5 Hiring Practices to Knock Off

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worker throwing white sheets in air in office There is always room for improvement in hiring practices. With new hiring metrics, stats, tools and information pulling us in different directions, it’s hard to know what exactly we should be doing and how. Everyone will tell you what you should be doing to step up your hiring game and nail down the perfect fit, but how about what you should stop doing to get that best end result?

Having been in the recruiting game for a while now, I have seen several of the same worst hiring practices across the board. I’m sure at one time or another, we let these 5 hiring practices get the best of us, and the organization is who pays for it. So knock it off.

Keeping Them on the Line

“Ignoring the candidate experience ” was just a tad too broad. You can have the best dialogue with a candidate, offer the world’s greatest coffee and thank them endlessly, but if you waste their time by pointlessly keeping them on the line, it will kill the candidate experience.

Time-to-fill is taking far longer than it used to, and candidates hate it. According to research done by economists Steven J. Davis, Jason Faberman and John Haltiwanger, in 2009, the average time-to-fill was 15 business days, compared to today’s 23 days.

Each additional day without a call, every added interview and those check-in emails clarifying nothing all really harm the employer brand and candidate experience.

Gimmicks and Brain Teasers

Google knocked it off, and you should too. Whether you’re asking about how many gas stations there are in New York, or requiring candidates to name the countries, these questions have nothing to do with the position for which you’re hiring.

According to Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of people operations,

“On the hiring side, we found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time….They don’t predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart.”

Google has instead turned to structured behavioral interviews. This style of interview encourages candidates to talk about their experiences. This will allow the interviewer to assess how the candidate will handle workplace situations, strengths and weaknesses. Google has found that these interviews are more effective and consistent.

Hiring the Great Resume/Interview

You always get that warm fuzzy feeling when you see a pristine resume and then the interview goes even better. Odds are you don’t really need a good resume writer or someone with awesome interviewing skills. You need someone who is a cultural and skill fit. Just remember, that confident smile and easy-going personality might not have what it takes to fill the position.

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You

Pick up the phone, send an email, heck, set up an automated email: Do something (anything) to communicate with candidates. From the candidate’s perspective, nothing is more frustrating than never hearing back.

According to a great Mystery Applicant infographic on the candidate experience, 58 percent of applicants did not receive regular updates on their application, and 52 percent felt they were not treated as an individual. As a result of this negative candidate experience, 38 percent were less likely to buy from or use a company’s products or services. Lack of, or poor communication not only damages the employer brand, it can directly affect the numbers.

Ignoring Cultural Fit

Hard skills are pretty simple to measure. You can easily find out if someone has the know-how to get the job done. Assessing cultural fit can be tougher, and therefore, is sometimes neglected. We’ve all read about and experienced the importance of hiring for cultural fit, but are we doing it? Really?

They qualify and they’re here and you need this position filled yesterday. It can be hard to pass on a perfectly qualified candidate who might be missing a few of the cultural aspects that the company requires, but you should. Zappos has built their empire on this practice. They have and will continue to pass on brilliant, skilled candidates who simply don’t fit into the company culture. In fact, they fire employees whom they don’t believe live and spread the brand.



By Raj Sheth