Category Archives: Hiring Mistakes

The Top 3 Reasons Your Application Process Is Hurting Your Company

Application ProcessAs an industry, HR is experiencing a paradigm shift. Instead of focusing mostly on payroll, the department now weighs in on a range of strategic priorities.

To make time, HR professionals are trading their antiquated legacy software for new, shiny platforms that automate monotonous administrative work.

But this hasn’t always translated to the application process, because while new tech may help with administration, it doesn’t help attract premier talent — at least not on its own.

A twenty-page form that includes a personality test and background check may sync up with some sleek HR software, but the experience of filling it out is still terrible for the applicant.

Similarly, a poorly written (or even just boring) job advertisement may convince interested candidates to do a complete 180 and look elsewhere.

Each step in the application process must revolve around the candidate rather than the employer. Each task is an experience candidates have with your organization, and each step influences their opinion of your organization.

If your application process is tortuous, then you won’t attract high caliber employees, and you won’t be able to focus on other strategic initiatives. As marketing focuses on being customer-centric, so must human resources shift to a candidate-focused mindset.

If you want to make a great candidate impression, here’s a list of antiquated processes that must be weeded out of the application experience.

1. Unresponsive Hiring Managers

When a candidate applies for a job, it’s common courtesy to send them a thank you email and let them know what to expect — even if that expectation is simply you reviewing their CV. Further, even if a candidate doesn’t make it to the next leg of the hiring journey, you must still inform them.

As evidence, consider that 79% of job applicants ranked not receiving any follow-up information after applying as the biggest frustration when considering new jobs. 73% said the time it took for HR to respond was unacceptable.

Not responding to a candidate’s application isn’t only unprofessional, it’s damaging to your company’s reputation. Sites like Glassdoor are littered with poor reviews based mostly on the application process. It’ll be much harder to convince that hotshot developer to come on board when there are accusations of an apathetic HR department littering the Internet.

2. A Confusing, Outdated Application

There’s a disconnect between how candidates want to apply for jobs and how HR managers think potential employees should be vetted.

Some 50% of employers felt that a rigorous application experience weeds out low-quality applications. News flash: 60% of candidates will abandon the process if they feel applying for a job takes too long.

Implementing a “rigorous” application process to filter candidates is absurd. The high-quality candidates you’re looking for already have jobs, and they won’t be impressed by a company that purposely makes it difficult to apply for open positions.

A quick fix for this scenario is to implement one-click applies buttons on your careers website. These simple mechanisms allow candidates to upload their resume or apply with another profile, like one on LinkedIn.

Another best practice is to make sure your careers website is optimized for mobile interactions. A company’s career website is still the preferred destination to apply for open jobs, and when you factor in that 60% of all Internet traffic takes place on mobile, the importance of mobile optimization becomes crystal clear.

3. Not Using Data to Make Things Better

Nearly every aspect of business is a numbers game now, so it’s critical to start gathering and analyzing data around your application process.

Any applicant tracking system worth the cloud space it’s hosted on should offer you analytics for application times and conversion rates, so you’ll easily be able to see which sources provide the best candidates, the most completed applications, and eventually, the most hires.

This data should supply you with insight on everything from how the job opening should be written, to how long the application should be, to even the design of the careers website.

Using intuition alone can lead to flawed assumptions like making the application more difficult to fill out so you only get the highest quality candidates — it’s just not going to work very well.

If you’re wondering how HR is supposed to comply with these demands from applicants, then you probably need to upgrade your software. If you conduct a thorough recruitment software comparison, you’ll find that the best systems offer email templates which can be sent automatically after each candidate applies, analytics for tracking mobile engagement as well as desktop conversion rates on application submissions, and the ability to install one-click apply buttons.

Like many of the other changes in the HR universe, the application process is in dire need of a revamp. With the right strategy and the right software, you should be able to craft an experience that’s both engaging and efficient for all candidates.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Are Overqualified Candidates Just a Myth?

Overqualified CandidatesThe idea that overqualified candidates make terrible employees has been around as long as the coffee break. The idea of not hiring overqualified candidates is not without merit, as the Harvard Business Review indicates that a study by Israeli scientists found that overqualified workers do tend to be more miserable with their jobs and quit more often than people who are considered a perfect fit for their tasks. But as the job market continues to shift, the idea of hiring overqualified workers is suddenly becoming something that employers are adopting more and more.

Overqualified Workers Have An Infectious Enthusiasm

According to Fortune Magazine, overqualified workers tend to have a higher level of enthusiasm for their work, and that affects the rest of their team. When two overqualified workers are put together in the same work group, their synergy and enthusiasm become infectious for the rest of the group and productivity goes up. In this way, overqualified workers actually help to reduce turnover and increase productivity.

