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Five Recruiting Mistakes You're Making Right Now

No matter how tight your hiring strategy is for the year, there’s always the potential for recruiting mistakes or unforeseen challenges. And there is always room for improvement. Let’s look at some of the most common recruiting mistakes, and how to deal.

1. Not Having A Deep Social Recruiting Strategy

Social media tends to feel like this self-feeding beast. As long as you put your organization on the different social platforms and create a presence, that should check it off your list, right? Not so fast. One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make is not putting the same level of strategy and planning into social recruiting as other forms of recruiting. 

Sending out generic blasts on social media accounts can pull in candidates, but making sure you have a sustained plan for cultivating and maintaining relationships on these platforms can help you curate the kind of candidates you’re reaching. Each social platform should have a strategy behind your presence there—and the resources to back up customized outreach.

2. Being Passive About Your Employer Brand

Employer brand is something you’ve likely been hearing a lot about over the past few months. Separate from your organization’s corporate, customer-facing brand, your employer brand is aimed at luring people to work with you—not buy you.

Steps like having a strong, frequently updated company recruitment page is a great start, but it also means taking a proactive approach to your word-of-mouth reputation. There’s not much you can do about what people post on sites like Glassdoor, but you can certainly develop containment strategies to minimize damaging info on those sites or make sure you’re addressing concerns in your candidate-facing materials.

3. Neglecting The Candidate Experience

As you've developed your processes for hiring, you’ve probably paid incredible amounts of attention to how information comes in, how your team is processing it, and what they do with that information. But are you forgetting the candidate experience? Is your hiring site full of details about what candidates can expect? Does your candidate screening system have frustrating redundancies, like making a candidate attach a resume doc and fill out a number of fields with (essentially) the same information?

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A few times a year, look at your hiring process at every step with a fresh pair of eyes (or recruit someone who’s not already familiar with your system), and think about what it looks like from an applicant’s perspective. What would you want to see if you were the job hunter?

4. Waiting For The One, Instead Of A Great one

Think of it like dating. Are you turning down relationships that could be great, merely because you think there might be someone out there who ticks all your checkboxes instead of most? This doesn’t mean you should lower your standards for hiring, but when you evaluate potential hires, think about which factors could make up for less-than-perfection in another area. For example, if a candidate has less experience than other candidates but has wizard-level skills in the right areas, maybe you don’t need to rigidly adhere to the “minimum 10 years experience” in the job description. Think holistically about your candidates before rejecting potentially great employees.

5. Leaving Your Job Descriptions On Autopilot

Job descriptions are often pretty blah—they’re a lot of factual information and qualifications crammed into a small bit of digital real estate. But they still require a good bit of attention to make sure that you’re taking the right information for the crowd you want to reach and making the copy appealing enough to generate interest.

That could mean rethinking the standby bulleted format in favor of a more narrative one, or adding more information about your organization’s values and general atmosphere. People want more information, but they also want quality information. And whatever qualitative edits you decide to make to your job descriptions, be sure to make sure the backbone elements are good: a strong, concise header; short sections that are easy to read; and a strong sense of the skills and experience you’re seeking.

Is your organization making any of these recruiting mistakes? If so, you have plenty of time to start correcting your course for the rest of the year and beyond.

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Recruiting Brief Human Resources Today

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.

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