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  • The Seven Deadly Sins of Talent Acquisition

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    Here are my thoughts on why most companies are terrible at recruiting:
    They don’t treat recruiting as a business investment

    Recruiting is an investment in both time and money, and like all investments, needs to achieve a reasonable return.   When a company performs recruiting as an afterthought, and spends little money, they get predictably lousy results.  The impact and ROI on a Million GP-producing salesperson or Rock Star Engineer can be in the millions.  In fact, no other business investment can return higher dividends.

    They don’t source enough candidates

    “My waiting room looks like ‘last call’ at the corner bar”.   When you only get a few lousy candidates, it’s easy to settle for the “Cream of the Crap”.  It’s human nature to pick the best of a bad lot.   How can you put the rubber to the road, when all you see are retreads?  You are better off investing time and effort into attracting a wide range of qualified candidates.  Then, you can pick and choose with much more confidence.

    They don’t have a compelling Attraction Story

    Great candidates need to be courted and seduced, because they have so many great career alternatives.  Many companies have a junky office and a yawner for their company story.  What’s the “So what?”  Focus on the candidate and why your company is a great place to build a career.   Don’t prattle on about how many vendor awards your company has won, talk about all the training and mentoring and career growth options your candidate will get.

    They don’t know How To Screen

    Don’t ask the same questions everyone else does.   All you’ll get are canned, polished answers that tell you nothing.   Forget these losers:  “what is your greatest strength?”, “where do you see yourself in five years?”, and “why do you want to work here?”.   Get rid of the “what do you think?” questions and replace them with Behavioral Questions:  “what do you do?”, “tell me how you handle this situation…” etc.

    They Never Get Alignment on Expectations

    Many candidates are unclear about what the job is, what the company expectations are, and how they are going to succeed.   Of course, in most cases “they don’t know what they don’t know”.   When that happens, it’s the company’s fault.   Every candidate needs to understand the job, the environment, and the expectations BEFORE they start work. 
    The Job Offer is Not Presented in a Compelling Way

    Many employment offers are mailed or e-mailed, which is a poor way to do business.  Many offers are presented in a confusing way, which virtually guarantees something gets misunderstood.   Present the compensation with an Illustration or Pro Forma showing what could happen under normal circumstances.   Focus on the total package, including On-Target Earnings, benefits, rewards, growth, personal development, etc.   Do it in-person, so you can get commitment and clarify misunderstandings.

    The On-Boarding Program Virtually Guarantees Failure

    On-Boarding generally takes one of two bad forms:   no structure or plan at all, just a vague statement of support and “let me know if you have any questions”.  The other extreme, and  more common mistake is to dump every file and piece of paper on their desk, and ask them to “do this”.   Doing so would take 100 years, and there’s no priority or timetable.  The best approach sets clear expectations, timelines, and priorities.   You meet with the new hire regularly to keep them on track and guide them through the most difficult months.

    This post was contributed by Mike Schmidtmann, Owner of Trans4mers and session speaker at the 2018 Micro Enterprise Symposium. 
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