Due to the talent shortages in today’s labour market, employers are more and more aware of the value of applicants. However, faults in selection and hiring processes often result in a misfit between the company and the new employee, which can lead to a decrease in suitable applicants. The five most common mistakes in hiring processes:
Looking for unicorns
A lot of companies are trying to hire ’’unicorns’’; employees who can do everything. Today, due to rapidly changing environments, organisations are looking for multi-skilled talents to ensure all the work gets done, even when a co-worker is absent or leaving the organisation.
However, unicorns do not exist, nor do employees who are able to perform any task. Take a football team for example, no player has the talent to play the defence, score goals ánd be the goal keeper. The risks of not wanting to hire employees with varied specific skills sets, and therefore not defining explicit hiring requirements, are low application rates or low quality of applicants.
Selection based on ’’hard requirements’’
Many organisations only have eyes for hard requirements, such as educational background and work experience, when selecting employees. This is peculiar, particularly when realising that generally speaking people are hired based on their background and CV but fired following their behaviour in the organisation. More focus on personality and competencies is therefore a necessity in improving the selection process.
The fit between the culture in and organisation and an individual’s personality and values determines whether a new employee feels at home in the organisation. Culture is often overlooked in the selection process. Of course, it is good to hire a diverse workforce, but if an employee’s personality and values are contrary to the norms and values in the organisation, the likelihood of the employee being successful in the organisation is extremely low.
Focus on short-term solutions
Today, organisations pride themselves on being lean. The problem with a lean organisation is that, once an employee leaves the organisation, this creates a challenge for management in relation to capacity. Rather than taking time to consider what would benefit the organisation, hiring managers tent to focus on achieving the short term goals. Longer term thinking is often forgotten, resulting in suboptimal solutions. Managers should make succession planning part of their long term plans, anticipating employees leaving the organisation.
Misrepresentation of the organisation
Of course, employer branding and marketing are part of the attraction and selection process. But too often the picture a company paints during the selection process and the day-to-day reality are too different, resulting in disappointed new employees who will leave the organisation as quickly as they can. Furthermore, this approach will impact the employer brand or an organisation because of platforms like Glassdoor where ex-employees won’t shy away from sharing their experiences with others.
Ingredients of an effective selection process
An effective hiring process is based on the (long term) needs of the organisation. For example base job descriptions on successful employees’ profiles. In many situations this will result in the realisation that success of these employees is due to their soft skills and behaviours. The importance of cultural fit is known to every person in HR; unfortunately the pressure from the line often outweighs this knowledge. So, HR should put its foot down in these situations, and of course it would help when they would be supported by the senior management.