevity says.

3. Failing to market your company. Remember, while you are evaluating candidates, they are evaluating you. Treat them with respect. With the best candidates, add a strong “sell” segment to the interview. Showcase your organization’s strengths, opportunities, and positive culture. Tailor your “sell” to what the applicant has revealed about what he or she is looking for in a new job.

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4. Waiting until someone leaves—or is long gone — to fill critical positions. Turnover happens. “Build a talent pipeline,” says Gevity. Then when a position opens, you can fill it quickly with top talent. No more treading water while you wait for the recruiting wheels to turn.

5. Hiring solely on job fit, not organization fit. Most managers tend to focus on “job fit,” but research shows that organization fit is often more important. You can teach skills but not attitude, many experts say.

To attract exceptional employees, says Gevity, establish a well thought out recruiting plan to identify, target, and reach them. Then just avoid the “Fearsome Five.”

Has Gevity named them all the major miscues, or do you have others to add? Use the Share Your Comments button and let us know.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, four basic mistakes managers make after they hire.

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