It has been exactly one year since I decided to stop recruiting so that I could give all my time and attention to coaching, writing, and speaking engagements. However, I still work indirectly with many recruiters and actively coach job seekers throughout the entire recruiting and hiring life cycle.
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In my experience, it is without exception that all companies utilize several recruiting strategies that result in very low success rates, low quality of hire, and longer than average time to hire. Why do organizations keep using these strategies over and over again?
The strategies in question include:
Spending countless hours reviewing hundreds of resumes just to make one decent hire, even though you have 4-5 candidates referred by existing employees who would make great hires.
Hiring people based on their past experience instead of testing their ability to perform the job.
Wanting more diversity while expecting new hires to have the same skills as everyone else already on the team.
I have a few suggestions to fix these problems:
Solution No. 1: Motivate Employees to Actively Make Referrals
Meaningful incentives will be important here. How about a monthly contest? A well-designed employee referral contest can produce amazing results. It can also create wonderful experiences for existing employees – experiences they can't wait to share with their contacts, who may be great additions to the team.
Don't rely purely on cash rewards. Instead, create positive experiences for employees who make referrals. Get them involved in the hiring process in the early stages. Make sure they feel important, noticed, and appreciated. The tangible rewards themselves will almost always be forgotten, but no one will forget how they felt.
Solution No. 2: Hire by Audition, Not Resume
After the initial screening process, take the candidates through trial periods. Consider paying them as contractors to perform tasks similar to ones they'd be performing if they were to get the job. Prospects can do the work on the job site or could take the assignment home, depending on what works for your company.
This arrangement isn't for everyone, but companies that have tested this method often make higher-quality hires in less time. From a cost point of view, you can figure out a standard pay rate for short assignments you give to candidates during the hiring process and adjust your hiring budget accordingly.
Solution No. 3: Use Innovation to Promote Diversity
Diversity results in innovation and market growth; lack thereof results in the opposite. Corporate leaders must embrace the power of difference in order to create more diverse workplaces.
In addition to innovation, diverse teams also drive better hiring practices. In my experience, diverse recruiting teams are more effective in making the right hires in less time. When multiple people from varying backgrounds are weighing in on the recruiting process, the team will be less likely to pass on great candidates as a result of unconscious bias.
Nader Mowlaee is an engineering career coach and recruiter who is inspired by motivating confidence in engineers.