With record-low unemployment at 4.1 percent nationwide and continued strong economic growth, companies across a variety of industries are actively hiring right now. Many of them are struggling to find the right people for their open jobs. As a result of the marketplace’s upward trajectory, they need the right talent in place to meet demand, stay competitive and continue to grow.
Flaws in the IT hiring process can derail that growth and may even have significant consequences. As someone who spends my days talking to hiring managers and candidates, I’ve seen first-hand some of the issues that arise, as well as the potentially negative effects they can have for both sides.
That’s why when I came across a recent piece on CIO.com, “11 Bad Hiring Habits That Can Burn You,” it immediately caught my eye. Writer and editor Paul Heltzel’s list of hiring missteps, as well as the variety of experts he turned to for advice, offers a thorough and helpful look on how to fix the process.
Top Hiring Process Issues
Whether you’re a job seeker or an employer, I encourage you to check out the full article. Here are a few that really stick out as important hiring process issues:
1. Dragging out the process – We’ve all been there; a hiring process that seems to go on and on and on. And on. Many companies create intricate hiring policies because they want to hire perfectly, but at the same time they move so slowly that they miss out on really exceptional talent. In my experience, it requires a delicate balancing act.
On one side, they want to have an interview process that stays true to the culture of the organization. On the flip side, they need to move people through the process quickly. Striking that happy medium isn’t easy, but it’s a key part of landing top talent. Because let’s face it, job seekers almost always have something in their pipeline, and sometimes it’s a matter of what hits first if they’re juggling multiple opportunities.
2. Untrained hiring managers – Interviewers need to know exactly what criteria they’re using to evaluate candidates, plain and simple. Is it on problem solving? A skills’ test? Culture fit? All of the above? While it may be easier to skip over some of that prep work in the mad dash to hire, it’s necessary to glean the most value from the interview. Hiring managers also need to be well prepared to sell candidates on the opportunity, culture and company itself. Some companies forget they're in a candidate-driven marketplace right now; they have to stand out and clearly articulate why they’re a great place to work.
3. Job descriptions that shoot for the moon– Given the talent pipeline, there aren’t enough people to do hiring that the marketplace needs. Companies need to think long and hard about their job descriptions and strive to simplify them. Why? Because too much information can dissuade a qualified candidate from applying or possibly lead to a mis-hire. For example, focus on core competencies, or structure it as a few “must haves” that are clearly stated and include additional criteria as “nice to haves.” In addition, to achieve stronger and more streamlined descriptions, everyone involved in the hiring process must be transparent and candid about what the job requires, as well as what the company is willing to do to secure the right person.
No company’s hiring process will ever be without flaws, but it’s important to recognize where there are major issues. Hiring the right talent, at the right time, in the best way possible, is key to not getting burned.