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Building Gurus: 7 Clues Your Recruitment Process Isn’t Working

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I am fond of saying “in a perfect world”, but let’s get real. Perfect worlds don’t exist and if they do, we haven’t found the wormhole to get us there.

So, yes it would be awesome if you needed to find a great candidate and could just put up a Help Wanted sign in your window and you’d easily fill the opening in a day.

Let’s keep the fantasy going – you would only get the perfect amount of applicants. Not so many you are stressed out but enough to let you know you saw the best in the market and aren’t settling for “good enough.”

Your interviews would be a breath of fresh air; you’d enjoy everyone. The review and vetting processes would be a breeze. It would take a handful of hours and you would hire the PERFECT person.

They would start, fit in with your team like they had always been there and they would know exactly what to do right off the bat. Your business would grow, your employees would flourish and you would sit back and smile fondly at all you had been able to do with one little cardboard sign.

In a perfect world, every time you had a job opening, filling it would be as simple as placing a hand-lettered ‘Help wanted’ sign in the window.


So, life isn’t always sunshine and puppies, and neither is finding, attracting and hiring the top employees. But, it is far from dark clouds and hailstorms. Hiring doesn’t need to be horrible and it can actually be pretty simple once you get everything to align.

You might be saying “But I am not a recruiter, so how am I supposed to know how this all works?”

Well, lucky for you, I have been a headhunter in the residential building products industry for 14+ years, so I can give you insight.

7 Clues Your Process Needs Revamping

1 – Too Few Applicants

You put a lot of effort into your job ads and think you put everything in all the right places and 2 people apply. 2 people is not enough under any circumstances. Ideally, I like around 50 people to start with so I can compare and contrast and narrow down to the 5-10 I want to actually connect with. Your numbers may be different, but if you have under 10 applications, something isn’t right.

Is your job ad not attractive enough? Have your requirements knocked too many people out of the park? Maybe you aren’t looking in the right places – try other job boards and expand your search.

2 – Too Many Applicants

When 300 people apply, it is just as hard as when 2 do. You can’t find the great candidates in an overwhelming amount of resumes. You probably will miss out on great candidates and it is going to take entirely too long to just even read them all. Too many applicants also mean you likely have a lot of resumes for people who are not even close to the right fit.

You probably need to refine your job ad to let unqualified candidates opt-out of applying. You also may need to add in more specific keywords and re-think where you have posted.

3 – This Is All There Is?

Being underwhelmed by the quality of candidates is another sign your process isn’t cutting the mustard. If the backgrounds, experience, and education are just not hitting the mark, you have an issue. If everyone is far too junior, you need to refine.

Look at your job ad again. Are you aiming too high or too low in what you want for experience and job history? Did you mention salary? Should you mention salary?

4 – You Don’t Know Where To Spend Your Dollars

Where is going to net you the best results? Don’t know? Should you look at Craigslist or Is Facebook or Twitter the better resource? Should you pay to post or look for only free opportunities?

Make sure you know exactly who and what you are looking for. Being crystal clear should tell you where to start looking. If you are looking for a needle in the haystack, you might end up having to pay more for it. But, start with clarity and then move forward from there.

5 – You Aren’t Making Progress

HR and Hiring Managers have a lot of plates to keep spinning and it is easy to keep pushing hiring to the backburner. If your inbox has 25 resumes from great residential building products candidates and you aren’t doing anything with them for more than a day, this is a problem.

If you have loads of time but aren’t sure where to turn so you aren’t doing anything, this is another problem.

Make sure you automate what you can and that you don’t look to hire until you know you are going to focus and take action. Don’t let candidates sit for weeks without hearing anything. High potential people will move on and passive candidates won’t even bother responding if months go by.

Make sure you start with a realistic timeline and move quickly when you need to. Time kills deals.

6 – Where’s The ROI

You spent hundreds or possibly thousands on job ads and marketing and the whole hiring process. And you got to show for it . . . 3 under qualified candidates and 1 person who just wasn’t going to fit into your culture.

Or you hired the exactly right person and they didn’t stay more than 6 months. Or worse, you hired someone you thought would be great to find out they weren’t qualified. You don’t want to waste another penny on hiring.

Make sure you start with a super specific job description. Use it to build a stellar job ad that attracts the right kind of candidates. Focus on all of the important parts of the interview process and make sure you have ways of determining if someone can actually do the job vs. talk a good game.

7 – You Actually Don’t Know Who You Want Or Need

You think you need someone with a particular certification but you aren’t really sure. You aren’t positive if a degree matters or if they have to have specific residential building materials knowledge or not. You haven’t yet nailed down what type of person can work with your technical, Type A- CEO; the by-your-bootstraps, get-your-hands-dirty Founder and the quiet, introverted Department Manager.

Bluntly, you know you need someone but you haven’t figured out exactly who or what you should be looking for.

Stop and make sure you are crystal clear before you move on. Don’t start hiring until you have an idea hire in mind and you know all of the things they need to be and do. Make sure you think about personality, mindset and work ethic.

If this sounds like you, don’t think you are alone. Hiring isn’t easy for many people and often the process is started without being really set on what to do.

Thirty percent of small businesses are struggling to fill openings, which means current employees are overworked and companies aren’t making the profits they could with a fully staffed office. A bad hire costs a company 30% of the hire’s annual salary and 41% of companies lose at least $25,000 a year on bad hires!

If you struggle to hire well, look to your recruiting process. Use the information you have from the points above to revamp and redesign it so you can start hiring the top people in your field!

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Source: Building Gurus