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5 Signs You’re Hiring Wrong (and How To Fix Them)

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As entrepreneurs, we hate seeing lost opportunities, especially when they are pitfalls we could have avoided. Hiring pitfalls are some of the most common mistakes we make.

As an entrepreneur for 15+ years, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in the hiring process and lived through those pitfalls just as much as the next. I have seen businesses clean up those common mistakes and radically transform their business by having more and better-qualified candidates.

There is a common trend to identify you have hiring problems. Chances are some or all of these signs resonate with you:

  1. Not getting qualified candidates
  2. Lack of response from candidates
  3. Taking way too much time to hire
  4. New hires leaving faster than coming in
  5. Compensation feels more like a guessing game

Related: 3 Difficult Workplace Personalities That Are Great Hires

Hiring the right people is one of the most important things a small business can do to succeed. But with so many great job opportunities out there, it can be tough to stand out from the competition and retain the best. That’s why optimizing your hiring process is important to attract and retain the best possible candidates.

Here are five ways to do just that:

Are you getting enough qualified candidates?

The most common red flag that your hiring process needs a makeover is little to no qualified candidates. To fix this:

1. Make your job postings stand out.

Your job postings are the first thing potential candidates will see, so it’s important to make them count.

Write clear and concise descriptions highlighting your company’s unique aspects and the role you’re hiring for. Use relevant keywords to the position, and make sure your posting is easy to read and navigate.

To make an impact, focus on telling the story of your company as much as what you want the candidate to do for the role. One-sided job postings tend to underperform compared to postings with a blended balance of what we will do for you and what you’ll do for us.

Job titles can be your biggest difference maker. Posting a job with fictional titles or heavy promotional text can limit your visibility score on job boards. Use titles in your job posting that candidates would be searching for

Related: The 3 Most Common — and Costly — Hiring Mistakes

2. Be proactive in your recruiting.

Don’t just wait for candidates to come to you. Get out there and find them! Attend industry events, network with other businesses and use social media to promote your open positions.

The more proactive you are, the more likely you are to find the perfect candidates for your team. Having hiring cards to share with individuals you are impressed by can be a great way to find A-players and invite them to join your team.

Consider encouraging teammates to share their experiences with your company culture on social media platforms, and team events can create a healthy referral pipeline.

Related: ‘Quiet Hiring’ Is on the Horizon – Here’s What Employers and Employees Need to Know

How would you know if you had the perfect candidate apply for your job?

Celebrate the screening process to keep those candidates in your pipeline.

3. Screen candidates carefully.

Once you’ve started receiving applications, it’s important to screen them carefully to ensure they’re a good fit for your company.

To properly review resumes and cover letters, having a documented scorecard will help keep your analysis of the job requirements in mind, keep your bias in check and conduct phone interviews to get a sense of each candidate’s skills and experience.

4. Make the interview process enjoyable.

First impressions are important, so make sure your interview process is positive and enjoyable for candidates. This means being on time, being prepared, and being professional. It also means treating candidates with respect and allowing them to ask questions.

Ways to be extra prepared for your interview process is to build your interview kit with a mix of ‘getting to know you’ and job-specific questions.

Are you paying enough?

Let’s avoid the awkwardness of compensation alignment.

5. Offer competitive salaries and benefits.

In today’s competitive job market, offering competitive salaries and benefits is important to attract the best possible candidates. Be sure to research the going rate for the position you’re hiring for and offer a salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Having confidence in your compensation offering will allow you to have peace of mind when negotiations begin. You’ll have your high and low-end options available.

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