Hiring and Recruitment Mistakes 2

Misleading Ads

In a hiring challenge course with Matt Gillogly CEO-Mentor-Investor of Practice Profit System podcast we identified some key mistakes people make when hiring. Here’s the next one:

We had a client who had a new role they wanted to fill, and they thought it would be about 70% client interactions and 30% admin. We found an amazing candidate who took the job and who the client loved.

Unfortunately, the candidate left after just three months. The reason was that the role was only 30% client interactions. The bit the candidate loved was the client interactions. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; they’d made their best guess at how it would pan out and got it wrong.

Making the job look good

You naturally want to make the job sound great, so you hype up some parts of the role and minimise others.

The down side of this is that, when a candidate takes the job and discovers it isn’t what was advertised, they are disappointed at best. This is one of the reasons so many people leave their job in the first year (70% of candidates do this, many in the first 90 days).

One of the difficulties is that we tend to write the ad to appeal to someone like ourselves, forgetting others have different tastes.

I learned this lesson many years ago when I was Manufacturing Director of an electronics company. I was keen that everyone enjoyed their jobs, so I asked some of the staff what they thought of their jobs. One woman, Margaret, was doing what I thought was a particularly boring job. Her whole day was spent putting the same 25 components into hundreds of printed circuit boards.

She said it was her favourite job in the whole factory. I did not believe her. I asked her why. She pointed to another job and said that would be too boring as you were sat on your own putting just 10 components into very small simple boards. I agreed.

She pointed to the prototyping job (the job I would have wanted if I had worked on the shop floor). She said she would hate to do that because she’d be too worried about making a mistake because each board was different, and you had to work from the engineering drawings. I could see her point.

She said that she particularly loved her job because it was varied enough to be interesting, but she could still enjoy herself, talking to her friends all day and listening to the radio. That made complete sense.

Then she turned to me, with a look of pity in her eyes and said: “But it must be awful doing your job because every time something goes wrong, everyone thinks it’s your fault.”  I was astonished; I loved that job.

What to do

Be as clear as you can about what the role involves, including the parts you think may not be attractive to candidates.

Be factual and clear. If the job involves populating 200 printed circuit boards a day, say so. If it includes doing the washing up and cleaning the rest rooms, make sure you include that too.

If the role involves the candidate being responsible if things go wrong, you need to make sure that’s clear as well.

Strangely, there are usually people who enjoy all those aspects. They are the candidates you are looking for.

Common Hiring and Recruitment Mistakes and What To Do Instead

I’m running a hiring challenge course with Matt Gillogly of Practice Profit System at the moment for the people in his Steel Mill Group.

One of the top issues, even for people in a top-flight coaching group is hiring.

We decided to start the course with a summary of some of the worst hiring mistakes you can make. Here they are:

  • Using resumes and CVs to filter candidates
  • Misleading advertisements
  • “Fluff” in the ads
  • Not being clear about what you need
  • No system for reviewing and filtering candidates
  • Not getting back to good candidates quickly enough
  • Offering candidates a package that was less than advertised

These are all mistakes I have seen clients make, and I have made many myself too (except for the last one).

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be explaining why these are mistakes, the impact they have, and what to do instead.

Using resumes and CVs to filter candidates

Almost every client we’ve ever worked with has done this. It’s what most people do when candidates apply.

So why is it such a bad idea?

Level Playing Field

Firstly, when you are making decisions on whether to move a candidate forward you  need to be using a level playing field. Resumes are not a level playing field. Some people have excellent writing skills and are able to create a compelling resume or CV. This does not mean that they can do the job.

Worse, there are those who do a fantastic job but have a very low level of skill when it comes to putting together a resume.

This means you have probably wasted your time interviewing some candidates who you should have rejected much earlier on. Far worse, you have probably missed some excellent candidates.

Not written by the candidate

Many candidates use a service to write their resumes for them. So, if you get a good feeling about a candidate because of the way the resume is written, you may be completely misjudging the candidate’s skills.

One size fits all

It’s highly likely that your candidates use the same resume or CV to apply for many jobs. This means it is not tailored at all to your requirements.

