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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Common Recruitment Missteps

During my 20 + years of recruiting top talent, I have observed a number of common recruitment missteps that led to either the derailment of the recruitment process or the hiring of suboptimal talent. 

The following are some of the most problematic recruitment missteps that should be avoided: 

(1)  Task vs. Strategic Opportunity:  Treating the recruitment process as a task rather than a strategic opportunity to enhance the team's or business' capabilities. Hiring managers should not expect exceptional results from the process if they approach it from a place of mediocrity - "effort equals reward".

(2)  Like Me Hire:  The "like me hire" (i.e., hiring the candidate with similar skills, capabilities and personality traits as the hiring manager). As I identified in my previous blog, a strategic hiring manager will target an applicant that possesses "complimentary capabilities" versus perpetuating homogeneity. 

(3)  Rushing or DelayingRushing the hiring decision to get a seat in a chair versus the best seat in a chair or, conversely, delaying, procrastinating or not placing high importance on the process, thereby losing momentum and in either case missing an opportunity to hire top talent.

(4)  Unrealistic Job PreviewFailing to provide the candidate with a realistic job preview. This critical step in the recruitment process should enable the job applicant to gain a clear picture of the rewarding aspects of the job, as well as the challenges one will face operating within the organization.  This step should enable the hiring manager and applicant to access suitability factors of importance to both parties.

(5)  Failure to Conduct Reference ChecksFailure to conduct reference checks or the verification of candidate credentials.  Under ideal circumstances, the hiring manager should conduct at least two reference checks themselves to ensure the applicant has accurately portrayed their work experience and achievements, as well as probing for specific developmental themes of the applicant .  Equally important, applicants should be asked to produce original documents or acceptable copies of their accreditations and other relevant credentials given various studies have suggested that between 5% to 10% percent of all applicants misrepresent credentials on their resumes.

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