Why Is My Job Req Still Open?

Two expressions often come to mind in my day as a creative recruiter: “Time kills all deals,” and “Numbers don’t lie.”

Right now, with a strong economy, unemployment around 5% and great candidates getting snapped up faster than you can say “You’re hired,” some organizations find their job reqs languishing, unfilled for months.

In this candidate’s market, employers need to move quickly. And process can get in the way. Here are the top four hiring mistakes I’ve seen, and a few suggestions to rectify them.

Mistake #1: The overwhelming, unrealistic job description. Of course hiring managers should be thorough when identifying job requirements. However, the answer should not be a job description that reads like an engine spec sheet. Instead, consider what a day in the life of this person will look like and:

- Prioritize “must haves” and include them as the first three to five bullets of the description

- Identify where your ideal candidate will come from

- Include salary range

- Finish with “nice to haves” 

The clearer and more honest you are in the description, the more likely you will attract the right candidate for your needs.

Mistake #2: The salary is not competitive. Numbers don’t lie. Determine what the market will bear for your role and make a fair, competitive offer. And remember, you get what you pay for. Lowballing salary may attract talent, but it’s unlikely to attract the talent you need. Consider the level of seniority and productivity your position requires, and know that bringing in a person without the right experience will have a long-term impact on your team’s results and morale. If you’re looking to attract external agency folks to your in-house team, money matters.

Mistake #3: The never-ending interview process. It shouldn’t take a village when it comes to the interview process. Limit interviewing to two to four key people. A candidate’s time is just as valuable as the the employer's. It doesn’t matter if you are hiring a 60K copywriter or a 200K VP--your hiring process can affect your brand and street cred. 

Mistake #4: Never making the offer. Time has killed many a hiring deal. When a client waits too long to pull the trigger or move the candidate along, the candidate might advance with another firm—one that is clear on what they want and makes an offer in short order. Some companies blame the “shortage of good talent” or the “poor candidate pool” for their inability to fill an open req. Some would rather overtax existing staff than hire someone who is 90% qualified. Employers must move beyond a recession mentality. Keeping staff flat and refraining from new hires might sustain the business, but it certainly won’t help it grow.

My best advice to employers ready to hire is to adopt realistic expectations and a streamlined process. A longer description won’t produce a miracle and a six-month interview cycle won’t uncover a superhero. Clear, concise job descriptions, an efficient interview process, and realistic expectations of the job market will put you in the best position to make the right hire.

Thoughts? Questions? I’d love to hear them.

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

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