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7 Avoidable Recruiting Mistakes

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A baking mishap reminded me of a common mistake in recruiting. The baker, my cousin, decided to take some liberties with a bread recipe. Instead of measuring the ingredients, she eyeballed it, adding generous portions of her favorites. Then she decided to knead the dough for half the amount of time called for in the recipe.

The result—a chewy gritty lump that tasted nothing like bread.

Baking is a science. Follow the recipe and you’ll get a positive result. The same is true in recruiting. There’s a science to getting a good result. Skip a step or fail to follow a proven process and you end up with lackluster candidates and unfilled jobs.

Yes, there’s an art to being good at recruiting, especially when it comes to the day to day aspects of the job, but that never outweighs the importance of the strategic ingredients required for success.

Here are seven frequent recruiting mistakes, and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1
Drawing in too little or too much talent
This first mistake is the most common. Many companies aren’t drawing in enough quality candidates, blaming the skills shortage as the problem. Some organizations draw in too many people who are underqualified, typically as a result of an unhealthy reliance on automation. Both of these extremes make recruiting labor intensive and filling open jobs a challenge.

Generating a continuous supply of top talent requires leveraging all eight talent streams. Organizations that maximize all eight recruit faster, fill positions more efficiently, and effortlessly create pipelines of top talent for future openings.

Mistake #2
Having unrealistic hiring criteria
It’s common to throw everything but the kitchen sink into your hiring criteria. Making a quality hire is vital and starts with deciding who you’ll select. Unfortunately, the extreme importance of hiring right the first time has led leaders to be overly restrictive about who they’ll consider for a job. This limits the talent pool and keeps positions open for a long time.

There’s a simple way to create accurate hiring criteria—seek proof. Review all of the people who’ve succeeded in the role. Look for the patterns among their skills, experiences, and personality traits. Make those your hiring criteria and leave the kitchen sink where it belongs.

Mistake #3
Getting overly attached to one candidate
Falling in love isn’t just the plot line in romantic movies, it’s why the recruiting process in many companies becomes a drama. It often plays out like this…a superb candidate is found for the job, someone you fall in love with. “She’s the one,” you say.  As a result, the recruiting effort comes to a screeching halt. When it turns out she isn’t the one, a mad dash ensues as you scramble to find more candidates.

Instead of falling in love with people, it’s better to become enamored with a process that keeps talent flowing. Some organizations refer to that as practicing their ABC’s, as in Always Be Cultivating talented people even after you think you’ve found “the one.”

Mistake #4
Becoming too reliant upon one resource
Most recruiters have a preferred stream of talent. For many, it’s referrals. They see referrals as the gold standard of recruiting, believing that this is the best way to find high quality people.

While it’s true that referrals are gold, it’s just one of the eight streams of talent. Some of the streams provide overlapping access to the same candidates. However, no single stream can draw in all of the available quality people. That’s why it’s important to keep tapping into all eight.

Mistake #5
Waiting until a job opens to recruit
It’s not if there’s going to be a job opening, but when. That’s why the most successful organizations plan for the when.

How are these companies planning for the inevitable? They’re shifting from the old way of hiring (keeping a job open until the right person shows up) into the new way of hiring (lining up talented people and waiting for the right job to open). They start with one core role, filling currently open positions and cultivating talent for when that job opens again. Then they move on to the next role. And then the next. And then the next.

Mistake #6
Creating ads and posts that are boring
The majority of job listings read like typical ad copy. That’s why these posts fail to hold the interest of top talent. The mundane content creates a negative first impression, repelling quality candidates.

What kind of content captures and keeps attention? Details about how working in your organization has improved lives and careers is a great place to start. Combine that with eye-catching delivery methods, such as video, gifs, or infographics, and you’ll attract and keep the interest of top talent.

Mistake #7
Engaging in hiring insanity
Einstein has been quoted as saying that insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result. By that definition, there’s quite a bit of insanity going on in recruiting. For instance, ask someone why they persist at an approach that isn’t drawing in enough quality talent, and you’re likely to hear, “because that’s how we’ve always done it.”

You can stop the insanity by regularly questioning each step of the recruiting process. Consider why it’s done that way. What results are being achieved? How can you could improve that result? In what ways you could streamline each step of the process?

