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5 recruitment mistakes you need to avoid to attract talents

Being able to attract top talents for your open roles is essential for any company. Especially in today’s competitive and fast-changing business environment.

There are many tips on how to write a strong job advertisement or how to utilize digital platforms like LinkedIn to find more talents. And you might already be implementing many of these tips. However, it is important to also critically assess your current recruitment process and make sure you are avoiding some common mistakes. 

Based on our experience consulting and recruiting for top global companies Nintendo, Roche, or Hyundai, here are the top mistakes to avoid when trying to attract better fit candidates to your job.

The 5 recruitment mistakes you need to avoid

1. Focusing too much on job experience and formal qualifications

2. Not collecting market intelligence 

3. Intransparent communication with your candidates

4. Long recruitment processes and slow decision-making

5. Thinking you need to do everything yourself

Let’s discuss each in more detail.


1. Focusing too much on job experience and formal qualifications

First up: Of course job experience and formal qualifications are important when evaluating candidates. But many companies make the mistake on focusing too much on them. Why is that problematic?

If you look at scientific studies which candidate characteristics actually predict job performance, job experience and formal qualifications only play a limited role. More important are personality traits like fast information processing, adaptability, and good communication skills.

However, these characteristics are difficult to judge just by a resume. That’s why many managers report looking for previous job experience in a similar role. Or a formal degree from a good university.

The problem with that approach: You miss out on a lot of good candidates that maybe don’t have the experience, but are still good candidates and very suitable for the job. In previous times that might have worked. But especially in todays talent market, where there are more open roles than candidates actually looking for a job, it leaves you frustrated because you can’t seem to find candidates.

So what can you do? Adopt a Hire-for-Potential mindset when hiring. Look beyond the CV and consider a candidate’s ability to quickly learn new information. Review their successes in other domains and think about transferable skills to your role.

And consider this: Hiring someone with less work experience can instead bring a fresh perspective leading to innovation – while also allowing them to grow in the role and stay with you for a long time.


2. Not collecting market intelligence 

In todays market, you might need the talent more than the talent needs you. So offering a too low salary or inflexible work conditions can be a major turnoff for top talent.

It can give the impression that your company does not value their skills and experience and they will rather wait for another company.

So before posting your open role, do your research to determine the average salary range for the role in your industry and location. With higher inflation and high costs of living, many workers are very salary-sensitive.

Also check out what benefits can make sense for a position in this role. Nowadays, most talents want at least some flexibility to also work from home.

Never forget that offering a competitive salary and benefits package can help you attract and retain top talent. And if you don’t know the market rates, you risk loosing out on great candidates.


3. Intransparent communication with your candidates

The way you talk to a top talent during the recruitment process makes or breaks their interest in working for you.

Candidates want to work for a company that aligns with their values and beliefs and is open and transparent along the process.

So make sure to have honest communication lines with the candidate, keep them informed and even if in the end you decide to not hire the talent, provide valuable feedback. So the talent leaves with a good impression and considers the company in the future.

As an extra tip: when you work with an external recruitment agency ensure that they have a strong brand towards talents and have great communication processes with their candidates. Keep in mind that they become the extension of your employer brand towards candidates. 


4. Long recruitment processes and slow decision-making

In the current market situation, candidates are often deciding amongst multiple job offers. That is why they may lose interest if the recruitment process is too long and complicated. So challenge your current process and make sure you are not extending it unnecessarily.

Many times you might feel unsure about a candidate and want to add more interview steps to ensure you are taking the right decision. The problem is that your favorite candidate might lose interest on the way and gets a job offer from a different company.

Instead, have a short but structured interview process with only 2-3 interview rounds and with predefined questions that get rated along the interview process. This structure will allow you to decide more objectively for the right candidate. And give you confidence in your decision.

This way, you can have a simple and fast recruitment process that will set your company apart and make you win those talents for your team.


5. Thinking you need to do everything yourself

As a manager, hiring for your open roles can often feel overwhelming. It costs a lot of time and there are many things to consider.

It’s important to keep in mind that you are not alone in this process. There are many service providers that can help you with hiring. 

And because hiring is one of the most important parts of growing a business, an investment in better hiring can easily pay for itself and increase your organizations performance.

If you’re currently hiring in Germany, check out this comparison of Recruitment Service Providers in Germany.


Summary: The top recruitment mistakes to avoid

Attracting top talent is not an easy task. And you need to have a very strategic approach where you put the talents first.

It is important to not only add modern tools to the process, but to also critically analyse your current recruiting practices and to improve them first. Make sure to avoid common mistakes we see many companies doing.

Instead, focus on a candidate’s potential, offer competitive benefits, have transparent communication lines, create an efficient recruitment process, and consider working with external service providers. All this will help you create a strong recruitment culture that will help you find talents for your open position and position yourself in a good light for future talents as well.

If you feel a bit overwhelmed with all these steps and see yourself not being able to attract the right talents, we are happy to talk to you. With our expertise as recruiters for top companies, we’ll help you by analyzing your current situation and share some game-changing recruitment tips with you.

Picture of Laura Villafuerte

Laura Villafuerte

HR expert & Career Coach

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