Often companies don’t even realize where they went wrong. They just assume it’s the nature of the hiring process, without understanding that they may have made a misstep. Here are a few ways that companies miss out on great applicants.
1. They Forget That They Are Being Interviewed Too
While the burden of making a good impression is generally put on the candidate and not the company, in truth, both parties should be working towards a mutually beneficial arrangement.
That’s why it’s important for companies to develop a strong relationship with good candidates. When you identify a candidate with potential, act quickly. We’re not talking about schmoozing or wining and dining per se, but companies should get to know the candidate and their needs. Actively look for ways that you can meet their career goals and support their personal life through soft benefits.
We also suggest that companies brag about what they have to offer. In fact, you should be your biggest cheerleader. You should share your strengths as a company, discussing the strength of your product offering, growth potential, flexibility, and other benefits that may be of interest to a candidate.
Both parties must feel that the other can help serve their needs now and into the future.
2. They Have a Less than Perfect Process
Is your goal to find the best candidate, or to weed out the bad ones?
Are you focusing on the number of applications you receive, or the quality of the applicants? Instead of casting a wide net by accepting applications from a wide number of sources, you should take a more methodical approach and go for quality sources first, such as niche job boards like MedReps, or LinkedIn. You will spend more time on finding what you’re looking for instead of sifting through unqualified or underqualified candidates.
In addition to the process of finding quality candidates, it’s also important to rethink your interview process. While there are benefits to a slow selection process, taking too much time can be more of a hindrance than a benefit. Candidates can move on to other employers, become disinterested, or view your company as disorganized. Respect a candidate’s time and their interest. Try to have as few interviews as possible and ensure that when the interviewee/candidate is there, that the decision makers are in place, as well.
3. They Don’t Network
Remember the parable of the ant and the grasshopper? The ant works all summer to save food for the winter, while the grasshopper foolishly plays. We don’t have to tell you who is left out in the cold. You should adopt the same philosophy as the ant for your hiring process.
While maintaining a career website and taking applications on an ongoing basis is good, this is the bare minimum. It is important to network with industry colleagues of various levels of talent at industry events and conferences. You have to plant seeds to help you reap benefits in the future.
To follow the cliché, you should always be selling. Every interaction you have with someone should be about selling your product or selling your company. As we suggested before about bragging, you should make sure that all of your company’s accomplishments are front and center, along with all the benefits you offer your employees. This should be seen on your company website, blog, job descriptions as well as out in the community.
That means also having a strong social media presence. Social media, particularly LinkedIn, has become a powerful recruiting tool for companies. Last year, more than 14 million people used social media to find a job. In addition, it is also a way to introduce prospective candidates to your product, your culture and many other facets of your company.
In a recent MedReps survey, 35% of salespeople said they were casually looking for their next opportunity. The sales industry can be volatile, and most professionals are keeping an eye out even if they don’t actually plan on leaving their current position. Networking ensures that when they are ready to move on to their next position, your firm is top of mind.
4. They Have Unrealistic Expectations
Most people would describe the perfect sales candidate as someone who has years of experience, a number of contacts within the industry, a tireless drive for success and who is willing to work for next to nothing. While this description is presumptuous and vague, it isn’t that far off from what some employers are asking from candidates.
This is a problem for two reasons. For one, you may have unrealistic expectations about what the industry norm is versus what you’re looking for. Second, you may be passing up a great candidate because they don’t fit your exact definition of perfect.
Before you make a wish list of what your perfect candidate should be, take some time to research what other people in the industry are asking for and what they are offering. You also need to keep in mind that you are competing with these companies, so you may need to offer a higher salary, better bonuses or soft benefits to make sure your job is as attractive, if not more so, than that of your competition.
Waiting on the person who fits your job description perfectly, however, can be less than advantageous. This can cause you to miss out on good people. Any applicant can take your job description and rewrite their resume to reflect exactly what you are looking for from a candidate. Great candidates not only fit the basic requirements, but can also bring a new point of view or unique experience.
A Refined Focus on Finding the Right People
As the saying goes, good people are hard to find, while great people seem to only come around once every few years. However, an organization can increase its chances of spotting this rare breed by refining its efforts.
By rethinking your approach to finding candidates, by adopting the mantra of always being in recruitment mode, being your own biggest supporter, taking a look at your own expectations versus reality, and creating a smoother process, you can not only find the right people, but be surprised by just how great the people walking through your doors are.