Opportunity Is A Good Draw

Overqualified workers enjoy the luxury of feeling completely comfortable in their new job from the very first day of work. The learning curve is short, so the ability to get up to speed and be productive is very strong. As long as the company offers a career path of some sort, overqualified workers will find that being able to learn the company culture while not being overwhelmed by their jobs can be an excellent way to advance their careers.

The Chance To Get Involved

In some cases, overqualified employees find that they are able to branch out into other parts of corporate life to help them feel like their talents are being utilized. Companies should reach out to overqualified employees and encourage them to join the committees that plan social gatherings, and get involved in employee work groups that make suggestions on how to improve corporate productivity. An overqualified employee can feel very satisfied with their work if they feel like they are making a difference in the company’s future.

Promoted To A Level Of Incompetence

Sometimes overqualified employees are only overqualified on paper. If someone managed to rise to a position where they felt unqualified, then they would not be averse to dropping back into something that makes them feel comfortable. Employers should not assume that an overqualified employee is always looking for advancement, because that may not be the case.

With the labor market in a dynamic state of change, the convenient labels that used to be put on candidates no longer apply. An employee that used to be overqualified just a few years ago may now become one of the most valuable employees your company has ever hired. A company that has a lot to offer can take the risk of bringing on an employee who has an extensive background.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Employer Branding – Is Candidate Resentment Affecting Your Profits?

Employer BrandingWhen it comes to recruitment, above anything else, aligning candidates to your business’ values and culture is so important. This requires assessing someone’s own values, beliefs and behaviors against your own values and culture to evaluate what constitutes as a good ‘fit’ in a candidate.

In Mark Murphey’s Hire for Attitude reports he states that of the 20,000 new hires 46% of them failed within 18 months and of these, 89% left because their attitudes did not align to that of the company. Only 11% failed because of a lack of skills.

It is clear from this report, and so many of our own case studies, that finding a candidate with the same values and vision as your company is so much more important than simply acquiring the right skills. Skills can be taught, behavior can’t.

So how do you find these candidates that are so aligned to your own values?

First, you must define your culture, your values and your beliefs. This sounds obvious, but so many companies we see struggle to put into words what they are all about. And if you can’t put it into words, then how will your candidates know if you are the right fit for them?

Never forget that the recruitment process should work both ways.

While candidates are working hard to impress you, you need to be working just as hard to engage and excite them. Now that you’ve defined your values, you need to live them and help candidates understand who you are. There are two key areas to work on to do this: the overall recruitment process and the interview situation. Refining these things leads to improving the candidate experience.

It can be good…

Whether candidates are appointed or not, maintaining a positive reputation can put you in a good light in the talent industry and ensure you have a pool of talent available for future hiring campaigns. CareerBuilder reported that 56% of candidates who felt they had a positive hiring process experience said they would seek employment with the company again in the future, 37% would tell others to apply there, and 23% would be more likely to purchase products or services from that company. So candidate experience not only affects your hiring, but your business as a whole.

Or it can be very bad

On the other end of the scale, a poor candidate experience can be extremely detrimental to your brand. Global brand PepsiCo have measured the impact candidate resentment can have. Their model estimates that if 100 applicants apply for one role and PepsiCo hires 5,000 people annually, then each year 495,000 candidates will be rejected. If each one of the candidates had a negative experience, and most likely told 1 friend, then that makes 990,000 people with a negative view of PepsiCo. Assuming that around 8% of people who know of the poor experience would stop purchasing the brand’s products and an average customer is worth $20 per year to PepsiCo, then each year of poor candidate experience is responsible for $1,584,000 loss of revenue.

Let that number sink in for a moment. The negative candidate experience is most likely the cause of a lack of communication and positive experience. So in reality this loss of over $1 million is as a result of no effort at all.

In fact, as high as this number is, Russell Beck, an expert in Talent Management, innovation and recruitment thought leadership, presents his theory that the revenue loss should be much higher, meaning poor employee branding and a bad candidate experience could be costing businesses millions every single year.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

6 Mistakes That Could Be Preventing You From Finding Qualified Candidates

Preventing You From Finding Qualified CandidatesTime and time again, we hear that there’s a lack of qualified candidates on the job market. Despite record amounts of candidates entering the job market, this has been repeated by recruiters for months. In fact, recent studies have shown that recruiters feel it’s harder to hire qualified candidates now than it was only 6 months ago. But with an availability of so much talent in the marketplace, it should be relatively easy to find candidates. Even passive candidates (approximately 75% of the workforce) are becoming interested in making moves. It’s time to audit your hiring process. It could be that you’re not finding qualified candidates because of the systems you’ve put in place.

