Introduction to Hiring Mistakes
“Gosh! What is the position that they are looking at?” “Where would be the posting?”
Questions like these are a very common thing that most of the aspirants generally ask when they look at the advertisement. Hiring is a very important function in an organization, the onus of which rests with the HR Department. It, therefore, becomes imperative for HR to recruit the right person at the right place to avoid those hiring Mistakes. However, in the wake of doing this activity, most organizations knowingly or unknowingly commit serious blunders or hiring mistakes that affect the organization drastically.
List of Hiring Mistakes
In the process of hiring there is always a tendency to make mistakes. Let’s see what are the top mistakes that should be avoided.
1. Job Description
A proper JD (Job Description) is essential for proper hiring to happen. In most of the organizations, there is no JD prepared for a role for which the candidates are sought. On most of the occasions, the recruiters talk to the candidates and describe the role-based upon their understandings which is far from reality. An improper JD thus would lead to incorrect sourcing. Let us substantiate this with an example.
Consider a case of sourcing a Project Manager for an IT company. This organization does not have a JD prepared and neither does the HR department takes initiative to prepare one. In fact, with his/her own understanding of the role, the HR manager proceeds with the hiring process.
The Hiring manager talks to the candidate and explains that the desired person should be able to handle the II project well and should possess at least 5 years of relevant experience. He also goes ahead and explains that this role would demand knowledge about project costing and gelling with the team. So team management skills are very important. The desired person should be aware of the technology and should also possess relevant coding skills. Having said this, the candidate is shortlisted abut gets rejected by Project Head who finally interviews the candidate.
Most of the candidates who were shortlisted were finally shot down by the Project Head. A lot of quality time and energy thus went down the drain due to the absence of a proper JD. He made a Hiring mistake. The Project Head then, out of frustration developed and forwarded a well defined JD to the Sourcing manager. The sourcing manager immediately realized that he had missed out on vital points like Client interface which would, therefore, require exceptional communicational skills. Every role should, therefore, have a proper JD and JS (Job Specification) drafted out. Some salient features that could go down in the PM’s (Project Manager) role folder are as below:
- 3 years of experience in writing codes and 5 to6 years of Project handling experience in a medium-sized to big IT setup.
- Sound knowledge and good exposure to areas like project costing, scheduling and damage control measures
- Project delivery and client relationship management.
- Complete understanding of the client’s needs and managing its dynamic requirements.
- Thorough knowledge of the latest developments in technology in the market
- Exposure to handling multiple clients at the same time would be an added advantage.
- Team handling skills. Should be a team player
- Exceptionally good communication skills
- Science Graduate with MCA from a reputed university.
- Hands-on knowledge of programming languages like .Net, ASP, Java1.
2. Improving your Advertisement
Not many organizations today dare to spend lavishly. Organizations have of late become cost-conscious to the extent that the sourcing head would like to see the adv himself before being released. The quality of the adv, therefore, becomes important – both in terms of the content and the appearance. Most managers, in order to adopt cost-cutting measures, seldom mention essentials and desirables in their adv, thus leaving the job aspirants in a lurch.
The result is a host of irrelevant resumes and wastage of money. The advt. should contain a complete and accurate job profile and at the same time has to be catchy enough. For example, you may try to make it more appealing or teasing like an advertisement for sourcing ace salesmen could read. “If you have the fire under your belly, then we have the job for you”
It is disheartening to see an advertisement contain a lot of information portraying the company rather than the role profile being sought. Information about the organization can any which ways be obtained from the website address mentioned in the adv. There is no need to elaborate much about the Company.
3. Capturing Resumes
Many a times it is observed that the organization lacks an application tracking mechanism with the result that most of the applicants who have applied for a prospective job in an organization have not been collated properly. There is no database or repository of resumes that are maintained. Most often Company’s have a dedicated email address to which the job aspirants can apply. The email, however, gets created, but often lacks a custodian of that email address.
