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The top 5 myths about recruiting

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

Most Employers understand the need for a reliable recruitment strategy that sees a steady stream of high-calibre Candidates flowing in to the business. Yet, all too often, the same businesses are quick to cling to the recruitment myths they’ve long believed to be true -despite having never seen evidence to support these claims.

Unfortunately, these myths tend to stem from outdated opinions or assumed behaviours that have just become routine regardless of the lack of results generated. If companies are to succeed in sourcing and securing the right people into the right roles, these recruitment myths must be debunked in favour of smarter methods:

Myth 1: Post it and they will come

Looking to attract top tier talent to your organisation? There’s more to it than posting a job ad. Yes, this may catch the keen Candidates seeking employment fast – but you should aim to extend your reach beyond the low hanging fruit, to the hidden talent in the market.

According to research from LinkedIn, 60% of workers would consider leaving their Employer for the right role but wouldn’t spent time scrolling on job boards to find it. This isn’t an excuse for you to stick to job boards and hope for the best. On the contrary, it’s a challenge to draw the attention of highly-skilled individuals; one that will require a multi-faceted approach.

First stop: social media. Here lies a pool of passive Candidates: your mission is to build a profile with your audience and start to garner a positive reputation through engaging content and insightful input. Networking may not be the be all and end all, but nurturing a selection of talented Candidates and connecting with graduates is a much more effective approach than simply posting an ad.

Myth 2: Job description? There’s a template for that

When a company has a vacancy to fill, finding a suitable Candidate who meets the requirements of the job description in a heartbeat can pose a challenge. What’s even harder, however, is sourcing a Candidate who ticks the boxes of a list made by someone else for a similar vacancy in a very different company but still fulfilling your requirements. Why? Because no matter how good they look on paper, you’re still measuring them against someone else’s expectations.

Templates allow us to cut corners – we can all agree, but if you’re too short of time to pen a job specification that aligns with the unique requirements and objectives of your business, have a colleague or external Recruiter do it for you instead of copying and pasting from elsewhere. Yes, the job descriptions of a finance executive for a legal firm and an accounting business may share similarities in core responsibilities, but the devil is in the detail.

The job description you create should be the roadmap that guides you towards the most suitable Candidates; you should know exactly what you need before searching by identifying skills gaps within the department and determining what kind of Candidate would be capable of mastering them.

Myth 3: Technology is the best Recruiter

If technology didn’t have a key role to play in the hiring process today, Employers would have missed a trick to say the least. Today, digital tools can be a hiring manager’s best friend: thanks to social media, for example, they have access to a vast network of talent to tap into. Thanks to tech start-ups capitalising on the Recruitment industry, they may also have applicant tracking software designed to make the process quick and easy.

And most do. However, relying too heavily on technology can be to the detriment of your success in sourcing Candidates, for the simple reason that your software is neither magic nor infallible. It may speed up the process, but at the end of the day, your ATS is just a computing program that relies on your input to be effective; it can glitch, it can make mistakes and it certainly doesn’t replace the need for more traditional methods.

Myth 4: You must find the perfect Candidate

Managers can lengthen the Recruitment process considerably by “holding out for a hero”, turning away perfectly suitable Candidates with relevant experience in search for something they can’t quite put their finger on; that X-Factor that puts “the perfect Candidate” a country mile ahead of the competition.

That isn’t to say the perfect Candidate doesn’t exist –perhaps there really is a Marketing Hotshot who oozes talent from their 18 years’ experience; a well-renowned expert who boasts multiple success stories with global brands; someone who completely clicks with the culture, likes the same music, supports the same teams and spends every spare minute on self-improvement. It’s just that the chances of that individual seeking new employment at the exact same time that your business seeks a new Employee are slim.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to secure the best possible Candidate on the market: they may not look or sound like the person you had in mind, but it’s time to stop clinging to this myth and start taking advantage of the talent on offer.

Myth 5: Recruitment agencies aren’t cost-effective

Many Employers are hesitant to engage an external Recruitment specialist to assist with placing a Candidate due to concerns over costs.

Of course, it’s true that a helping hand from an expert Recruiter won’t come for free, but it’s recruiting for yourself is rarely a zero cost option.  It’s easy to overlook the price-tag associated with an empty chair in a business-critical role. Leaving a position unfilled will only slow productivity and cause disruption to operations and other staff: if you’ve already interviewed a number of Candidates but feel like you’re getting nowhere, it might be time to call in the experts, lest the costs start racking up.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.    

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