Are You Recruiting The Wrong People?

Recruitment is never an easy task. You need to ensure that your potential candidates are going to be a valuable asset to the company compared to their training costs. This means that an experienced candidate seems like the best choice, to reduce time spent training, but then that candidate might also have higher demands, or have a different view of how to perform their role compared to your needs. This is all before you take into consideration the attitude and personality of candidates, whether they’ll fit into your company culture and how motivated they are to work for you.

Recruitment is difficult, and it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are a few common decisions that need to be made, and how you know if you’re recruiting the right people.

“Job Hoppers”

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There is a particular trend, especially among so-called ‘millennials’, to move between jobs far more frequently than has been common in the past. An employee might only stay in their job for 2 years, or perhaps even less. Within 6 months, a job hopper might be considering moving on. There are many reasons for a person to be switching jobs so often, and analysing the reasons for this can help you determine if they will bring value to your business.

Some “job hoppers” have been unfortunate in their choice of company, and are finding themselves victims of a series of business closedowns and cutbacks. In this case, the job hopper is not really a job hopper at all, and is almost certainly chomping at the bit for steady work. If you employ them, they may well be willing to stay for a significantly longer period of time with you than they’ve previously had the opportunity to. Beware, though, as they may also be applying for the sake of having a job, rather than a real desire to help your company grow.

Some job hoppers don’t know what they want. They’re trying out lots of different roles until they can find the job that suits them, and your company is offering something new for them to try. On the one hand, these job hoppers can be valuable. They bring with them an enthusiasm and willingness to learn. They can also show you the best practices from other businesses that they have worked for, helping you to improve your own company. On the other hand, if they have little or no experience with your industry, training them will be costly and they may once again decide to move on if they don’t like the business. It’s a difficult judgment call, but you need to decide if enthusiasm, potential and thinking outside the box outweigh the risk of training a short term employee.

The most common form of job hopper is one who is constantly striving to improve. Often you will be able to see that they are constantly moving upwards in the roles which they accept, even if they aren’t staying at each one for very long. This job hopper is incredibly valuable because, even if they only stay with you for a short time, they will already have a number of desirable skills and traits, so require less training. They have experience in numerous different businesses, giving them a good view of a multitude of different techniques that can be applied to your business, and they are clearly self-motivated. Jump at the chance to take on these people, because they have so much to offer even in such a short time.

Is the Role Better Outsourced?

There are many roles that are best kept in house. Equally, there are some roles that are more efficient to outsource than to try and find an employee for. Even if you absolutely need someone to fill the position, and you want to keep it in house, you may not be able to find a suitable candidate.

In these cases, some employers make the mistake of picking the best of the bunch, and hoping to train them up to where they need to be. This is the worst option of all. The costs of training are high, and if you don’t have the right person for the job, they’re also costs that are wasted. If you can’t find the right person for the role, don’t hire the wrong person instead. Find a way to get by without the position, or outsource it until the right person comes along. Even if it works out slightly costlier than keeping the role in house, it’s still less expensive than making a hiring mistake.

Of course, some roles don’t need to be kept in house at all. Consider the costs of training and keeping on staff one person, compared to the costs of outsourcing their role. In some cases, keeping them in house is more convenient, but in many cases outsourcing actually ends up much more cost effective. Even if you think you’ve found the right person, think about how much you really need them before making your hiring decision. Don’t spend money on a new hire you don’t need.

Candidates Who Don’t Wait for Permission

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15Of course, one of the difficulties of making hiring decisions is the absolute deluge of applications that land on your desk and in your inbox once you open the floodgates. As soon as you start advertising a new role, you’ll have a pile of CVs far bigger than you need, many of which are worthless to you. When it’s your job to start sorting through these to find the diamond in the rough, it’s very easy to get tired and opt for the easy choice rather than spending too much time searching. Especially if you have other things to get on with.

On the other hand, when those floodgates are closed, many employers dismiss out of hand the occasional application that finds its way through. With no deadline on finding a new employee, and no huge pile to sift through, these applications should be able to stand on their merits, but too often they are dismissed as a waste of time. This is what leads to those hectic, last minute hiring decisions that are made in the moment.

Pay more attention to candidates who don’t wait for permission to put their case forward. It’s true, some of them will be firing CVs off in every direction, and aren’t right for your company. Some, though, are the applications of people who have a specific interest in your company, and have taken the time to show you that. Even if you don’t have an opening for them now, it’s worth considering what they can offer your company next time you do have an opening. For some candidates, it’s even worth making an opening.

It should be obvious to say, but it’s wrong to dismiss an application that by its nature shows motivation, initiative and a genuine interest in working for you.

There are plenty more decisions to be made about potential job candidates, but these cover a few of the most commonly seen mistakes, even for recruiters who can’t recruit for themselves.

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