If you believe some recruiters, qualified candidates are a bit of an endangered species these days. Colleges didn’t suddenly stop teaching critical thinking skills, reading, or math. And candidates didn’t suddenly stop becoming interested in finding a job to support themselves. So what could really be at play here?  Let’s examine how your hiring process could be preventing you from finding qualified candidates:

  1. You have no employer brand. There are way too many anonymous Craigslist job postings that say something along the lines of “Top employer seeks top candidate for xyz role.” When you dig into the job posting, candidates come away confused. When an employer doesn’t stand behind their brand, it is a red flag to candidates. These days, transparency is prized among candidates. They want to be able to search the business online, read reviews, and come away with a sense of what it might like to work for that employer. They don’t want to be in the dark about a new job.
  2. The job description is generic. Ideally, all candidates will be great communicators who play well with others. But often times, the job description is so bland and generic that a candidate can’t seem to get a sense for what they would actually be doing on a day to day basis. Yes, you’re seeking a Product Evangelist, but what does that mean? How would they be spending their time? Candidates want to be able to envision whether they would really be successful or satisfied in the role prior to applying.
  3. You place cultural fit above ability. Often times, when there’s a problem with a workplace’s culture, they shift gears in recruiting. You start to see the hiring managers looking for someone with the right attitude to fit in. However, attitude doesn’t always equate with a candidate’s aptitude to perform the job. You can hire the nicest person in the world to do your payroll, but if they don’t know the basics of the job, they could be doing more harm than good in their position. It’s important that the recruiting team focus on finding a candidate that has a high aptitude to do the job first and then assess whether the candidate could conceivably fit into the team without disruption.
  4. You hire in your own image. Many hiring managers are guilty of hiring someone they see as a reflection of themselves.  It’s human nature to want to relate to someone, but it doesn’t predict that the person will be a qualified candidate. Yes, they may be from a similar background, but does that background include the most important skills required for the job?
  5. Soft skills aren’t prioritized. Soft skills can be critical to a candidate’s success in a new position. But they are often way down the list of characteristics a qualified candidate would possess. Skills like critical thinking should be considered critical to professional jobs. You can teach an employee to do a job, but it’s his or her critical thinking skills that will determine the positive or poor choices they make towards success in the role.
  6. Only exact matches in years of experience are considered. There really is very little difference between an employee with 9 years of experience and 10 years. But many recruiters make these arbitrary decisions that lead to qualified candidates being rejected. Is an employee with 9 years on the job and advanced skills truly less desirable than someone who has 10 years of experience and no crossover skills?

Qualified candidates are out there and they’re active in the job market right now. But it may be that your hiring process is preventing your recruiting team from recognizing their value. It’s time to take a look at revamping the process from recruitment to hire. Don’t let qualified candidates slip through your fingers because you’ve set up the recruiting process to exclude them for some arbitrary reason.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

The 7 Deadly Sins of Recruiting

I will try harder in class - notRecruiting is a tough job. Sometimes, you’re going to make mistakes.

That’s okay. As James Joyce said, mistakes are the portals of discovery.

But, what’s not okay is to adopt one of the seven philosophies listed below, because they’re going to lead to a lot more than one mistake. These seven philosophies lead to a pattern of errors that will end in a ruined employer brand, a bunch of frustrated people and a company that’s devoid of top talent.

Which is precisely why they’ve been named the seven deadly sins of recruiting.

1. Greed: You fiercely negotiate starting salaries

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So you want to go all William Shatner and negotiate the lowest possible salary you can for your new hires. Great, right, as it saves the company a lot of money?

Well, not really. Truth is, research shows you don’t pay people what they’re worth, they’re likely to leave. At the very least, they’ll grow resentful and less engaged.

You shouldn’t overpay for talent. But underpaying is just as bad, if not worse.

2. Sloth: You mass spam prospects for every open position

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Most people know how to cut and paste. You don’t need to show off how good you are at it by cut-and-pasting the same InMail over and over (and over) again.

Here’s the thing: it’s ineffective, and will only cause more work in the long run. Additionally, it kills your employer brand, so you make it harder for you (and everyone else within your company) to recruit in the future.

Take a minute to personalize your InMails and try to target people who are somehow connected to your company. You’ll get a much higher response rate and it will save you time in the long run.

3. Gluttony: You feast only on active candidates

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This is a glutton’s recruiting strategy: post a position and wait for the flood of (mostly irrelevant) resumes to come in, providing a hefty and largely innutritious snack for them and their fellow recruiters.

Active candidates are great, no doubt, but they only represent about 30 percent of the market. By going after passive candidates as well, you hit a much wider crowd, and often a more talented one.

After all, often the most talented employees are not looking for a job.

4. Wrath: You treat the candidates you reject poorly

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Here’s an attitude research shows far too many recruiters take: they treat the candidate they eventually hire great, and the rest they forget about. And while perhaps this isn’t done out of wrath, it certainly inspires it.

