Are you doing it all wrong? 5 of the most common recruiting mistakes

Recruiting great people isn’t rocket science, but it might seem like it at times. From not getting enough of the right applicants, to losing top talent in the process, to not getting any applicants at all – all of which are quite common, by the way – it’s often a result of a (unknowingly) poor recruitment process.

Here are 5 of the top mistakes we see all the time.

Starting your ad with, are you ‘hard-working, driven and goal-oriented’?

You’re not going to filter out any one with that question. Neither are you going to entice those that are really ‘hard-working, driven and goal-oriented’, as let’s face it, 95% of the finance community will consider themselves to tick those boxes. Furthermore, asking for these qualities upfront may put that group of top talent off – they’re not looking for just any ‘job’, they are looking for the next challenge, and they want to know ‘how’ and ‘what’ it’s going to offer them.

Copying and pasting the job description, into the ad

Not only are job descriptions very dry, they usually don’t really give any sense of the role at all. For instance, you may need a Financial Accountant, to do a load of standard ‘financial accounting activities’ but in your case, actually 50% of the role is project-based. This is the part you should be ‘selling’, not the day-to-day. Always think ‘what’s in it for them’ when you write your advert. To attract top talent, you want to be telling them about the good bits, not the bits they can do in their sleep.

Not getting back to applicants

The worst, but easiest, mistake to make. It means nothing to you to ignore an email, it means a massive amount to the person who sent it. It’s so easy to chalk it up to ‘so many applications’, but really this is a make-or-break part of your recruiting success. If you send out a bad message to the market, by not getting back to people, you’ll find no-one will want to work with you. This is even worse after interview. It’s hard to make a call and give someone bad news, but I can guarantee it’ll serve you better in the long run.

Not giving your candidates an interview that makes them sweat

Easy interviews turn off top talent. They want challenge, and that includes the interview process. If they can take the interview in their stride, likelihood is they will think the job is too easy, and could view you, as their interviewer and potential manager, as too soft. Lack of preparation for an interview also can be a contributor – don’t ask them detail that is clearly on their CV, and make sure you read it before you go in!

Low-balling your offer

Last, but not least, get it out of your mind that salary negotiations always start with a low-ball offer. Imagine if you did a great interview, overcame all of the challenges put in front of you, spent hours on your preparation and pitch, felt ecstatic that you were being made an offer… and then received one for 10% less than you’re on at the moment. Think about what that person thinks about the company they’re coming to work for. Even if they do negotiate it up – there will always be resentment, a feeling of low self-worth and a feeling that they have been tricked in some way. There’s zero long-term value in going back to your CFO and saying you got someone for ‘less’. Just don’t do it. Submit a fair offer, and work from there.

Good luck!

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At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future.
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