As a result, potential applicants/resumes are lost and no resume database gets created. Resume lost transpires to an opportunity lost. Maintaining your own database can be very economical provided it is meticulously done. Also, the custodian of the database needs to constantly update and validate the database which is a common goof-up found in most organizations.
4. Reference Check
Reference check forms an important activity that needs to be done judiciously before an offer is released, the candidate. In most organizations due to stiff hiring targets assigned to the hiring managers, this activity of reference checking is done more like a run of the mill activity. A reference check with his past employers provides a good insight into his past behavior and performance. However, not all organizations respond when they are ref checked on their ex-employees. While some of them are candid on their views on the past performance about an ex-employee, others prefer to keep silent.
It is also important that the person conducting the reference check needs o mature to pose proper questions to the persons from the reference check is being sought. They also need to be equally smart in order to read between the lines as in most cases the respondents may not portray the correct picture. Many organizations blindly believe in the feedback that they receive from the past employers of their employees which serves as the major final short-listing criteria. As a result, they tend to lose many good candidates.
The person giving the feedback may not be in the proper frame of mind. As a result, the feedback of a candidate may not necessarily be correct. At times, there could be a case when a past employer gives feedback out of vengeance which may tend to spoil the candidature. Such feedback should be comprehended properly before selecting or rejecting a potential candidate. Today, this function is mainly outsourced with a view to keep bias, etc at bay. Reference check is handled by professional agencies through various sources and links with a quick turnaround time to keep up with the pace of hiring.
5. Ask Anything Under the Sun
Many times it is seen that people who are free are roped in for conducting the interview. Most of these interviewers do not have any clue about the role and hence selection of the candidate obviously gets affected. Interviews need to be properly conducted while short-listing the candidates. A proper panel needs to be framed and made ready for taking the interviews and avoiding the hiring mistakes.
Questions relevant to the job should be asked and the interviewers need to be aligned in the panel. Candidates are waiting at the reception, each looking at one another and completely clueless as to which position have they been called for?. While we discuss this, it is very important that the person taking the interview possesses the right interviewing skills. Lack of proper interviewing skills due to hiring mistakes may put off the brightest of the candidates which may eventually be a loss to the organization.
An organization should ensure that the person conducting the interview is properly trained in handling and conducting the interviews. He/She has the necessary skills for the same else the result could be disastrous. There have been occasions where a position in the organization remains vacant for quite a long time, not because of the non-availability of the candidates but due to poor interviewing skills of the person. It, therefore, becomes imperative for an organization to conduct regular refresher training sessions for their interviewers and add more people to the panel of eligible interviewers.
6. Excess Reliance on Consultants
Most of the organizations are not innovative in nature and are also not employee-friendly. Relying too much on consultants may not help at times. There have been occasions where a hiring mandate is given by a department to HR. However, due to one reason or the other, the recruitment is unable to deliver the goods. The reason being, they have passed on this mandate to their consultants. Since these consultants are working parallelly for several other companies, it is very likely that your organization may not get enough priority and due to this slow down the HR managers are often pulled up by their senior management.
It, therefore, becomes essential to look for alternate channels for recruitment and avoid hiring mistakes. Especially cost-economical channels like Employee Referral. The HR manager should proactively launch an ERS (Employee Referral Scheme) if there is not one. The ERS should be motivating enough to encourage employees to refer more and get more money.
7. Functioning like a Post-Office
In most of the organizations, the recruitment of HR functions like a post office wherein the hiring manager initiates the recruitment activity without even looking and assessing the requirement of the business team. As a result, it functions merely like a post-office.
When the recruitment team receives a mandate for hiring from its internal customer (any department), it must first evaluate the need for recruitment. It is generally observed in most organizations that the recruitment team does not question on the mandate and opens up the flood gates of hiring, the moment a mandate is received. This is one of the major goof-ups the recruitment function does. The result could be disastrous.
