Bringing in new talent to your organisation is a tricky task that brings about an entirely new set of challenges. As it is virtually impossible to eliminate employee turnover, HR professionals and hiring managers have to take up the challenge of tracking down and hiring new talent. Here, we discuss some of the common weaknesses and problems that may be present in your hiring process.
1. Failing to properly screen candidates
Screening candidates is one of the easiest and yet most effective ways of improving your hiring process and surprisingly, a large number of HR professionals often fail to recognise the importance of pre-interview screening.
The resume and employee application form are just some of the tools that you have at your disposal. By examining the potential candidate’s resume and his/her’s application form you are able to form an idea of said candidate’s character. When looking through the applicant’s resume, keep an eye out for spelling errors and typos which could indicate that your potential hire has a sloppy, careless attitude towards work. After all, if a candidate displays a lacklustre attitude towards a job application, imagine the havoc that could potentially be wreaked in your organisation.
Also, while you may be inundated with dozens or even hundreds of resumes at a time, it is highly recommended that you take the time to check through candidate references. As was seen in this situation, accepting references at face value alone without any further investigation is a sure way of setting yourself up for trouble down the line. Instead, if you happen to come across a particularly promising resume, take the time to cross-check with the references listed, as a 2-minute call may just save you from a mountain of work later on.
2. Overlooking internal candidates
While candidates sourced externally bring along a whole wealth of experience and expertise that current employees may lack, bringing in an outsider into the organisation can also have its own set of problems.
While personality clashes are to be expected in any workplace, a new hire wholly unfamiliar with the organisation can find himself or herself quickly disrupting the dynamic of the workplace and this will without a doubt have a negative effect on productivity.
For example, the hiring of former General Electric CEO, Bob Nardelli by Home Depot was widely panned by critics citing how Nardelli’s management style was in total opposition to Home Depot’s values and culture. Nardelli showcased a total lack of understanding of Home Depot’s culture by immediately firing long-serving executives and implementing various cost-saving measures that alienated staff members and customers alike.
Consequently, while Home Depot’s profits rose due to the cut in operational expenses, the drastic loss in employee goodwill resulted in a drop in Home Depot’s stock prices. This matter was not helped by Nardelli being awarded with a very generous compensation scheme.
The eventual resignation of Nardelli and his subsequent replacement by Vice President Frank Blake highlights why in some situations, promoting a current employee into a new role should be considered over hiring an external candidate. This is because internal candidates generally have a better understanding of the organisation’s culture and values and also his/her beliefs are usually aligned with that of the organisation ensuring that there are little-to-no disruptions to the existing status-quo.
3. Failing to conduct a background check
While this may seem to be a little excessive for some people, conducting background checks on a job applicant is becoming increasingly commonplace. In some cases, it is not unknown for candidates to embellish their resumes with exaggerated job histories and even outright false qualifications, to boost their chances at scoring a job.
Background checks are an important method for employees to verify that information provided by candidates is truthful and accurate. For example, a background check on an employee would allow you to determine if said candidate’s qualifications are genuine and whether his/her work history is to be believed.
Ensure that your job application form includes a waiver where candidates are notified that they will be required to submit to a background check. This is meant as a means of protecting the organisation from a legal standpoint.
4. Ignoring the candidate experience
Often times, throughout the mad hiring season, HR professionals and hiring managers may find it difficult to ensure that candidates are left with a positive applicant experience. In case you were wondering why the applicant experience is important, a study conducted by The Brandon Hall Group clearly illustrates why: Companies that had invested time and effort into a great applicant experience noticed a 70% increase in the quality of their hires.
How is this so?
One explanation could be that even if candidates were not successful in their job applications, they were left with a positive impression of the organisation and hence would act as ambassadors of the organisation. The same can also be said of candidates who were successfully hired as they too would feel a desire to promote your organisation’s brand in a positive manner.
All of this can be achieved with a few simple steps. For example, instead of leaving candidates wondering on the status of their job applications, invest in an optimised HR system that automatically notifies candidates that their applications have been received and whether or not they have been successful. Taking the time and effort into ensuring that candidates have a great application experience can go a long way in the battle for talent.
For more tips, read “The impact of bad candidate experience and how to overcome them”.
As gatekeepers of an organisation, HR professionals need to act to ensure that the right kind of talent is welcomed into the organisation. Failure to do so can have far-reaching effects on the organisation but by learning from the mistakes made by their predecessors, HR professionals can work to further improve the hiring processes.