In my last two blogs, I covered some of the top hiring mistakes made by employers, culled from Tony Beshara's list of Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make in the Recruiting and Hiring Process. (See: Top Hiring Mistakes, Part 1 and Top Hiring Mistakes, Part 2.) In this blog, my final on the subject, I'll cover another four.
- Not having a clear idea of what they are looking for.
- Not communicating with candidates after interviews and not giving honest feedback.
- Not having backup candidates.
- Finally, not hiring older workers solely due to their age.
It's nearly impossible to get the right candidate for a position when the hiring authority isn't clear on what he wants (what duties, skills, and competencies are needed). Job descriptions are frequently too generic, and oftentimes outdated. I had an electronics manufacturer actually submit a Sales Manager job description dated 1999. That's 12 years old — the requirements for the job haven't changed in 12 years? Time spent upfront, determining and then communicating what is needed, is time well spent and will help ensure a match in the hiring process.
Beshara said that “for some reason, hiring authorities don't seem to mind being rude — even to candidates they are interested in hiring.” Timely feedback is important to a candidate, and for most candidates, finding a job is a very high priority. It is common courtesy to close the loop with a candidate, even if the answer is “not a fit”. That candidate might be a fit down the road, and if not treated with dignity and respect during the process, he may not want to work for that company at a later time.
There are a thousand reasons why a candidate may drop out in the process prior to hiring — even candidates who seem to be a perfect fit with the client. It could be due to pressures from a spouse or family, not passing a profile test, or just having cold feet. Oftentimes, clients will think they have found the right candidate and therefore stop interviewing. Even candidates they had interviewed previously may have found another position (remember, good candidates have a shelf life), so the process must start from the beginning again, which can be very time-consuming. Having three solid candidates in the queue is recommended.
This is not one of the Top Hiring Mistakes highlighted in Beshara's list, but, unfortunately, it's one I've witnessed on multiple occasions and felt it important to include. More seasoned workers oftentimes have much experience and great maturity to bring to a position. Aside from it being illegal to discriminate based on someone's age, companies may miss out on incredibly energetic, loyal, and knowledgeable employees.