3 Things Job Candidates Wish They Could Tell HR
April 28, 2015

3 Things Job Candidates Wish They Could Tell HR

by Brian de Haaff

Does your job ad look like this?

For Immediate Hire: Entry-level project manager for a growing company. MBA and PhD required. Pay negotiable. Send CV and 5,000-word essay explaining why we should hire you. No phone calls.

Some companies are looking for the impossible, and make the hiring process an unpleasant experience from the very beginning. HR is trying to do what’s right, but it’s all wrong.

An HR study concluded that bad hires cost companies anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000 in lost productivity, hiring expenses, and training costs. In an effort to weed out the bad from the good, some employers go too far, turning off the very candidates they are hoping to attract.

The way you vet potential candidates speaks volumes about your company. After all, the interview process is a candidate’s first glimpse inside your organization, and may foreshadow a nightmare work environment.

You may be unknowingly giving great candidates a reason to run away — quickly.

Here are three clues your HR group and hiring process are broken and how to fix it. Inaccurate job descriptions Are your job descriptions loaded with so much corporate jargon that a candidate cannot decipher what your company does, let alone whether the job might be a good fit for them? Unrealistic job descriptions make you look silly. Stop throwing in every positive attribute imaginable. Great candidates are confident in who they are. You should focus on the few key attributes that you really need,

Poor communication In an effort to be thorough, some companies take too long to reach a decision. A slow hiring process makes your company look disorganized. Before you advertise the position, determine your steps so you do not waste time deciding what comes next. Act deliberately but quickly during each stage. Touch base with candidates regularly, and notify those who are out of the running. Once you reach a decision, make your offer right away so you do not lose a great candidate to someone else.

Too many hoops Terrific candidates are not desperate, so stop treating them like they are. Employers now have an arsenal of testing tools available to them, such as psychological tests, personality tests, and aptitude tests, plus background checks and credit checks. Be transparent with what is expected and use only what is necessary to find the perfect fit. Otherwise your candidates may feel violated by the end, if they make it that far.

Hiring great people is serious business, and it requires careful deliberation. It also requires trust, because there are no guarantees that the person you just hired will in fact be a good hire.

Once you make your decision, you have to trust that you found the best candidate, and that they will rise to the challenge of the job.

Remember that job candidates are also evaluating you. They want to know if they can place their trust in you and your company, or whether they might be getting a raw deal.

How has a company’s recruiting process made you run the other way?

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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