My cousin threw out that gritty lump of so-called bread. The next batch was superb because she followed the recipe, avoiding her past mistakes. You can do the same when you’re recruiting. Eliminating these 7 preventable errors will allow you to source top people who will become superb new hires.

 

Scott Wintrip7 Avoidable Recruiting Mistakes
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Want Better Results From Your Applicant Tracking System? Here’s Some Expert Advice

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Concrete advice combined with some blunt commentary. That’s what you’ll hear in this conversation with Doug Coull, Founder and CEO of APS, the makers of SmartSearch. According to Doug, having a better ATS experience requires that staffing companies change their perspective on software selection. He also believes that the normal customer-vendor paradigm is ineffective and suggests a different approach. Plus he doesn’t hold back when he shares what he thinks is wrong with the software industry. Doug mentions a software selection guide in the podcast. You can request that here.

Scott WintripWant Better Results From Your Applicant Tracking System? Here’s Some Expert Advice
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Rejected by a Talented Candidate? Do This

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It’s inevitable that someone you want to interview or hire will say “no.” However, that “no” isn’t permanent. You can get a talented person to change his or her mind by applying a powerful principle of selling.

I first witnessed this principle during a conversation with a longtime client. He called to say there was somebody else. Another company had approached him, offering similar services for 5% less.

My client explained that he had to watch his budget and decided to seriously consider making a change. He further explained to me that he didn’t really want to, but if I couldn’t meet that price, he’d have to go with the other company.

Now of course, I felt a bit betrayed. Rather than give in to this feeling, which was valid but unhelpful for solving the problem, I kept the conversation going.

“Harvey, I want to thank you for calling and being candid with me. I’m curious. What would it make it worth staying with us, paying what you are now?”

There was a pregnant pause. He didn’t just dismiss the question out of hand, which was a good sign.

“That’s an interesting question,” he said. “There is something. Our payables department has been on us about getting longer payment terms to help with cash flow. If we had a bit longer to pay, that might make it worth that 5%.”

Playing off his idea, I simply asked:

“Okay, what’s longer?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe 10 more days?”

Harvey’s voice had gone from conciliatory and resigned to hopeful in a matter of seconds. Now, instead of prompting me to adjust my price or lose him as a client, he asked me for accommodations in order to maintain our relationship. This created a productive conversation in place of a “break up” phone call.

Harvey’s company had always paid on time and often, in less than 30 days so his request was by no means unreasonable. Now, I needed only one more question to close the deal.

“If I can get you those 10 additional days, then can we continue working together in the way we always have?”

“Yes, Scott. Thank you! That’s such a relief. I really wasn’t looking forward to the transition.”

I remember ending that phone call with a smile on my face. I had just experienced the value of allowing Harvey to sell himself on an idea, rather than trying to do the heavy lifting myself. I let the better salesperson sell. Him. Not me. He sold himself on changing his own mind.

Yes, I kept Harvey as a client. More importantly, I’d experienced a powerful sales principle. A principle that became an important focus in my recruiting and hiring. That principle:

Buyers always believe themselves, but only sometimes believe you.

Job candidates are buyers. They’re buying into opportunities. When they say “no,” they’re the most qualified person in the conversation to change it into a “yes.”

How does this work in recruiting and hiring? Well, there was the project manager who wanted a higher salary than we could offer. I asked, “What would make it worth taking the job for what we originally offered?” He talked himself into that number after asking for an extra week of vacation.

Then there was the accountant who didn’t want to drive across town for a job. I posed the following: “Under what circumstances would you consider commuting that far?” The accountant offered up the idea of a flex schedule sealing the deal for her to accept the role.

Candidates always believe themselves, but only sometimes believe you. Let the better salesperson sell, especially when it’s a candidate who just said “no.” If there’s anyone who can get them to change their own mind, it’s them, not you.

