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The biggest recruiting mistakes you don’t know you’re making

Can adopting a marketing strategy and personalising the process revitalise recruiting and attract the very best people?

A recruitment process that is automated and impersonal alienates the best talent and creativity away from an organisation. The mistakes that risk this are common and examples are easy to find. Can adopting a marketing strategy and personalising the process revitalise recruiting and attract the very best people?

It starts with the very first part of the recruitment process. A great advert convinces the buyer, or in this case the applicant, that they need what is being advertised. However, the majority of job adverts are a checklist of what the employer wants, creating the expectation that job seekers will prostrate themselves in order to garner attention.

To recruit the best, organisations should be marketing to candidates. Attracting individuals who want this role, in this company rather than job seekers needing a new role. Attracting the best means attracting candidates with the most marketable skills and experience.

A factor within this marketing endeavour is advertising the salary range. Hiring someone and only paying them fractionally more than in their previous role and not what their new role commands is unethical. Salary should reflect the duties and responsibilities of the role, not the previous employment history of the successful applicant.

An added bonus to this type of targeted marketing is a smaller but more suitable response. Which, in turn, means that automated application tracking systems are no longer essential.

The goal of the selection process is to establish the way in which applicants process information, their passions and what drives them and whether this will ‘fit’ with the role and organisation. The best way to do this is face to face in an interview. An impersonal standardised system is not going to find the right person.

This humanising of applicants and acceptance that an interview is ultimately how any decision is going to be made raises the validly of multiple tests and assignments as a standard part of the recruitment process.

In some circumstances, testing is an essential part of decision making. However, there is a need to tailor any decision-making tools for each role, ensuring that there is a genuine requirement in having applicants undertake assessment. Otherwise, the package of tests becomes an expensive way of offending applicants and losing potential talent.

It is important to hold onto the idea that the applicants are, in fact, people worthy of your respect. Failing to communicate in a timely manner, or at all, reflects badly on any organisation. The courtesy of a phone call, e-mail or short note to thank them for their effort and inform them of decisions is essential.

This more personable recruitment process does not need to be laborious. Something is very wrong if running adverts, screening CVs, organising interviews, undertaking the selection and making an offer is taking more than six weeks.

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