Recruitment is an ever-changing industry. We all know that. All it takes is a quick look at LinkedIn or Google and you'll see thousands of posts about how to format your CV or how AI is going to render all of us Recruiters useless in X years. (preemptive to anyone saying it - I'm sure loads of us already are useless - thanks)
Jobs change, people change, advertising, sourcing and applying for jobs changes. It's a minefield trying to keep up and make sure you're showing yourself or your company in the right way. The majority of companies think they're doing this yet so many of them fail regularly to secure the best talent or constantly have a website full of unfilled positions - why?
Here are a few of the worst and most common.
1. You think you're doing people a favour by offering work.
This is a huge one. In my opinion, this is probably the most outdated misconception anyone hiring anyone might have. But its an attitude that relentlessly plagues hiring managers, HR and recruiters everywhere.
Here's the thing: if you want the best people, you need to give them a reason to want to join your company. Convince people why they should work for you, not why you should hire them.
2. Your offer/salary/benefits/culture/environment sucks.
The frequency of which I hear something similar to "we can't compete with the (pick any from above)" is alarming. If that's you - do something about it! You can change things. Review your salaries, progression and benefits packages. Make your office or studio a great place to work. If you need help then ask your staff what they want. Hell, if you're really struggling - ask the people who are turning down your jobs.
Here's a shocker: people want to earn a decent living. But people also want to feel valued, like they're making a difference like they're going somewhere. They want to enjoy going to work with whoever they work with. Culture isn't a pool table or a beer fridge, it's the difference between 'colleagues' and a team. Don't know where to start? There are people who can help with that, don't be afraid to get help, but a good start would be asking your team.
Salaries aren't always #1, but you better be offering something pretty damn special if you expect anyone to take your offer that's >10% below what they're asking for. Salary affects everything outside of work so bottom line: put your hand in your pocket and pay people what they're worth, and treat them how they deserve to be treated.
3. Your hiring and interview process is a joke.
To quote Alan Walker "Stop dicking around." This one is the most simple of all and I think loses more people than the rest combined. You're giving CV feedback a month after application? That person is long gone and could have already signed a contract with your competitor.
The exact same applies to: lack of flexibility on interviews, slow feedback of any kind, excessive testing, excessive stages, too many people interviewing, treating an interview like a black ops interrogation - I could go on forever on this. If in doubt, ask a recruiter. I know you may be a little reluctant but seriously we deal with multiple companies and multiple roles every day - we know what's working, what's not and what you're up against in terms of competition.
Get a proper process and recruitment team in place and stick to it. What a crazy reason to be losing people.
6 interviews and a 2-week test? You're dicking around.
4. Misc (I won't bang on about them but come on)
- Your adverts are crap. (Mitch Sullivan can help with this. I don't know the guy but I hear good things and I've seen the ads - they're good)
- You refuse to use recruiters or take advice because "you know what you're doing" Try a recruiter, if they're crap, don't use them again (I'm talking people not agencies - good agencies have bad recruiters sometimes and vice versa)
- You limit your search (too much) on background, location, job title, years experience (this one in particular - ability > years and years ≠ ability)
- You don't know what you're looking for - don't start a hiring process as an experiment - these are people you're dealing with.
- You treat hiring as a secondary activity to whatever else you're doing - get it done and get it right and it will make your life easier!
Honestly, almost every recruiter I know would be happy to talk to you about your recruitment processes and how they can be improved - for free. Just ask.
I'm not just highlighting these because they make me tear my hair out. It's also because I care about the people I'm working with and I want to see my candidates treated fairly and my clients with their jobs filled. What have you got to add? Tell me some of your ridiculous recruitment stories as candidates, hiring managers, recruiters!
To those who recruit well:
I'm the Associate Director at Skillsearch Ltd, specialising in the games and interactive industry. I work with a fantastic bunch of people and studios.
This isn't an attack on anyone, so please don't take it as one. If you want to talk to me about anything feel free to drop me an email or a request to connect on Linkedin.