Scott WintripRejected by a Talented Candidate? Do This
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John Ruffini–Hiring Hero of the Week

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It’s been said that numbers don’t lie. That’s certainly true when it comes to this week’s Hero of Hiring John Ruffini. John is the author of Money Makers: Proven Ways to Increase Sales and Productivity in the World of Professional Recruiting. He’s also the Vice President, Professional Development for HealthTrust Workforce Solutions in Sunrise Florida. John has helped thousands of recruiters improve their ability to impact candidates and employers. These recruiters have shaped the careers of tens of thousands of people who, in turn, have helped their employers create billions in revenue. Thank you John for the heroic work you do each day!

P.S. Be sure to follow John on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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ABOUT THE HEROES OF HIRING

We’ve all heard it said that a company’s most important asset is its people. When we say we love a company, what we’re really saying is we love the work being done by the exceptional people in these organizations. Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make their companies great. That’s why recruiting and hiring is so important. Each person involved in the hiring process is influencing the future of their company. These individuals are also impacting one of the most important aspects of people’s lives—their careers. The individuals who play a role in the hiring process are changing companies and lives, making hiring a heroic act.

The hiring heroism of a select group of people goes above and beyond. These unsung hiring heroes are making a lasting difference on a grand scale. That’s the reason for this distinction—the Hiring Hero of the Week. The hope in bestowing this honor is that people across the globe can celebrate and learn from these truly amazing human beings.

Scott WintripJohn Ruffini–Hiring Hero of the Week
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Want Better Recruiting Results? Make This Simple Shift

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If you want to achieve better outcomes as a recruiter or if you lead a recruiting team and want them to accomplish more, this episode is for you. You’ll take away a simple approach that’s helping leaders and their teams surpass their goals quicker than ever.

Scott WintripWant Better Recruiting Results? Make This Simple Shift
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Amy Ruth–Hiring Hero of the Week

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Amy Ruth is the Senior Vice President, Human Services Group and Chief Human Resource Officer of Florida Blue, a Guidewell Company. Amy is this week’s Hiring Hero because of her pioneering work in making HR a strategic business partner for her company. She has created an HR function focused on driving business outcomes and has aligned her talent acquisition team more closely to the business. This alignment is part of a talent strategy for actively pipelining talent before jobs open and filling openings with greater speed and accuracy (an impressive undertaking for a company that employs more than 6,700 people).

Thank you Amy for the heroic work you and your team do each day!

BTW: Be sure to follow Amy on Twitter.

____________________________________

ABOUT THE HEROES OF HIRING

We’ve all heard it said that a company’s most important asset is its people. When we say we love a company, what we’re really saying is we love the work being done by the exceptional people in these organizations. Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make their companies great. That’s why recruiting and hiring is so important. Each person involved in the hiring process is influencing the future of their company. These individuals are also impacting one of the most important aspects of people’s lives—their careers. The individuals who play a role in the hiring process are changing companies and lives, making hiring a heroic act.

The hiring heroism of a select group of people goes above and beyond. These unsung hiring heroes are making a lasting difference on a grand scale. That’s the reason for this distinction—the Hiring Hero of the Week. The hope in bestowing this honor is that people across the globe can celebrate and learn from these truly amazing human beings.

Scott WintripAmy Ruth–Hiring Hero of the Week
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The Heroes of Hiring

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We’ve all heard it said that a company’s most important asset is its people. When we say we love a company, what we’re really saying is we love the work being done by the exceptional people in these organizations. Talented employees who do outstanding work are the secret ingredients that make their companies great. That’s why recruiting and hiring is so important. Each person involved in the hiring process is influencing the future of their company. These individuals are also impacting one of the most important aspects of people’s lives—their careers. The individuals who play a role in the hiring process are changing companies and lives, making hiring a heroic act.

The hiring heroism of a select group of people goes above and beyond. These unsung hiring heroes are making a lasting difference on a grand scale. That’s the reason for this distinction—the Hiring Hero of the Week. The hope in bestowing this honor is that people across the globe can celebrate and learn from these truly amazing human beings.

Check back each week to learn about the latest Hiring Hero.

Scott WintripThe Heroes of Hiring
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Want Your Team To Reach Its Goals? Change This One Thing

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One simple often overlooked action can shift your team from sometimes reaching its goals to crushing them on regular basis. In this episode, I tell you how to do it.

Scott WintripWant Your Team To Reach Its Goals? Change This One Thing
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