Here’s the thing: treating rejected candidates poorly kills your employer brand and can even hurt your sales. Just by reaching out to them to tell them they are no longer being considered, and providing some feedback on why, can exponentially improve their attitudes towards your company.

5. Lust: You search for applicants who don’t exist

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“I want a salesmen with at least 15 years experience selling SaaS solutions whose been in the top 10 percent in sales the past five years and has a….”

Sure, we all would. But, if you are going to lust, lust realistically. The best way to do that is to analyze your talent pools and see what requirements are truly necessary before you post a job.

6. Envy: You think you need a giant budget to compete

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We’d all love millions of dollars to spend on content creators and targeted job ads, like (insert name of well-funded competitor) does. But, the fact is, there are thousands of ways you can improve your recruiting efforts, without spending a dime.

To improve your employer brand, you can try these tricks that require no extra cash. You can ensure your interviewing and onboarding experiences are strong. And, as mentioned earlier in this article, you can make it a point to reach out to the candidates who apply to your company, even if they don’t get the job.

A bigger budget is always nice, but the fact is more money actually stifles your creativity. Sometimes, forcing yourself to improve something without using more resources to do it is one of the best ways to dream up innovative solutions. 

7. Pride: You think the best candidates are just lining up to work for your company

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This is the worst sin of them all.

Google, for example, is widely regarded as one of the best places to work in the world and gets two million applications a year. And yet they still spend millions on advertisements enticing people to work at Google, a great career site and their head of HR uses every form of publicity out there to help him recruit.

The point is, no matter how great your company is, you need to constantly put resources into your employer branding and recruiting efforts.

There are millions of companies out there your candidates can go to. The minute you stop putting energy into luring top talent, the minute they find one of the countless other jobs out there instead.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

5 Signs Your Recruiting Team Is Drowning in Social

Drowning in SocialSocial media seems so straightforward – and it follows that recruiting via social media ought to be straightforward too. Unfortunately, nothing is further from the truth. There is great competitive advantage to be had from mastering social recruiting approaches, but many recruiting teams are simply drowning when it comes to having social media produce genuine recruiting results.

Here are 5 telltale signs to help you determine if your company’s recruitment team is drowning in social:

  1. There’s no clear candidate targeting. What types of candidates are you trying to reach? Passive? Active? What are their job titles? Which competitors are you eager to target? Which types of roles are you best placed to fill via social media? If this hasn’t been clearly documented and communicated to all your recruiting team, how can you expect everyone to be pulling in the same direction on social?
  2. There’s no coherent message. What makes people choose to work for your company rather than your competitors? What types of people does that suggest you need to be appealing to? Has your messaging been optimized to consistently appeal to this demographic? Most importantly, has this been communicated to all your recruiting team so that everyone’s updates reinforce the wider company message you want potential candidates to see in the marketplace?
  3. There’s no conversion strategy. Once you’re winning followers and interacting with the types of candidates you’d like to hire, what conversion process have you put in place to turn possible interest into concrete actions that candidates take to bring them into your hiring funnel? (P.S. simply sharing your latest jobs with them falls way short of what’s needed).
  4. There’s no test, learn, test process. From the content you share… to the messaging you use… to the social media advertising you pay for – every element of social recruiting can be tested and perfected. Getting consistently better results means you have to be constantly testing out new approaches, new messages, new conversion strategies – and then adjusting your social approach based on what’s working best.
  5. There’s no dedicated resource. Are there people in your business dedicated to mastering each social site and whose time is allocated to building your social recruiting capability? If not, this is a sure-fire way to have your team drown in social. It’s commonplace that recruiters are tasked with developing a social recruiting brand presence and trying out social approaches alongside their regular day job.

The problem is, these side responsibilities are always the first things to be sacrificed and so the company never really builds any momentum or generates the necessary degree of expertise in social recruiting. You simply must have some dedicated resource – either in-house or by buying it in from external social media experts.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

The High Cost of Bad Hiring Decisions and How to Avoid Them

Cost of a Bad Hire

If you ever wonder why companies take so long in deciding which candidate to hire for a particular position, consider this: the cost of selecting the wrong person can run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, not to mention the potential negative impact to a company’s morale and productivity.

The Harvard Business Review points out that as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions.

There is a wide disparity among what a wrong hire can cost a company because there are so many variables. For example, the Labor Department estimates it can cost on average one-third of a new hire’s annual salary to replace him or her and that those costs increase the higher up in the organization the turnover occurs. In some cases, it can total in the millions of dollars if that person is the CEO.

Others say it could be even higher than that. According to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), it could cost up to five times a bad hire’s annual salary. SHRM also found that the higher the person’s position and the longer they remain in that position, the more it will cost to replace him or her.

Recruiters I spoke with said that if you make a mistake in hiring and you recognize and rectify the mistake within six months, the cost of replacing that employee is still going to cost you two and one-half times the person’s salary. That means a poor hiring decision for a candidate earning $100,000 per year could cost, on average, $250,000, and that expense comes right off the bottom line.

