If your goal is to find quality employees, you need to know what skills and characteristics you're seeking and have a plan by which you'll find the best candidates. However, too many businesses make the same mistakes repeatedly, costing themselves time and money in the process. The most common recruiting mistakes include:
- Failing to look in-house. Often the best candidates may be right under your nose. Not considering your in-house employees can not only cause you to bypass some very good candidates, but can also have an effect on morale and team spirit.
- Looking for an exact replica. Some people think you should look for a person who has done the exact same job in the exact same industry at a very similar company. But that overlooks innovation, new ideas, and potential progress. Past behavior is an indicator of future behavior, provided nothing ever changes. Since that's not the case in the business world, you are often served well by skilled candidates who have something new to offer.
- Not explaining the process. If you will have the top candidates come in for three interviews over a period of a month, let them know. Also, give them a target date for the completion of the process. Leaving candidates in the dark about what will happen next can be bad for the reputation of your business.
- Not involving your employees in the process. In a small business environment, it's particularly valuable to let your current employees know that you're trying to fill a position. You might include some of them in the interview process. They will feel a greater sense of ownership in a company when they are involved in some manner. They may know of good candidates, which would make your job easier.
- Lack of a time frame. There are job ads that appear in newspapers for many months, which gives the appearance that these companies are not seriously looking to recruit new candidates. Set up a time frame in which you will recruit candidates, narrow down the pool, interview the best ones, and hire someone.
- Paying a lot to an outside recruiter. While large companies can afford to hire a recruiter, most small businesses should not spend money on recruiters, which may or may not bring in the best candidates.
- Always using the same source. Whether you are using Monster.com or another employment-related Web site, a local newspaper, or a professional recruiter, you increase your chances of finding good candidates by using different sources.
- Not having managers and other key people involved in the process. If the employee will report to a specific manager or managers, they should be involved in the process.
- Not providing a complete job description. You slow down the recruiting process significantly by interviewing people who should not be applying for the position in the first place. By providing an accurate description of the job, you can narrow down your candidate pool and make the process easier.
- Looking for a superhero. There are job descriptions that go on and on endlessly, looking for a specific background, traits, characteristics, degrees, specific computer skills, and so on. This is usually the result of too many people involved in the recruitment process. In the end, time is wasted and the position is rarely filled because nobody measures up. When recruiting, do not set standards that only a superhero can meet.
For more information, check out the Hiring & Recruiting section of the AllBusiness.com Human Resources Center. In addition, check out the Employee Hiring section of the AllBusiness.com Forms & Agreements Center.
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