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Thursday, April 5, 2012

10 Mistakes Employers Make When Recruiting/Hiring

We have been here since 1952 and have been through literally thousands of hiring processes. We are asked about the biggest and most frequent mistakes that hiring authorities make in the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process. Here they are:

1. Not having a clear idea of what they are looking for - that everyone understands. Hiring authorities aren’t specific enough about the duties, skills, and competencies they need. They confuse amount of experience with competency: “8 to 10 years of experience” - does that mean that someone with six years of experience can’t do the job? Or what about the candidate who has had one year of experience 10 times? Putting any kind of numbers of years of experience limits them. What is important?

Employers would be better off defining the functions they want done very specifically, and then finding someone who can do it. This may mean someone who has done it well before or someone who has the potential to do it well. The specifics need to be written by the hiring authority who has the “pain,” i.e., the person who needs the help and is going to be responsible for the new employee.

Concocting “wish lists” of super-human attributes, combined with unrealistically low pay scales relative to expectations of the experience needed, will create havoc in a talent search. Hazy, ambiguous descriptions along with generalities like “good written and oral communication skills” don’t help either. Know your target.

2. Having an unrealistic idea of what kind of candidates might be available and the money it may take to hire them. Just because everyone would like to hire Superman or Wonder Woman, that doesn’t mean they are available or will go to work at your company. There is no perfect candidate, and waiting for one is as unrealistic as searching for one.

The only way to become realistic about what the market might bear is to interview enough candidates to know what is available and the commensurate earnings expected. It may take quite a few interviews. The number of quality candidates is drastically lower than it was even two years ago. Our clients are often shocked that the salaries they are locked into won’t allow them to hire the quality or experience they wish for.

And just because you believe that your company is wonderful, it doesn’t mean: (1) everyone wants to go to work there, (2) they will accept any amount you offer, and (3) there aren’t four or five other firms like yours trying to hire the same candidates.

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  1. This article hits home so well. I've talked with Executive hiring firms and the part of this article that talks about too many people in the hiring process is brought out so many times. I really like this article because it hits the nail on the head in regards to my experiences with companies. Thanks so much. It lifted my spirits today.

  2. I felt the same way while I was working in Reliance Power Ltd. I was having a 6 years of experience in project management and product development. But at time of recruitment I was at college completing my Masters (MBA) in finance.
    They judged my financial experience in terms of financial sector which was 0 on that basis, but more than 4 years if it is considered on basis of project management or similar industry. I had done many work related to cost control, risk analysis and receivables management, in my past two companies.
    After judging on basis financial sector they put me in project with 0 experience, though I am having a 6 years experience in that domain.
    When I contacted my bosses (Ashwin Kumar, Rajendra Kagwade and Balasubramanian Natarajan respectively) they showed me to talk to HR department and load me with projects as per my capability.
    Further on discussion with HR heads Prem Akhauri and Rajesh Udhoji, they said me that I am given a 0 year experience position as it is my first job after the b-school.
    This is not the only case of me many others are suffering the same fate because of incapable HR officials in Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.
    The dilemma of India is that 90% of people take HR as their subject not to build a career but because they think they are incapable for the other subjects.
    And see the fate the incapables are judging the capable.

  3. The hiring is technically flawed in most technically sound organzations, atleast here in India. The enthusiasm for minute details and overwhelming process orientedness for other business supporting functions are clearly evident while the opposite is true for hiring.

    As the article starkly exposes the shortcomings, I personally have experienced the mutiple people interviews, lack of courtesy for feedback, inorganized HR with utter lack of rationale etc many times. The supply demand phenomenon of job market almost immediately influences most of the folks in hiring as they suddenly start becoming coveted and invaluable for whatever they offer/speak or write during the hiring process.
    The line, "whatever goes out comes around" in the article is true in the sense a slight change in the supply demand phenomenon makes the same guys end up giving unreal offers topped with goodies, quite often to undeserving candidates in a rush. Almost all the times it seems they are in pursuit of quenching their own ego satiations. And not the genuine and benevolent need of organization to continue to remain stable in business.

    Organizational Behavior is a good subject to begin tutoring with for the hiring folks and human resource managers. Although a positive change in reponse to that is deeply embedded in their respective personalities, which they acquire only through years of righteous living.
    A good hiring is the only way to uproot the problem, by creating a virtuous cycle of good hirers and processes only to find good employees over the period of time.

  4. "The number of quality candidates is drastically lower than it was even two years ago. Our clients are often shocked that the salaries they are locked into won’t allow them to hire the quality or experience they wish for."

    What planet is the author of this article on? This is a total and complete contradiction of what I've been told by countless hiring managers in the current job market. They have too many qualified candidates to choose from, and that is precisely why professionals are encountering difficulty finding work. It is an major insult to the intelligence to have to read such laughably inaccurate info that discredits the entire article. Spare us, please.


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