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5 ways to lose candidates when hiring

In a candidate driven market, it can be difficult to identify and attract the best talent to your organization. You need to have a good hiring strategy in place before you schedule your first interview.

Here are 5 mistakes that are sure to turn away great candidates for your open position.

1. Unrealistic skill set

Unless the candidate happened to work at a lean startup, finding someone who can handle multiple roles is extremely difficult. You are also going to stretch that person thin and not allow them to focus on their expertise.

In the tech space, you probably don’t want to have just one person handling software development, network support, business analysis and project management.

On top of that, most candidates that have come from mid-large sized organizations have probably specialized in one area. Adjusting to constantly switching between several different roles would require a steep learning curve.

Before clicking the “post” button on your ATS, make sure the skill sets for the position are realistic and positioned to attract top talent for your organization.

2. Salary doesn’t match

Although cost savings are great, you will never be able to add great candidates to your your team if you aren’t competitive with your compensation.

If it’s been a long time since you’ve hired for a particular role, do some quick research on, or to get a sense of what that pay rates are in your area. What you offered someone 5-6 years ago may not be competitive in today’s market anymore.

If you’ve done some research, but the market rates are just too much for your budget, consider some alternative ways to attract candidates to your organization. These could be things like work from home options, flexible office hours, better visibility to leadership, upgrading the job title, travel reimbursement and even stock options (if applicable).

These things could also be tailored for an individual’s needs if you’ve identified that “must have” candidate.

Another way to align the position to market rates would be to adjust the level of experience needed or remove a few responsibilities or skill sets from the position.

3. No selling points

This is probably discussed more in the interview than within a job description, but think about what makes working for your company great. If nothing comes to mind, you may have bigger problems on your hands.

Simply offering employment may not be enough of a reason for someone to sign your offer letter if they are entertaining multiple offers. Remember, interviews are two way streets - you need to sell the candidate on the role just as much as they are selling themselves.

Consider mentioning any awards the company has received such as Best Places to Work, or key indicators like low turnover rate or dramatic growth in a new area. These are all important points to make when convincing candidates to join your team.

Having great selling points may also help you when it comes time to negotiate salary.

4. Too many hiring managers

Although it’s great to get buy in from several managers, having too many decision makers involved in your hiring process will make it difficult for everyone to come to a consensus on which candidate to hire.

Often times, different managers will have different expectations. Part of your hiring strategy will need to include how you will conduct interviews, who will be involved and at what stage will they meet candidates.

The last thing you want is to spend time talking to several seemingly qualified candidates, only to have a certain VP or Director reject them at the end of the interview process for an unknown reason.

Whoever is going to be involved in your interview process will need to be on the same page with what you are looking for in a candidate. Try to limit the number of people involved in the process to just your key personnel.

5. Time

There is a saying in the recruiting industry - Time kills all deals! And it is absolutely true. Here are a few reasons why.

Your candidate now has time to explore other opportunities. Some of these opportunities may be better that yours. You’ve now dropped from their first choice down to their second or third.

The candidate’s excitement for you has waned. If things were moving along at a good clip during the interview process and then a month or two goes by before they come back for a final round, that is sure to put some doubt in candidate’s mind and have them wonder why things have slowed down. Their enthusiasm drops and now you’ve given them some pause to rethink their level of interest.

Your ideal candidate may no longer be on the market. If they are good, they are likely to have other companies interested in them as well and they may be quicker to pull the trigger on making an offer. If a great candidate is suddenly on the market, you can bet that they won’t last long. If you want to compete for them, you will have to move quickly.

If you are re-evaluating your hiring process or preparing for company growth, keep these things in mind when considering your hiring and interview strategy.

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