As I have been sharing since the first of the year, your firm WILL hire this year.  It is slow now and that makes it the best time for you to get your hiring process tuned up. Today I am sharing the three most comment mistakes I have seen firms commit in their hiring for talent, and how to fix them.

Your Process is Too Slow

Most successful firms have one thing in common: they have an efficient hiring system in place to attract and land great talent. Part of that plan may be working with an industry-specific recruiter (of course). But regardless of the way you recruit, you need an expedient process. Although pre-employment tests and keyword algorithms help to mitigate the risk of bad hires, you also have to consider the unintended consequences. Some of these extra, time-consuming processes are driving talented candidates away from competitors that still rely on using human judgment during the hiring process. Here are some solutions to speed it up.

  • Plan. Don’t wait until you’re desperate for talent to start thinking about hiring someone. Stop hiring on an as-needed basis and focus on building a talent pipeline.
  • Always be networking. Keep people connected to your company through social media updates, newsletters, sharing knowledge and opportunities on LinkedIn, etc.
  • Follow up quickly. Focus on creating a positive candidate experience by making it personal and keeping them in the loop.
  • Simplify screening. Pre-screening is often unnecessary to weed out unqualified candidates.

You’re Not Selling Your Opportunity or Your Firm

It’s time to start treating talent acquisition like customer acquisition. If you educate candidates about the role and the benefits that you offer, they will be able to make an informed decision. Here are some considerations that can help.

  • How is this going to improve the career of the potential candidate? Be ready to present a value proposition to them that has both tangible and intangible benefits.
  • What is your culture like? It’s important to understand what the employee experience is like at your firm by soliciting feedback from your team members.
  • What makes your firm special? Highlight the positive aspects of working for you versus another firm.

You’re Indecisive

Indecision can stall a hiring process to the point where you have to start over again from the beginning. Slow responses will frustrate your candidates and lead them to consider other opportunities. Here are some tips to be more decisive.

  • Know what you want and make sure everyone on the interview team is on the same page. Communicate your vision clearly so that everyone has the same end goal.
  • Know what to ask. Learn what you are looking for in a candidate so you can craft thoughtful questions and elicit responses that give insight into their skills and experience.
  • Listen. Once you ask the question, be sure to listen. Give candidates your undivided attention.

You don’t need a perfect hiring process to find great talent but fixing some of these things can help your talent acquisition efforts in the long run.