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.
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.
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