Why Are These Costs So High?

Expenses associated with hiring include interview expenses such as travel, hotel and meals, training and orientation, employment testing, termination costs, unemployment and potential litigation expenses should the candidate decide to sue you for wrongful dismissal, plus relocation costs and outplacement or career transition costs. But mostly it’s because you need to repeat the entire hiring process to replace the wrong hire, which includes time and expenses.

There are also hard-to-quantify costs that could be lethal to your business such as lower employee morale, customer dissatisfaction, lost customers, lost sales, reduced quality of products and low production. “Plus, whenever someone is terminated, there’s a disruption among the other employees who begin to question what caused the termination and does it affect how their performance is evaluated, not to mention the increased work load on all the other employees who have to pick up the work of the employee who was let go,” explained Jean Gamble, a Human Capital Strategist and Recruitment Specialist.

Why Companies Hire the Wrong Person

A recent survey by Robert Half showed that one-third (36%) of 1,400 executives surveyed felt the top factor leading to a failed hire, aside from performance issues, is a poor skills match. The second most common reason (30%) was unclear performance objectives.

“Companies can’t afford hiring mistakes, which are costly and can erode staff morale,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of the Human Resources Kit For Dummies. “Finding the right match requires time and attention, and it’s something even busy managers need to make time for.”

Gamble, who runs the Chicago-based Jean Gamble & Associates, believes “wrong hiring” occurs because hiring managers and human resources people confuse the job description with the job criteria.

“The job definition and the criteria for the job are different,” says Gamble. “And often if you went to the people who actually perform the job, you’ll hear an entirely different description of what it takes to perform the necessary tasks than what’s posted in the job definition. That’s why it’s important to involve those who are actually doing the job in writing the description,” adds Gamble. “That way you avoid any miscommunication about what’s required to do a successful job.

Cultural Misfit

Another reason someone may not work out is due to what’s called the “cultural misfit.” This can occur when a candidate, who seemed perfect on nearly every level, clashes with the organization’s culture, which is why Gamble says “it’s critical that an open definition of the company’s culture exists in some form.” She adds that specific questions be part of the interview process to determine whether the candidate will fit within the firm’s culture.

“Because of corporate culture issues, interviewing methods have become very dynamic over the last 15 years,” says George Mentz, a management consultant, international lawyer and law professor with Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. “It has become much more likely that a job candidate will interview with not only several persons in the department, but even other managers and staffs in several other departments too,” Mentz adds. “This strategy is to try to find a fit for the group and not just the position.”

Many hiring managers make the mistake of choosing someone based on an instinctual “gut feeling” or because they “liked” a particular candidate, only to find out later that the candidate was completely ineffective for the position for which he or she was hired. Time and again, we’ve heard statements like, “She made us laugh so we hired her.”

Sometimes candidates are eliminated for some of the wrong reasons. For example, a perfectly fine candidate may have been part of a corporation downsizing and had to take consulting assignments to survive for a couple of years. Some hiring managers might misinterpret this and think there must be something wrong with that candidate when there really isn’t.

How Companies Can Avoid Hiring the Wrong Person

Working with a recruiter who specializes in a given field can help hiring managers identify job candidates with the appropriate skills. “Most recruiting firms conduct skills testing, which provides added assurance a prospective employee’s skills are a match,” Messmer says.

“An organization needs to look beyond the dates on a resume and focus on the skill sets the candidate brings to the table,” explains Gamble. “Yet, candidates have been eliminated for these reasons, and it is no reflection on their potential or ability to perform or be stable employees.”

The key to a successful hiring process, says Gamble, is to provide a clear definition of responsibilities for the job as well as the personality characteristics required for communication and success. It’s also important to determine, in advance, which employees will be involved in interviews, how information is collected and interpreted about the interviews, and ultimately who has the authority to make the hire.

“You can’t just match keywords on a job description and expect a perfect hire,” she notes. “In fact, there are many times when the role is further defined during the interview process and job definitions can evolve by expanding or being modified in some fashion.”

On the other hand, there are some detractors to this premise. A University of Michigan study on predictors of job performance found that the typical interview increased the likelihood of choosing the best candidate by less than 2%.

Five Tips for Better Hires

Here are some suggestions to improve your chances of hiring the right candidate:

1. Know what you want. Don’t recycle past job descriptions because chances are the role has changed. Take a fresh look at your needs and the skills you’d like to add to your team. A detailed job description will help reduce the number of resumes you receive from unqualified applicants.

2. Look for the intangibles. A candidate’s skill set isn’t limited to functional abilities – it also includes how well he or she works in a collaborative environment. Employers that don’t take soft skills such as leadership and communication into account may set themselves up for a bad match.

