How many times have you interviewed a candidate you were extremely interested in bringing onto your team only to find out they had accepted another offer or were no longer interested in the opportunity? This situation seems to be more and more frequent, but companies are not quite sure how to react or what to do. One of the main factors is that nationwide, unemployment numbers are the lowest they have been in the last 10 years. In January of 2016, the unemployment rate dropped under 5% which it had not done since February of 2008 and has now reached 4.1% as of October of 2017 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this is great news for employees and employers alike, it may be time to take a closer look at your hiring strategies. Here a few of the most common reasons you may be missing out on top talent.

Everyone is not on the same page

Very often, more than one person is involved in hiring decisions which is very helpful in determining if someone will be the right fit for the company. However, if, for example, the Regional Manager is looking for someone who is outgoing, driven and wants to come up with new ideas but that person’s direct supervisor prefers someone a little quieter who follows the group, there will always be something that causes them not to hire any potential candidates they meet. Making sure you are all on the same page about the direction in which you are going is one of the most important steps in successful hiring and allows the potential employee to feel secure in the direction they are taking when they join the team.

Your hiring process is too long

We are in a sellers’ market for candidates and they know it! Most people who are searching for a new opportunity (actively or passively) have numerous irons in the fire; so if your hiring process consists of numerous interviews with week-long intervals between them, you may miss out on great employees because they will not feel like you are invested or quite simply they will receive an offer from someone else in the meantime. Being thorough in hiring is extremely important but with an established plan, a sense of urgency and good communication on both sides, there are ways to gain a great employee before your competition does.

Forgetting you are being interviewed too

For many years, the need to make a good impression fell only the interviewee and not the interviewer. Today, job seekers have options; and in an age where benefits, perks and work life balance are just as, if not more important than salary, we often forget we are being interviewed too. Candidates are doing their homework and will tend to ask more questions to determine if they are interested in joining the team. You are your company’s biggest advocate; find out what is important to the person you are interviewing and how your organization can meet those needs. Whether it be company culture, growth potential, flexibility in schedule or something as simple as casual Friday, be ready to talk about what you have to offer in order to be an appealing long-term opportunity.   

Unrealistic expectations  

It seems that while talking to candidates, hiring managers tend to “screen them out” versus “screening them in”; simply put, looking at the negatives may cause you to pass on someone with incredible potential or experience due to something that could be easily managed, taught or worked around. Very rarely will you come across someone who checks all the boxes of what you are ideally looking for and that’s okay because the right person will have qualities that outshine what they are lacking on the checklist.

Not using third-party recruiting firms

Despite the common perception that using a recruiting firm to find your candidates is expensive, there are many positives to the experience. Not only will most firms have interviewed the candidates they send your way, they will also make sure to only send you people who are interested in the opportunity and match the criteria you have discussed with them. On top of having in house recruiters or an HR department, third-party recruiters may present you with candidates who would not apply directly to you or may not be on the traditional job boards. Partnering with a third-party recruiter offers you the chance to cast a wider net, therefore attracting a greater variety of job seekers. They can also save you a few steps in the process allowing you to fill your open positions faster.

Social media is your friend and your foe

According to a survey by SHRM, 55% of people use the internet to search for a new job versus answering ads in the paper or being referred by someone in their network. Candidates prefer to be hired by prestigious companies and since they are most likely already online, they will research not only your company website but social media pages, Glassdoor, Yelp, and any other accessible information. Having a positive online presence is extremely important in this day and age. A quick search of your own to see what they may come across can be helpful when trying to attract top tier candidates.