It doesn’t matter what kind of pickle we work ourselves into, our minds are entirely focused on the development of a solution. But, during our single-minded search for an answer, we tend to forget or underestimate the power of diagnosing the problem properly.
In the long-run, a poor diagnosis puts us right back at square one.
Let us examine this tendency through a hypothetical situation where you are troubled by indigestion. Upon a visit to the hospital, a doctor might advise you to take digestion tablets and requests you to watch what you eat. Or, maybe they dig a little deeper into your condition and ask more pointed questions, ultimately making you undergo a thorough scan for identifying any intestinal problems.
If you think about it, a moderate amount of indigestion is just as treatable as an intestinal issue, but if you were to treat the latter like you would the former, things could get really bad.
The same principle applies to talent acquisition.
While trying to show to their bosses that they are on top of matters, recruiters focus on dealing with immediate issues and forget to examine their root causes. In other words, they work so hard to plug minor leaks that they fail to notice the sinking ship.
It might seem like a talent problem on the surface, but, upon closer examination, it could end up being something bigger — and things will only get worse by treating the wrong condition.
So here are three of the most common misdiagnoses made in the world of talent acquisition — as well as the treatment for their correct diagnoses:
1. Shortage in Talent Sourcing
Today’s job seekers are picky about the roles they apply for, which is largely because of the healthy state of the economy and improved workplace transparency.
They’re putting a lot of effort into identifying the pros and cons of joining a particular company, checking if an organization’s moral values align with their own, and exploring its work culture before getting anywhere close to clicking on ‘APPLY’.
As a consequence, recruiters get fewer applications for any open job — which is not an issue in itself. For any open position a hiring manager only requires a hard choice to make, rather being forced to pick the lone available candidate. In other words, two solid candidates per opening is all a recruiter needs to conjure up.
If you can’t get them then the natural conclusion to reach is that you have a sourcing problem, when in fact the issue is not about the number of candidates, but the quality of the candidates to choose from. You simply need to source better ones.
Such a situation arises because you’ve failed to articulate, clearly and compellingly, why job seekers should consider a job at your organization. What makes your work culture a perfect fit for them? How would joining you enhance their careers? Getting the answers across to them is where your real challenge might lie.
2. Inefficient Tools
Today’s recruiters have it tough. They are drowning while trying to keep up with ever-changing professional networks, optimizing listings on different job portals, dealing with complicated sourcing pipelines, etc. It is not as if all these tools are available at steep discounts, so organizations try to identify those which provide the best bang for their buck.
Once recruiters enter that particular rabbit hole, they are simply flooded with numbers: 5% email opening rates; 75% bounce rates, and so on. The objective here is to publicize an open position in their company to as many job seekers as possible.
However, what is the point of reaching out to so many candidates if you don’t know how to convince them? Why keep track of candidates if you can’t convey why this is the best job in the world for them right now?
The problem doesn’t lie with your recruitment tools; it’s with how you’re utilizing them. An attractive sales pitch or a tempting vision of their career pathway in the future is necessary to grab the interest of any job seeker.
3. Closing Rate? Not Good Enough
Job seekers and companies always worry about their “close rate” — the percentage of shortlisted candidates who accept out of all the job offers made by an organization — since a low rate would mean a prolonged job search and wastage of resources, respectively.
One might think that the obvious answer for such a situation would be teaching recruiters and hiring managers how to close more effectively, just like the door-to-door salesman who desperately tries to sell us something we don’t need.
However, the real reason for a low closing rate could be something else entirely: Maybe you forgot to explain why the job offer is worth accepting. When candidates have a clear idea of why an open position will fulfil their personal and professional ambitions, then you don’t have to do anything — rather than you closing them, they’ll be eager to land the job.
Correcting a Company’s Perception
If your organization is experiencing any one of the issues explained above, then what you’re actually suffering from is a perception imbalance. Fortunately, it can be corrected.
By giving purpose to a job and its future evolution, by creating a pathway for how this job contributes to the success of the company, by sizing up the impact of what holding such a job can have on a promising career, and — most importantly — by conveying all of them clearly to candidates, you’ll be able to recruit employees who are more dedicated, passionate and loyal.