2015-12-01_01-38-45According to a recently released report conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), the UK’s professional body for HR and talent development and global recruitment process outsourcing firm Hays PLC, a staggering 78% of all employers surveyed reported recruiting related problems as one of the most pervasive organizational challenges (and growth impediments) for their business and bottom line growth.
The biggest talent challenge reported by survey respondents was that fully 8 out of 10 were unable to find the professionals they need in order to fill the open positions and mission critical roles their organizations need to survive today – and thrive tomorrow.
The most obvious culprit for this and the manifold surveys and studies showing similar results seems pretty obvious. But if you think that the “talent shortage” is to blame, think again.

Sure. the lack of supply and cutthroat competition for in-demand skills may be partly to blame for your hiring woes, it’s too often used as a convenient scapegoat for the much more significant problems with recruiting processes and policies that are largely to blame for most employers’ hiring challenges and “talent detraction” woes.

Before blaming the bigger economic picture, throwing a ton of money at talent technology, recruiting systems or the next shiny sourcing or SaaS solution to come along or simply resigning yourself to the B Team instead of continuing to find, attract and hire truly top talent, there are some pretty obvious things every employer should look at fixing, first.

5 Reasons You’re Not Finding the Best Candidates.

If you’re looking for the best talent, there are some fundamental best practices that no recruiting or talent professional should ever overlook. If you suck at recruiting, then here are 5 things you’re probably doing wrong (and how to fix them).
5. You Don’t Have An Employer Brand.
I know, you’re probably as sick of hearing about the importance of building and maintaining a strong employer brand as I am talking about it, but let’s face the facts.
Today’s job seeker doesn’t just apply for any job they find online, but are increasingly selective with their submissions (no matter what recruiters may think).
More than ever, candidates are digging for dirt on prospective employers, including what working in that job or for your company is really like, before even applying for a job.
Despite the proliferation of employment related information, from company career sites to Glassdoor to social networks and search, however, many of those job seekers reported to having difficulty when it comes to doing their due diligence on employers prior to deciding whether or not to apply for a job or even accept an extended offer.
A recent LinkedIn poll of professionals who had transitioned between jobs in 2015 underscored the fact that there seems to be a growing divide between increased candidate expectations for transparent, authentic company career information and a dearth of companies providing them with the information they need to know what working at an organization is really like. 49% of “active candidates” surveyed reported that their biggest obstacle in their most recent job search was the sense that they didn’t feel as if they had enough insight into company culture to make an informed career decision.
In other words, no matter how sophisticated we get with recruitment marketing or employer branding, fully half of all successful candidates still make a leap of faith every time they leap into a new role. And it’s not for lack of effort that so many job seekers feel so many employers still remain so opaque; another study from the Talent Board found that in 2014, half of all candidates surveyed reported to attempting to research an organization even before the point of application; 68% spent at least two hours doing so.
Here’s a pretty obvious idea: help these job seekers help themselves by actually creating a strong employer brand and recruiting related buzz instead of just talking about it or rolling out some generic social media presence or cookie cutter career site.
Share stuff like videos, employee photos, company events and personal testimonials featuring real talk from real employees if you really want them to want to apply for a job. Providing a job seeker FAQ, any insight into your hiring process or what to expect as a candidate will get you bonus points – and likely, win over top talent, too.
Fit happens. All you have to do is give job seekers enough insights and information to make an informed decision. Because no career move should ever be a leap of faith.

4. You Don’t Care What Your Candidates Have To Say.

why they leaveRecruiters often prefer to screen candidates on the basis of how they look on paper (or how their professional profile looks online).

The problem with these traditional screening methods, however, is that they often don’t tell the whole story about what a person is really like, or what they’re capable of in the future.

Fact is, most recruiting related documentation focuses squarely on what a candidate has already done. This means we’re hiring people based on the past instead of their potential, which is a potentially fatal flaw in many recruiting processes.

To really get a true sense of any candidate’s skills and personality, you’ve got to go past their profiles, resumes, cover letters or that staid, static, traditional stuff recruiters have relied on for far too long.

If you’re not hearing their voices, shut up and listen. Because candidates have a ton to tell you, if you’re willing to actually hear what it is they have to say (and how they say it, too).

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago found that when recruiters listened to job candidates’ qualifications, they rated them as more competent than those whose qualifications they read — even when the words were the same. The results showed recruiters liked these candidates more and were more likely to hire them.

Make your screening process more personal with phone or video screening interviews. And most important of all: let them tell you their own story, in their own voice. That way, you can figure out if it’s worth working together on that next chapter or not. Forget resumes. This is what real recruiting is really all about.

3. You’re Making It Harder Than It Has To Be.

recruit speedWe talk a lot about candidate experience, but the fact of the matter is that many employers have to strike a balance between making the application, screening, interviewing and selection processes as painless as possible with getting to know enough about a candidate’s experience and aspirations to make the right choice when extending an offer.

Screening tools, behavioral or group interviews, assessment technologies or other solutions might be great ways to get to know more about candidates, but using too many can kill your chances at scoring top talent.

Requiring candidates to jump through hoops before hiring them makes the process long and difficult, and they’re likely to accept another offer before they reach your final interview stage.

In fact, the LinkedIn survey found that 44 percent of respondents took less than a month to search for and accept a new job. If your hiring process is too long, you could lose the best candidates to your competition.

What’s more, a survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that 58 percent of employers surveyed said they don’t communicate with applicants about how long the interview or application process will take. If your multi-stage interview process drags on without an end in sight, candidates are bound to get frustrated and look for another opportunity.

Let candidates know what to expect from your hiring process, and don’t make it any longer and more complicated than it needs to be.

2. You Can’t Make Up Your Damned Mind.

You’ve made it through the hiring process and you’ve decided on the candidate you want to hire. But before you make an offer, you need to iron out the details, get the offer approved, and get feedback on your choice to make sure you’ve selected the best candidate for the job.

In fact, the CareerBuilder survey found that 38 percent of employers wait more than three days after the interview to extend a job offer to a candidate. In that time, your perfect candidate is losing interest and searching for other opportunities.

If you find the right candidate, send them an offer as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is they’ve moved on. Because sometimes, getting recruiting right means getting it “right now.”

1. Your Offers Are A Joke.

2015-12-01_01-25-09When you do make an offer, make it worth the candidate’s while.

According to the CareerBuilder survey, 18 percent of candidates surveyed rejected the initial job offer extended to them by their current employers, successfully holding out to negotiate for a more lucrative package, higher salary, better bonuses or benefits or some combination thereof.

Here’s the thing: if we all agree that our people are our greatest assets, you need to be willing to pay the premium top talent commands and put your money where your mouth is.

Candidates know how much the market is paying; if you’re low balling them or offering a lateral move, you’re probably wasting your time.
The LinkedIn survey found that 74 percent of respondents ultimately expect to make more money when switching jobs – and if you can’t pay, they stay. Want to win top talent? Paying more than the other guys isn’t a silver bullet, but it’s one hell of a good start. Because talent is scarce, and the risks – and rewards – of recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest have never been higher.
Which is why, when it comes to fixing the real reasons why you suck at recruiting, sweating this small stuff can make such a big difference.

tolanAbout the Author:
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe.
Follow Josh on Twitter @AllThingsBiz or connect with him on LinkedIn.

By Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 4,000 companies across the globe.