Five Ways Employers Drive Talented Job Candidates Away

We got a call from  Frannie, an HR Director who was beside herself with frustration.

“I’m the HR Director in our company,” she said, “and I have to fight stupid battles with my CEO and CFO all the time. This time, they’ve decided that we need a bunch of pointless and bureaucratic pre-employment tests before we can extend a job offer to a new hire. This is after the hiring manager and I have already signed off on the offer details.

“Our CFO went to some CFO conference and heard that pre-employment tests are a great idea, and he got the CEO on the bandwagon. Now it’s me and the hiring managers against our two top leaders. What should I do?”

“Look, Frannie,” we said, “this conflict is a symptom of a larger problem. For some reason your CFO and CEO are scared that they’re not hiring good people now. Why is that? Why don’t  they trust you and the rest of the managers in your company?”

 “It’s because they’re afraid of the Board of Directors,” said Frannie. “We hire great people. We hit all our goals last year and every quarter this year and we’re on track to surpass our 2015 goals. It’s just that CEO is afraid of his own shadow and the CFO plays off that fear.”

“Is this place an organization where you can grow your flame?” we asked. “Maybe these people don’t deserve you.”

“This issue will answer that question,” said Frannie. “I’m going to talk with our CEO calmly. I’m going to let him know that he has a choice. He either has to let me do my job or get rid of me. I’m sick and tired of being second-guessed at every turn. If I went to an HR conference and heard about some idiotic new Finance procedure — not that pre-employment testing is new! — I can only imagine how my CFO would react to my suggestions.”

“And there you have it,” we said. Frannie made her stand. Her CEO saw the light and got over the idea of installing pre-employment tests to slow down and de-humanize his company’s recruiting process. Frannie kept her job. The CFO went on with his life, too.

It is tempting for a lot of organizations apart from Frannie’s company to add unnecessary and unhelpful steps to their recruiting systems. They don’t realize that every extra step and every delay in the process drives excellent people away, and sends them straight into the arms of their competitors.

The more marketable a candidate is, the less nonsense he or she will tolerate in your recruiting process! Here are five ways well-meaning but clueless organizations drive talent away with a stick when they should be working hard to get talented people onto their teams.

Say-Nothing Job Ads

Most job ads are written in the same depressing, opaque and robotic way. They tell a job-seeker absolutely nothing useful about the role, including these five essential elements that most job ads neglect to mention:

  • Why the job is open to begin with
  • What would be fun or exciting about the role
  • How the new hire will contribute to an important organizational goal
  • What a typical day, week or month on the job would look like, and
  • What the job pays

Read more here.

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