3. Make a personal connection. Hiring is more than just identifying a strong resume or profile – it involves having conversations with applicants to establish a rapport. Interviews, for example, allow you to delve deeper into an applicant’s qualifications while also assessing whether he or she is a fit for your corporate culture.

4. Use all your resources. Though you may have the final say, hiring should never be a solo effort. Take advantage of the tools available to you at your organization – for example, human resources can help with the job description, and your employees may be able to offer referrals.

5. Woo your top choices. In any economy, people in high-demand may have multiple job offers. You need to show them why they should choose your organization over a competitor. Sell the benefits of working with your firm, and offer a compensation package in line with – or ideally, above – market rates.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Recruiting Pitfalls and How To Avoid Them

Recruiting Pitfalls

Recruiting is a fine art. You’re part PR, part private investigator, and part psychic. There is a formula involved, but then there are times when you just have to go with your gut. Everyone collects unlikely success stories — big gambles gone so right, and unfortunate mistake stories — little oversights that taught a big lesson.

There are some mistakes, though, that you don’t have to make yourself. From sourcing and screening, to interviewing and hiring, nine seasoned recruitment professionals talked with us about some of the industry’s biggest blunders and how to avoid them.

Common Talent Sourcing Mistakes

Some of the most costly recruiting mistakes happen at the very beginning of the process — not because they’re the biggest blunders, but because they either limit your efforts too much or they let in too many of the wrong candidates. Tripping at the starting line throws off your whole pace.

With over a decade of recruiting experience, Tony Palm — currently the Founder of Post-Military Employment — knows how important it is to keep his options open.

“Focusing all my sourcing on one or two job boards, or worse yet, the company ATS, is a huge mistake.”

Of course, an ATS is a great resource, but if you are actively searching for the perfect candidate to fill an immediate opening, make sure you’re considering a variety of sources. Ideally, of course, you have a robust employee referral program and system in place, and you are constantly collecting and managing top candidates in your industry.

As you collect names for consideration, though, don’t swing the door so wide open that you then have to filter through hundreds of completely unqualified candidates.

The team at PI Worldwide understands the value of the first step. PI Worldwide uses science-driven insights to recruit and develop teams, so they are focused on measurable results.

“The first critical step in the hiring process is to define what would make someone successful in the role. Further, hiring managers often make the mistake of focusing more on activities and tactical goals than on detailing all of the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) that an employee will need to be successful in the role. A well-rounded job description provides clarity around the needs of the job for both the internal team and external job seekers.” – Matt Poepsel, PI Worldwide

Sourcing talent is often overlooked as recruiters develop hiring strategies for their organizations, but it might be one of the most valuable steps when maximizing efficiency down the road.

The 3 Don’ts of Screening

If you are continuously building and maintaining your applicant pool, then screening candidates is you first real step when a position becomes available. This can be especially challenging if there are a lot of new names responding to a job listing, but avoiding a few common mistakes can dramatically improve the process.

1. Don’t Rush.

If there are a lot of resumes to look at, it’s tempting to toss each one aside at the first bad line.

“Another common mistake is rejecting a particular candidate based on a (too) hasty review of his resume.” – Tony Palm, Post-Military Employment

Take time to understand each applicant before you decide he or she isn’t the right person for the job.

Recruiters like to say that some people only look good on paper, which is why interviews are important, but the opposite is also true — sometimes good candidates don’t look great on paper. If you really want the best person for the job, take the time to make sure your application process includes more than the standard questions and resumes.

2. Don’t Fall in Love.

Recruiters are people too, and we can be influenced against our better judgment sometimes.

Marcus Moore has been the President, CEO, and Founder of Genesis Professional Staffing, since 2003. He has learned how to guard himself against a pretty resume.

“Don’t fall in love with a resume. It is probably filled with mistruths. Don’t fall in love with degrees and where they went to school. Some of the most educated people in the world have no common sense! The other issue that I have seen is that some people continued degrees that don’t really go together. I have found that sometimes this because they were afraid to enter the real word, and still have no idea what they want to do.” – Marcus Moore, Genesis Professional Staffing

3. Don’t Rely on Email.

Rebecca White is an Area Director for Kavaliro — a Florida staffing agency. She understands the temptation to stick with the convenience of email, but knows a more effective way.

“Don’t rely on email to contact candidates. You need to pick up the phone and call, and keep calling if that person looks like a great candidate. Email is a good secondary method to reach people, but calling them is much faster and efficient.” – Rebecca White, Kavaliro

If you have a good pool of candidates to draw from, screening them for a particular position shouldn’t be a nightmare. Whatever your talent pool looks like, though, if you screen them well the interview stage can be a breeze.

Interviewing Pitfalls: Ignoring Technology and Blurry Focus

The interview process can be stressful for everyone involved. As no one performs at his or her best under stress, eliminating some of the key anxieties and heading off some common pitfalls from the start, will enable a recruiter to get everything he needs from an interview.