Once the hiring is over and an assessment is done, it comes to light that more number of people are hired. The indenting manager had requisitioned for a larger number of people in anticipation that some of the people may leave in a short span of time. Also, it often comes to light later that there are excess people hired which often leads to duplication of efforts that could have been easily avoided.
The excess manpower, which later realized the organization is then asked to move out which leaves the organization and its HR practices in bad taste. Once the HR department starts evaluating the business needs, it is only then in the true sense, can it strive to play a strategic role in the business. In the process of evaluation, the recruitment team partners the business and may even render stop-gap solutions to take care of the immediate hiring needs of their internal customers, lest the business bleeds. This is how the recruitment team can establish the credibility of the function else it may remain a back-office function.
8. Lack of Connectivity
Once the recruitment team has rolled out an offer, they think that the job is done or their targets are complete. However, the fact is that the recruitment team needs to be hyperactive during that period. Once the offer letter is rolled, the recruitment team tends to have a casual approach towards the prospective candidate. The candidates, today are smart enough. They would take your offer and renegotiate with other prospective employers and move elsewhere. You would sit in anticipation that the candidate is going to join on a particular day.
This is a major pitfall. In fact, someone from the HR team should keep up the connectivity with the prospective employee throughout till the time the candidate comes on board. Since this (the time from when the offer is rolled out to the time when the candidate is actually onboard) is the period of maximum instability as far as the candidate’s joining is concerned. Today, most of the candidates at junior/middle-level positions look at short term gains and are especially lured towards attractive pay packages. As a result, there is greater likelihood of losing the candidates especially after the candidate having receive the offer letter due to hiring mistakes.
9. Passing the Buck
In the above parameter we discussed the importance of hyperactivity stage of the recruiter which enables the link between the prospective employee and the employer. Let us take this a step further. Once the recruitment team does the hiring, there is no proper hand-over that happens. Ideally, the recruitment team should hand over the candidate to the Induction team.
This handover or the transition of the candidate to the induction team does not happen smoothly resulting into attrition from the second day. The transition stage needs to be handled properly as the candidates are new in the system and need to be delicately handled. It is actually a sensitive situation wherein the candidate can form a positive or negative perception of the organization.
If the perception is negative, then the person may eventually separate from the organization putting the pressure back on the recruitment team. The very fact that HR does not function as a post office is a testimony to the fact that it was spread its tentacles into the business dynamics. It is therefore rightly termed as “Business enabler”.
It not only acts as the backbone but also acts as “business enabler”. The function eventually has moved from the backroom to the board room. Human resource planning which is a pre-requisite to recruitment activity is often ignored in most of organizations. Another important fact that is worth mentioning here is that to avoid the hiring mistakes the whole process of hiring should not be lengthy. If it is too lengthy, it puts off the best of the candidates.
In fact, the whole process should be pre-determined. For every level of interview, the number of steps in the hiring process should be well defined. This helps a lot to avoid hiring mistakes. Further to this, it is often seen that the salary negotiation is often dragged too long and the hiring process gets prolonged.
This stage of the hiring process should be tightened and one way of doing this is to have well-defined compensation bands for each level in the organization. If the levels are well defined, there is not much play available for both, the candidate and the organization and hence this stage gets wrapped up well in time.
The ill-effects of this stage is that, if the HR representative is a given a free hand, he/she ends in throwing any salaries while making offers to close the candidates so that his/her hiring targets are met. This disturbs the entire compensation structure. Hence, the HR managers must adhere to the pre-defined compensation bands while negotiating with the candidates. However, care must be taken to ensure that the compensation bands were aligned with market or competition, yet again to avoid the hiring mistakes.
To have a very smooth and effective hiring (qualitative and quantitative), the above-mentioned points must be taken into consideration by all the recruiters, lest there are chances of a goof-up.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the Hiring Mistakes so just go through the link.