I once worked with a client on their resume. Though this person was brilliant in the role, their skill level when it came to his resume was rock bottom. The original CV included an impenetrable paragraph with a series of technical details about mainframes, systems and processes. When I asked what it was about, the explanation still wasn’t much help. Then I asked what the benefit was to the employer (a huge company you have heard of), they told me that it resulted in a saving of £6m ($7.5m).

I asked for more details, and it turned out that this figure was annual savings. So, at that stage my client had saved his company $75m. But it wasn’t on the resume.

Unreliable information

Not all the information in resumes is accurate or up to date. One client found that 75% of the information on her successful candidate’s resume was not true (this was after they found out that their new employee wasn’t very good at the job). I’m sure it’s not that bad on most resumes, but it’s worth bearing in mind.

What to do instead

Use a short application form to gather key information or at the very least add some dealbreaker questions to your advertisement.

Quite a few candidates will be put off by this, but they will generally be the ones who didn’t have the skills and experience you needed.

To talk to us about your hiring needs, just book a call here:

Why do 70% of new hires leave in the first year?

An astonishing 70% of new hires leave in the first year. I came across this figure years ago and checked it again today; sadly, it’s still the same. 

40% of new employees leave in their first 90 days! 

However, only 12% of Vinehouse new hires leave during their first year

What accounts for this difference? 

Thorough and careful work. 

I was recently told by an “expert” in the field of hiring and recruitment that we shouldn’t be reviewing so many candidates for a Virtual Assistant role because all those roles are pretty much the same, and there are plenty of good candidates.

Yes, there are lots of good candidates, but sadly, only a few of them had the very specific skills required for the role we were filling. I knew if we recommended one of them to our client, they would not last long (they would contribute to the 70% who leave). So we held on till we found someone who did have what was required. It took longer than just sending someone who would be “satisfactory,” but we’re not interested in just “satisfactory.” 

We want to find someone who will perform exceptionally well and stay.

You need to do three things to ensure you don’t hire one of that 70% who will leave.

  1. Identify exactly what duties you need your new employee to do – don’t just go with a standard job description.
  2. Be very clear in your advertising, ensure you include the details about the role and that they are accurate, and don’t miss out on key parts of the job that some candidates won’t like.
  3. Check very carefully that your candidates really have the skills and experience you need.

This all sounds very obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people aren’t clear on what they need their new employee to do and who just copy an old job description or advertisement instead of checking it’s up to date. 

I once had a client who hired a driver and didn’t check that the candidate had a driving licence. He didn’t have one. 

Checking candidates’ skills and experience carefully is a time-consuming process, but given the costs of getting it wrong and the enormous benefits of getting it right, it’s worth the effort.

If you’d like to discuss this or any other issues, please book a slot with Nancy here:  https://go.scheduleyou.in/GJwevE

What’s changed in hiring since the pandemic?

A lot has changed in hiring since the pandemic. Let’s break down some of the key changes that have impacted the hiring process. 

“The Great Resignation.”

Record numbers of people have taken themselves out of the workforce after the pandemic. This is because they liked being at home more than working, even with all the benefits it brings.

There have been massive changes in the number of people applying for different kinds of jobs. 

Fewer candidates to go around in many areas. For example, according to the World Economic Forum, there is a drop of 39% in candidates interested in warehouse roles as compared to before the pandemic. It’s even dropped off in the last few months. 

More People Leaving
People who would previously have stayed in their job and put up with poor pay, working for someone who was a terrible boss or just circumstances they didn’t much like, are now leaving jobs. 

“If we say that everyone must return to the office, or we expect people to, and one of our competitors says you can work remotely, who wouldn’t take the second option there?” 
Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of Slack
The most popular jobs 
Jobs that allow candidates to work flexibly and from anywhere are among the most popular.

What Do You Need To Do? 
AnnElizabeth Konkel of Indeed (a major job platform) says candidates want positions that offer higher pay where they can do at least some work remotely.

If you are struggling to fill a position
Look at the job and see what you can do to make it more attractive to the candidates rather than expecting candidates to fit in with your requirements.