If anyone knows interviewing, it’s Jonathan Burston, founder of the Interview Expert Academy, with over 20 years of experience. His key piece of advice for interviews: be objective.

“No matter how many times you see a candidate, remain objective. Just because you liked one candidate in the first interview, and thought he/she could work for you, doesn’t mean that you will feel the same in subsequent interviews. Interviewees are not guaranteed to perform in every interview. Therefore, you need to keep an open mind.” – Jonathan Burston, Interview Expert Academy

There are other tools and tips that will up your interview game, so you can make the best decision for your organization or client.

Use Video Interviewing

Video interviewing may be one of the best things to happen to the hiring process in a long time. It’s a versatile tool that saves time and money for everyone involved.

David Waring is Co-Founder and Editor at FitSmallBusiness.com — a website dedicated to serving small business owners. He uses video interviewing as an added step before live interviews.

“We don’t do in-person interviews until it is clear that the person we are speaking to is someone that we would seriously consider for the job. Using phone and Skype to weed out those that are not, saves a ton of time.” – David Waring, Fit Small Business

Many recruitment professionals still favor a live interview eventually, but many also recognize that an experienced hiring professional can get almost as much from a video interview as well.

Shadi Ghani has been working in the recruitment industry for over a decade, and recently co-founded Culture & Company Inc. to specialize in marketing and digital marketing recruitment.

“Always meet your candidates in person. (At the very least do a Skype meeting.) Some people look great on paper and that’s all.” – Shadi Ghani, Culture & Company Inc.

“Nothing ever beats a face-to-face interview. You can learn so much just by looking at people’s expressions. If an interview can’t be scheduled in person, do so by video chat. If the person interviews in a distracted setting and without dressing as he/she would in person, this tells you of their lack of attention to detail.” – Marcus Moore, GP Staffing

There are advantages to video interviews that you can’t get from a live meeting, including the ability to review a recorded session and/or share it with other hiring personnel who were not in the original meeting. You can avoid a lot of bumps in the road by taking advantage of this great tool.

Focus on the Candidate

Interviewers mistakenly fall into a rut when they approach a meeting as the presenter. Behind the scenes you are trying to find the right candidate for the job, but in a face-to-face, consider that you are trying to find the right job for the candidate.

“Diving right in to the position you have available, without finding out what is motivating the candidate to consider new roles, is a mistake. If you find out what the candidate is looking for right away, you will know if your position would even be worth pitching to him/her — saving you both time. You can also better tailor your pitch by understanding his/her needs.” - Rebecca White, Kavaliro

A good candidate can tailor his presentation of himself to your company’s needs, but then you end up hiring someone who is just a good talker. Focus on the applicant himself during the interview, and while there are a lot of questions to ask, Ghani insists on this one:

“Understand the key driver for why the candidate is looking to leave his/her current company. Is it the boss? He/she wants more money?” - Shadi Ghani, Culture & Company Inc.

Understanding why the candidate is making a change will help you determine if he/she is a good fit for your brand culture and for the job position in question.

All the Wisdom Without the Mistakes

From sourcing (which, hopefully, you’re always doing anyway) to screening, little oversights can trickle down to create big headaches. Everybody knows that interviewing well is a big deal, but it’s amazing how the right technology and the right focus can smooth the process. Throughout the process, knowing what not to do can be just as helpful as know what to do.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

5 of the Most Common Hiring Mistakes Startups Make and How to Avoid Them

How to Avoid Common Hiring MistakesOne of the key qualities expected of the leadership in any organization is the ability to make the right hires. A giant company like Yahoo may be able to afford to switch CEOs every other month, but it is a critical exercise for a startup or small business with 10 or so employees. Even a single hire gone wrong can badly screw the pooch, so to speak. Below are some of the hiring mistakes employers often make, along with suggestions for avoiding such pitfalls.

1. The most common mistake is an inaccurate or incomplete job description

If you don’t properly explain what the new employee is supposed to do, it reduces the chances of getting applications from candidates that are ideally suited for the job. The solution is simple – Take the trouble to provide a detailed job description. Employers may also solve this problem by offering higher wages and better benefits to lure employees already doing the exact same job for a competitor.

2. Focus more on branding to get more eyeballs rolling on your offer

On a related note, the hiring process is not just about employees angling for a job, but also about the employer hoping to snag a valuable employee. In order to attract the best talent, a company must sell itself as a brand that offers good career prospects and the chance to contribute and learn while being a part of an exciting growth phase.

