Recruitment is one of the most important responsibilities an HR professional may have. If you want your organization to succeed, you need to be certain you’re hiring people who possess the ideal set of skills, qualifications, and personality traits.
That’s why it’s important to read blogs such as this one, which offer tips for improving your approach to recruitment. Knowing what steps you can take to recruit stronger employees and executives is one of your duties as an HR professional.
That said, it’s also important to not overlook certain mistakes HR commonly makes during recruitment. Understanding what you might be doing wrong (and correcting your approach accordingly) is just as important as understanding what you’re doing right. Think about your current recruitment process and consider whether you’ve been making any of the following common errors.
Not Modifying Your Interview Questions
It goes without saying that you need at least a basic set of questions to ask candidates during interviews. You don’t want to waste time coming up with new questions every single time you interview an applicant. More importantly, it may be difficult to compare candidates for the same position if you use completely different questions to assess each person.
However, you also don’t want to make the mistake of relying on the exact same interview questions all the time. For each position, you need to consider a range of factors, such as the role the candidate will fill, their own past experiences, the degree to which they will make major decisions at the company, and much more, when deciding what to ask during an interview.
For example, perhaps you’re recruiting someone for a C-suite position at your company. Although they may have impressive professional experience, they spent much of their career in a different industry. The questions you ask this person will probably differ from those you ask someone with a long history in your field.
Maybe you’re the CHRO at a digital marketing firm, helping to recruit a new CEO who previously worked for an e-commerce brand. During interviews, you’d want to ask questions that help you understand how this candidate’s particular background, though not in digital marketing, may have nonetheless prepared them for this important role at your company. Again, in this case, the questions you would ask might not be the standard ones you’d pose to all candidates, but they would be appropriate in this situation. Remember that your goal in interviewing is to better understand the candidate’s experience, get a feel for their personality and interest in the position, and ultimately judge whether they would be a good fit at your company. You don’t always have to ask the exact same questions every single time to achieve these goals.
You want to do your job to the best of your ability. That’s understandable and admirable. As an HR professional, you know that an organization’s most important asset is its people, and you’re willing to take your time to find the right candidate for every role you must fill.
However, this doesn’t mean you should expect to find the “perfect” person for every job—because perfect candidates don’t exist. If you spend too much time seeking perfection, your recruitment costs start to multiply. In addition, you may overlook someone who would perform strongly in the role, even if they may lack certain qualifications.
For instance, let’s return to the example of recruiting a digital marketing CEO. Maybe you’ve narrowed your list down to two candidates: the one mentioned above, who previously worked at an ecommerce brand; and one who has more direct experience in digital marketing, but perhaps doesn’t seem ideal for your corporate culture.
You might consider eliminating both candidates from consideration and starting over again, hoping to find someone who combines the best of both worlds. However, it’s possible that such a candidate simply isn’t out there right now. It may be better to consider which of those two is strong enough to thrive at your company, even if neither meets all your expectations.
Not Understanding the Learning Process
The above point ties directly into this point. Quite simply, you need to remember that a candidate’s ability to learn is often far more important than their experience. True, you’re never going to fill an important role with someone who has no relevant experience whatsoever, but you also don’t want to fill a role with someone who is uninterested in learning.
Adjusting to work at a new company always takes time. No matter how qualified someone may be, every organization is unique, and new employees at all levels need to familiarize themselves with their new job before they can truly perform to the best of their abilities.
This may be the most important tip to remember from this blog. Your goal should be to recruit candidates who can demonstrate from past experience that they are willing and able to learn. Although this is by no means the sole quality worth prioritizing, when you seek it out, you’re far more likely to hire the right people.