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3 Common Mistakes in Finding Top Talent

Hiring the right talent for your organization is easier said than done. When it seems like the vast majority of incoming resumes aren’t up to snuff, it can be frustrating for a hiring manager to figure out why they aren’t attracting the right talent.

Are the job ads in the wrong places? Is the talent pool shallower than the company anticipated? These are questions that are sure to come up when the search goes awry. On the bright side, there are some simple changes you or your business can make to attract more qualified candidates. Even better, instituting these changes means it will take less time to hire more people who are the perfect fit for your organization. When the applications for a position leave you disappointed, don’t blame the candidates themselves — instead, ask yourself what’s going wrong with the recruiting process for finding top talent.

1. Looking in All the Wrong Places

You might attract a large number of candidates posting on a general job board, but more isn’t always better. What tends to happen is that unqualified candidates will submit their resumes on a whim, because there is no harm in going for it. Well, no harm to them. For hiring managers, hundreds of job applications equates to hours of extra work that may result in very few eligible candidates.

Try to add focus to your search by posting job listings in the places your ideal candidates will likely be spending their time online. Rather than using a board that thousands of people visit per day, look for niche websites and job boards that relate to your industry. For example, home furniture companies may want to consider posting jobs on home design websites with a jobs section for those in the industry. If you’re unsure where to start, ask your current employees about the websites they visit frequently. You may discover resources you didn’t know existed.

2. Lack of Vision

One of the biggest mistakes when creating a job listing is focusing too much on day-to-day responsibilities rather than the larger picture. Think about the times you’ve been hunting for a job: which listings tended to stand out? The jobs you were most likely to notice were probably the ones that outlined not only what is expected each day but also a description of the overall goals and career trajectory for someone in that role.

Accepting a new job is a significant change in a person’s life. If everything goes according to plan, an employee may spend many years at an organization improving their skills for the next stage in their career and adding value to your organization. If your listing makes it clear that ongoing training is available to help team members grow, you are likely to attract stronger candidates.

3. Skipping Culture

Even if you’ve worked hard to cultivate a strong workplace culture, your job listing might not make it very clear. It can be difficult to describe the way the team works together, but do your best to describe the work environment accurately. Not everyone will enjoy the way your office operates, and that’s ok. It’s better to eliminate candidates who won’t be happy as early as possible in the recruiting process.

When you’re writing about your company’s culture, imagine how you would describe the environment to a friend. Highlight the things that make working at your company interesting and unique. An accurate description of the environment will excite the candidates who are most likely to enjoy that kind of workplace.

A common mistake is to assume that top candidates will respond positively to a job listing that only describes expectations and responsibilities, but giving an idea of the mission, values and culture of your organization is an important aspect as well.

Getting Started

Great candidates are out there; it simply takes a strategic approach to find and recruit them.

If you have felt frustrated with the recruiting process, it may be worth learning about how workplaces are changing on a national level. Check out our blog post, “How HR Is Changing in 2017: What You Need to Know” to find out more about what the top candidates expect from their workplaces today.  


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