3. Balanced exchange interviews with one core team member engaged therein

This calls for a balanced exchange during interviews, which must be structured as a conversation rather than a pop quiz. Many companies leave most of the spadework to the HR people, with departmental heads coming into the picture only for a single final interview. It would be much more beneficial to include at least one key person from the department in question right from the start, so that high-potential candidates can be identified by those who recognize the significance of what they see on a resume or CV. By the same token, phone interviews or web chats conducted by an industry professional in the same department can easily cull out the inflated resumes.

4. Work on the timing of the interview

Another thing that often trips up the hiring process is the timing. Initiating the process without being in a position to invite the chosen candidate to start work immediately is a big mistake. Candidates left hanging will start looking elsewhere and the entire effort could be wasted. The solution – Do not start look for candidates until you are ready to put the new hire to work.

5. Job adverts might just not be right for your startup

When looking for potential candidates, it’s not always helpful to cast a wide net every time. In fact, it’s much more beneficial for team morale and employee retention levels to promote internally. Startups that don’t have this luxury should ask existing employees for referrals, which would ensure that the new hires would have at least some past association with team members.

Following some of these suggestions may seem like a waste of valuable resources at first, but it will pay off quickly if the new hire fits in like a duck takes to water.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

4 Mobile Recruiting Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make

Mobile RecruitingRight now, the U.S. has more Internet connected gadgets than people. Here’s an even more shocking statistic: just 33 percent of Fortune 500 companies have even the most basic mobile optimization on their career sites.

How is this possible? We spend more time with our smartphones than most of us do with family and friends. In fact, 91 percent of smartphone users have their device within reach at all hours of the day and night. Ignoring the power of mobile recruiting is no longer an option, yet many companies are still dropping the ball when it comes to attracting smart, mobile-obsessed talent.

Here are the four mistakes your company might be making when it comes to mobile recruiting:

Mistake 1: Not Optimizing Your Career Site For Mobile

Optimizing your career site for a mobile experience is the simplest step you can take to start attracting mobile job seekers, yet so many companies are failing at even this task.

In a recent survey, 61 percent of responders said they would immediately leave a site if it wasn’t formatted for mobile. Job seekers expect mobile optimization and decent loading times when viewing your company webpage. Not investing in mobile optimization can make your company appear hopelessly behind the times.

Consider retail giant Macy’s, which isn’t even a tech-centered organization. It currently receives about 25 percent of all applications through mobile. If you’re looking to hire tech superstars or great talent for your startup, mobile optimization is the first step. Plus, a mobile optimized career page can give you another platform to promote your company culture and the benefits of joining your organization.

Mistake 2: Your Application Process Is Too Complicated

Applying from a mobile device, especially a smartphone, is a whole different animal than applying for a job on a laptop or computer. The great job seekers you attract to your company might just throw in the towel if they see a job application that seems to go on forever.

Since you’ve optimized your career site for mobile users, it’s time to optimize your actual application as well. Include only the most relevant informational fields and make it easy for job seekers to fill out even on the smallest screens.

When applying for a job from a mobile device, candidates are looking for a company that makes the process simple. This is especially true for passive candidates, who might have found your position while idly scrolling through social media channels. These people aren’t going to stick around for a complicated, buggy application process. So think short and sweet–you won’t miss recruiting great passive candidates or smart, in-demand job seekers.

Mistake 3: No Mobile Interviewing

One of the biggest mistakes companies make in the mobile candidate hunt is to optimize the application process and then call it a day. Tech-savvy candidates, however, long to do more from their mobile devices than just apply. Currently, six out of 10 companies are utilizing video interviews in the recruiting process, but just as many should be utilizing the power of mobile interviewing.

Using a smartphone, candidates can record a video resume or answer written employer questions in a one-way video interview. These recorded answers can then be viewed on your mobile device at any time, in any place. This means if your ideal candidate is lounging on a beach somewhere, they can still take the interview from their mobile device.

Recruiting great candidates doesn’t end at the application process, and your mobile recruiting strategy shouldn’t either. By allowing for mobile video interviews, you’re branding your company as an organization that embraces new technology and looks to make life simpler for talented candidates.

Mistake 4: No Mobile Referral Program

Referral programs consistently bring in great talent for smart organizations willing to tap into the existing employee networks. So why not optimize your referral program for mobile usage? After all, when are your employees more likely to think of a great candidate: at their desk, or while speaking to their contact outside the office walls?

Last year, 70 percent of companies had low rates of hires and two-thirds were unhappy with their referral numbers. Once again, mobile optimization shouldn’t stop after the career page fits on a smartphone screen. Utilize easy-to-use referrals employees can tap into from their mobile devices the second they remember a talented contact perfect for your open positions.

With the number of mobile devices rising every day, it only makes sense for companies to adjust to mobile recruiting. Avoid the common mistakes, go beyond simple optimization, and you might soon find yourself recruiting the top talent you need.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, that are available in your location and that have agreed to your salary range. 

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out” and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Yes, Our team is USA based!