5 recruitment warning signs

Let’s face it.

Recruitment sounds easy. You try your best to reach out to the masses, get a few to the interview room, try to get to know their decades of history over 2 hours and, presto!, you have a new employee to on-board next week.

If only things are so simple.

Below are 5 warning signs that your recruitment strategy probably isn’t going work.

1. You target only active job seekers

Reaching out to a market with 2% unemployment rate yields you only that many people to begin with. And you are fighting for attention with at least 100,000 other hungry employers. If there isn’t much value proposition that your company can offer versus others (think: free lunch, massage Friday), you are going to end up with job seekers that everyone else has gone through and rejected. Unless the job only require a warm body to power, your new hire (if there is going to be one) probably isn’t going to turn your aspiring business into the next Facebook. Instead, pay attention to the hidden pool of passive talents. With social media, it is easier than ever to get referrals and check out profiles that just wasn’t available previously.

2. You post ads like everyone else

If everyone is doing it, then it should be working right? Wrong. Until today, many still do not understand that job advertisements are still advertisements. Imagine all the advertisements on YouTube or Television are the same. Would you pay attention to anyone of them? That is how media would evolve to if HR people are placed in marketing roles. Instead of just mirroring what other people are writing, you have to dig deep and localize the content. Sell the company and what it stands for. Write the job description as a daily/weekly/monthly activity schedule to reflect what it actually entails.

3. You engage too many recruitment agencies

If doubling down your bet at the blackjack table won’t work, neither would this strategy. Agency recruiters operate on a contingency model. And partly because of the risk that comes with it, they spread it out by taking on numerous projects at the same time. They would much prefer to focus their time and efforts on a project that is exclusive to them versus another that require jostling with 9 other recruitment agencies. You will end up with little results and the doubling down continues. Instead of playing this mindless game, identify recruitment agencies that specializes in what you are hiring. Give each of them an exclusive phase to work on the project. If the first one didn’t cut it, then move on to the next agency. This will provide you with better returns and lesser unqualified candidates that agency are taking their chances with.

4. You are targeting the same talent pool as everyone else

Of course you want to hire the young and aggressive. They are cheaper than experienced workers and you can’t possibly recruit someone older than the hiring manager. It’s okay if they job-hop (which young people don’t). They just has to be young. If only legal working age is like 12. Guess what? You are not alone. Which is why you are seeing reports of graduates from 2014 expecting $4,000 as starting salary. The market over-emphasis over young and aggressive has driven up their ego and price tag. Unless you are going to pay $4,001 to outbid the rest, you probably isn’t going to see many applications. Instead of barking up the same tree, look at neglected pool of talents that can also do the job and do it even better. Ever seen Super Performer in your office? They can do the job of 3 average Joes. They might be more expensive but their efficiencies are paramount. And this is possible only with years of experience gained. Beside, why manage 3 when you only need to manage 1.

5. Your platform isn’t mobile friendly

50% of LinkedIN traffic is coming from mobile devices. This figure is projected to grow significantly every year. If your recruiting site isn’t mobile friendly, 50% of your visitors will just bounce off to somewhere else. So whatever talent pool you are targeting just got diluted to half. Given the way people are using their phone even when they are in the toilet cubicle, it make sense to cater your recruiting site snuggly to the size of their devices and allow them to apply easily from their phone. So you can receive an application even if the applicant is doing his business in the toilet. Not that you would want to know.

Time to rethink

Albert Einstein famously said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. If you are still reading this, chances are your recruitment strategy is not working. Doing more doesn’t mean better results. Do better instead.

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