It’s easy to assume there isn’t much you can do to improve your job, but quite often, there are adjustments that can be made. A little flexibility goes a long way. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Some extra days of vacation
  • Being allowed to work remotely sometimes
  • Flexible working hours
  • Some extra benefits
  • Product or service discounts

Some of these things can be done at very low cost but are of great value to candidates. It’s often easier for smaller companies to compete in these areas because they don’t have big company policies to deal with, so make sure you make the most of the advantages you have.

If you’d like to discuss this or any other issues, please just book a slot with Nancy here: https://go.scheduleyou.in/GJwevE

Why you aren’t getting the right candidates for your job

Every now and then, we get a client who wants us to find someone for a role that is particularly hard to fill. 

In the current climate – a candidate’s market – there are more of these. As employers, we’ve been used to filling most jobs and getting plenty of applicants. I think we’ve gotten a bit complacent. Sometimes we are just expecting too much of people. 

Since the lockdowns, many potential candidates have re-assessed their lives and aren’t prepared to work the kinds of hours they used to.

It’s not unreasonable for candidates to have a personal life and see their friends and family sometimes. There was a time when lots of people worked very long hours. I know; I was one of them. 

I used to work shifts and had several teams working different shifts. Interestingly, I discovered that those working the “evening shift” (half the hours the full-time people worked) actually produced two-thirds of what the full-time people produced. In other words, they were much more productive. So we would have been much more productive as a company if we’d had all part-time people. 

This finding is completely aligned with the research on working hours that shows most people’s productivity tails off after three hours or so. 

So why are we so keen to hire one person for 40 hours a week instead of two people for 20 hours a week? It’s probably just because that’s what you’ve always done, and the extra administrative work involved for every additional person on your team can feel daunting. Or it might be the “Elon Musk” approach where you think everyone should work extremely long hours. 

If you are struggling to fill a full-time position, it might be an option worth considering, and you would probably get better value for your money.

I think many employers will have to learn to be much more flexible and start thinking differently to get the people they need. We need to be prepared to tailor jobs more to suit candidates with the right skills rather than expect them to modify their lives to suit us. 

Often when you do, you’ll be surprised and how well it works.

If you’d like to discuss this or any other issues, please just book a slot with Nancy here: https://go.scheduleyou.in/GJwevE.

Should you hire people you don’t like?

Right at the end of last year, I was called by a client from over 20 years ago. By coincidence, he was also married to one of the best people I have ever worked with, Ros. He reminded me that it had been ten years since she had passed away.

Ros was our bookkeeper for over 15 years and would still be with us now if she had survived. But when I interviewed her, I didn’t really like her. She was interviewed in the early days of Vinehouse, and though our process wasn’t what it is now, there was still quite a lot to it.

I found Ros to be a bit annoying; she was a nitpicker. But, if you know much about bookkeeping, you’ll know that this is a key attribute of a good bookkeeper. Ros was able to spot a typo at 100 paces. She would let me know whenever I had made a mistake, which I admit I didn’t really enjoy. But over the years, I grew to value this great skill. 

Ros was reliable and thorough, always spotting issues and coming up with suggestions for improvement. It wasn’t always pleasant learning that you’d made a stupid mistake or being reminded of things you had promised to deliver but hadn’t. But by taking on these tasks, she was responsible for many improvements in the company. We got used to it and realised how valuable this skill was.

Ros did far more for us than just being our bookkeeper – this was part of her love of solving problems. She just loved to help and did it in a very organised way.

Ros was also tenacious and saw things through till the end, which is why she was still working for us from her hospital bed a month before we lost her.

Looking back now, I understand that the reason I didn’t like Ros when I first interviewed her was because of my failings, not hers, and I’m really glad I took the risk of working with someone I thought I might not get on with. I benefitted a great deal from working with her, and so did the company. We still remember her and are still benefitting from the work she did. 

So next time you find you don’t like a candidate, ask yourself what you don’t like before dismissing them; it could be a great opportunity.

To discuss your hiring needs or any issues you have, just use this link to book a meeting with me: https://go.appointmentcore.com/book/GJwevE

In Memory of Ros Munton, dear friend and valued colleague.