Three Common Mistakes Hiring Managers Make

Three Common Mistakes Hiring Managers Make

by Angie Rupp

Hiring managers carry a heavy load. Not only are hiring managers responsible for getting quality employees into seats, but they’re usually required to do this under strict deadlines and are at the mercy of the hiring market. Most hiring managers are also tied to tight budgets. All these factors combined can make for some high-octane employment situations for hiring managers, but successful recruiting isn’t impossible. Hiring managers simply need to understand the pulse of their business and their target market, and then build a hiring campaign around that. Hiring managers who make that mentality their focus and eliminate the following employment mistakes can drastically transform the way they hire – and it can be done without adding more money needs to an already stretched budget. Here’s a list of three processes to skip if hiring managers want to attract the largest number of qualified applicants:

Hiring managers should ditch the degree requirements.

One of the biggest mistakes hiring managers make is a simple statement like “Master’s degree preferred” or “degree preferred” in a job ad and then in the same sentence suggest that a set number of years of experience “may” be considered as well. One of the primary reasons this is such a hiring faux paus is that unless you’ve done the research to substantiate the fact that degreed employees are more productive than employees without a degree, it doesn’t make sense to list it as a requirement (even if you label it “preferred”).

Hiring managers simply need to understand the pulse of their business.

Most applicants will immediately write themselves out of the opportunity (especially if they’re women), if you list demands or suggestions that are beyond their credentials. Not only is this approach potentially hurting your diversity efforts, but it also whittles your applicant pool down unnecessarily which means more stress for hiring managers. Instead of insisting job candidates possess a degree, use targeted screening questions designed to rank the quality of applicant fit.

Hiring managers need to let go of unreasonable experience demands.

Experience is great. It provides a buffer and has the potential to ease some of the pain hiring managers face after hiring a new employee to fill a vacant spot at the company, but experience isn’t everything. In fact, if you are one of those hiring managers who places unrealistic expectations onto your applicants in search of the “purple squirrel,” chances are, you’re hurting your chances of finding quality employees. The cold, hard truth is that individuals with a lot of experience require higher salaries and unless your company is on board for high wages, hiring managers will sabotage their efforts by bringing over-qualified individuals into an interview who expect to be compensated accordingly.

Asking hiring managers this question is perhaps the most important approach to attacking employment issues from the lens of business strategy.

Do hiring managers and the C-suite agree on what constitutes a quality employee?

Asking hiring managers this question is perhaps the most important approach to attacking employment issues from the lens of business strategy. Chances are, most hiring managers don’t consider what it means to be a quality applicant from the perspective of the business and this simple misunderstanding could be costing the companies millions. Most hiring managers opt for what has been revered as the “safe” style of hiring – bringing on employees that have a degree, have a lot experience, and appear to be “low risk.” The problem with this attitude is that these perceptions about what constitutes top talent are simply biases which don’t hold any weight in the business world. Businesses rely on something a little more concrete to measure success: money. Thus, if hiring managers assume that they are hiring their definition of the perfect employee (the safe pick), but that person doesn’t “produce” then that perceived safety is irrelevant. Instead, hiring managers should opt for a more cooperative approach by incorporating the business’s bottom line into their decisions for who to hire. Finding out what’s important to the company as a whole will help you hire the right individual to fulfill that vision.

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