3 big recruitment mistakes to avoid

Submitted by Mark on 13th February 2019

recruitment mistakes to avoid, employment, HR, interviews, employees, recruitment process,

Save time and money by getting your recruitment right - first time.

You’d be amazed to learn how often we see our clients cost themselves a fortune in recruitment expenses - simply by neglecting to take a few simple precautionary steps.  In this blog and the next, we look at common recruitment pitfalls.  The recruitment process can be costly and time-consuming.  Get it wrong and the consequences can be anything between mildly inconvenient and fairly calamitous - 

- Extra costs in going through the process a second time

- Wasted time through delaying the appointment of the right candidate into the role

- A decline in morale as colleagues have to temporarily cover the vacancy

The cause of failed recruitment projects is so often nothing more mysterious than bad planning, from the very start.  Here are three mistakes that businesses often make.  Each can seriously impact on the effectiveness of their recruitment efforts - 

1.        Lack of a proper job spec.

Failure to produce a proper job description is the most common recruiting mistake.  It can show that you have not thoroughly identified what you are looking for and leaves the candidate feeling unsure and potentially confused.

They will be without the foundation for a productive short, medium and long-term working relationship.

In the specification, you should describe the level of qualification, knowledge, skills and competencies that you require.  Include a description of your company culture (this is really important whatever the size or kind of company, as personality clashes can have a huge impact). 

Start with the job purpose – this needs to be a single sentence that gives candidates an insight into the role.

• Be fair and legal – try not to include skills that may discriminate, e.g. asking for a recent graduate would go against age discrimination legislation. 

• Avoid words like ‘dynamic’, ‘energetic’ and ‘young’ – these too can be classed as discriminatory and are considered as jargonistic and meaningless.  

• Outline what’s on offer – what are the benefits and salary?  What opportunities are there for training or development?

2.        Poor interview methodology

Make sure you’ve designed the interview questions thoroughly.  Avoid closed questions e.g. 

“Do you feel you made a success of your role with Bloggs & Co.?”

These can only really be answered with a yes/no answer.  Instead, ask open questions, such as

“Describe a success you enjoyed during your time with Bloggs & Co.”

These questions will lead to more revealing answers and give you further opportunity to find out more through relay questions like “what did you do to ensure it was successful?” and “what did you learn from the experience?”.  

Make a careful note of what you really want to discover about the candidate.  Don’t be vague.  Be thorough.  If the candidate doesn’t give you the full answer you’re looking for, keep digging till you reach the answer you’re looking for.

3.        Being sloppy about background checks

Most employers will give factual references but by telling the candidate you will be contacting their previous employer, creates an opportunity to gauge their likely reaction.  If in doubt don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and have a confidential conversation with the referee.  

Don’t forget about LinkedIn and Facebook.  Each can tell you so much about the background, personality and ethos of the applicant.

In our next blog, we’ll look at further potential pitfalls at the interview stage of the recruitment process.

As in so many areas, when it comes to recruiting, preparation is key.  If you’re in any doubt, why not call us?  We’ll be delighted to advise on every aspect of the recruitment process.  We’ll help you to improve your chances of recruiting the best candidate every time.

Remember - we’re here to help.

For straight-talking HR advice - 01604 763494

Or email - info@GravitasHR.co.uk