The stakes are high when it comes to the type of people you hire to work with your business. Making the wrong choice not only can impact your business productivity, but also represents an enormous loss of time and money that it takes to onboard a potential employee, only to have them not work out. At the same time, if your hiring process weeds out too many qualified professionals, you may not have anyone able to fill essential jobs in your organization.
In some cases, these issues are the fault of no one. Maybe a good hire you bring on has to leave for reasons out of their control, or the market is highly competitive for qualified professionals in your niche. In other cases, there are inherent flaws in your hiring process. With these fundamental mistakes, even the most effective PERM advertising may not be enough to get you the best hires. Here’s what you need to know about common myths and mistakes that may be hurting your company without you even knowing it.
One thing that you need to understand, as a start, is that overreliance on any one method of recruiting, even one with a good track record for you, is a bad idea. The main reason for this is that is the fact that it is extremely limiting in terms of exactly what type of applicant pool you are working with. If there doesn’t happen to be a qualified and diverse applicant pool with the methods you use, you may find yourself waiting a while to fill certain open roles. A mixed approach is best. For example, if you’re reliant heavily on job boards, you may want to start using more immigration ads to get a wider reach of potential candidates. If the roles are more specific, you want to make sure that you are using industry organizations or outside recruiting firms to help.
Another thing that’s important when it comes to your hiring process is making sure that you take the time to follow all applicable laws and regulations. Thinking you can slide certain questions by, even if the applicant is pleasant about it, may still be a legal breach that can harm your business. For example, some areas, like New York City and Massachusetts, have put laws into place banning employers from asking about employee salary history. The reason for this is that it may lead to lower wages from the new job due to discriminatory hiring practices from a past employer. Make sure that you take the time to look at the books and see if any of these newer changes or restrictions apply to your company. If so, make sure that you not only remove it from any official application forms, but also coach your managers not to ask questions like these during the hiring process. The last thing you want is for your hiring methods to expose you to legal action.
In some cases, especially for companies with small HR departments, it can be tempting just to treat a resume as an application and end up hiring based off of that. However, this is a mistake because it keeps you from getting a full picture of an employee’s history. For example, a resume may not mention why an employee left a past job, which may be important. In addition, each resume may have a different format or style. Applications allow you to collect information in a more standardized way. The same mindset applies with interviews. It can be a time drain to schedule these, but it’s worth it to make sure you are bringing the best cultural fits on as well as the most qualified.
There are a variety of different troublesome practices and mindsets that can end up negatively impacting the hiring process. On the mindset end, many companies fall into the mindset that they can’t compete for a certain tier of potential employee because they aren’t able to match what other employers pay. There’s more that goes into this when it comes to an employee’s final decision. Perks and benefits can be added to your permanent labor certification ads to try and appeal to these other candidates. For example, if your direct compensation is lower, you may be able to offer more indirect compensation like a retirement plan or paid time off to compensate. Placing emphasis on telecommuting, flexible work, or other benefits may put you ahead of some companies with larger payrolls.
By the same token, you also want to be careful with the mindset of taking too long to find that “perfect” applicant. In an ideal world, you’ll have several candidates with the knowledge and skills that you need, but this isn’t always a guarantee. In these situations, your top concern is making sure that you are able to find the best fit for the current position. If you’re having consistent problems finding someone to do this, you may need to either reevaluate what your criteria is or see if your potential candidates can fill in skill gaps with some on-the-job training.
Etiquette also counts for a lot when it comes to the job market. For example, a rejection letter may sound like a time sink, especially if you’re going through a lot of applicants. However, it’s important that you take the time to still send letters to each applicant. After all, in some cases, your original hire may not work out, and you may want to look into former applicants for job openings. In addition, people can give impressions of the hiring experience at your company to other applicants, and you don’t want those to be negative. By the same token, when you do extend an offer, make sure it is written and verbal, and states potential contingencies that may require you to withdraw it, like references or an inability to demonstrate work eligibility.