7 Common Talent Acquisition Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Avoiding talent acquisition mistakes

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 75% of employers have hired the wrong candidate for a job position. A single bad hire costs employers an average of $17,000. A poor hiring decision can also depress employee morale and harm your company’s reputation. Avoid making bad hires by focusing on improving your talent acquisition strategy.

Here are eight common talent acquisition mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Posting boring job listings

A job posting is not just a description of the open position and its requirements—it’s also a marketing tool to attract talent to your company. Make sure your job posting is appealing to the candidates you want to hire. Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and decide if you would apply for the position based on the job posting. Help candidates imagine themselves in the position by including the skills, knowledge, personality traits, required qualifications, and other characteristics a successful applicant would need.

2. Rushing to fill a vacancy

It’s stressful when someone in a vital role leaves your company. Your first instinct may be to replace him or her immediately. But don’t simply hire the least-worst out of a weak pool if strong candidates aren’t applying. Instead, adjust your recruiting strategy. Send inquiries to your network asking if anyone knows someone who would be interested in the job, or attend a networking event to meet more potential candidates. You will find the right person for the job, but it could take more time than you might like.

3. Not checking references

Not checking references can result in inadequate or ill-tempered employees. Discussions with a candidate’s former employers provide insight into how the prospective hire has behaved in the past. Taking the time to find out if there are any red flags can save your company from future trouble.

4. Skipping pre-screening interviews

A candidate’s résumé could be perfect, but he or she might not be a good fit for your company. Whether it’s a phone call or a questionnaire, pre-screening interviews assess applicants prior to the formal interview process, ensuring candidates are qualified for the position before investing the time to meet with them. If there are job requirements such as working specific hours or there if there is a cap on the position’s remuneration, inform the applicant at this stage so he or she can decide whether to continue to pursue the opportunity.

5. “Softball” interviews

An interview should assess a candidate’s ability to solve the challenges he or she will face in the job. For engineers, this could involve solving technical problems. For brand ambassador jobs, this could involve questions based on how they would deal with an irate customer. Do not ask simple “yes” or “no” questions. Instead, phrase questions so that the candidate reveals more.

6. Delaying action

Even if you receive a stellar résumé, you might be tempted to wait for better candidates to apply before reaching out to anyone. However, the best candidates are on the job market for less than ten days before they are hired again. As soon as you receive a well-qualified candidate’s application, contact the candidate and schedule next steps for the coming week. If you wait too long, the perfect candidate might accept a job offer from your competitor.

7. Failing to follow up

Let unsuccessful candidates know of your decision as soon as reasonably feasible and thank them for their interest in the position. Following up reflects well on your company and demonstrates that you respect candidates’ time. You may even reach out to such a candidate about a different position in the future.

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