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The screening process is essential to any

successful recruitment campaign, yet many

businesses fail to get it right.

We all know that failing to employ the right candidate can be both costly and damaging to business.

The recruitment process is fundamental in helping you to source, negotiate with, and eventually recruit that exceptional employee you’re looking for – yet it’s not always as straightforward as it sounds.

In fact, there are several mistakes easily made by businesses when recruiting for new staff. The good news? As long as you’ve taken the time to do your research beforehand, these common mistakes can be just as easy to avoid:

1) The candidates you’ve found are skilled, experienced…and identical

Having an open mind and a diverse range of candidates is so valuable when looking for an employee. If you’ve narrowed down your search to a few strong but very similar, indistinct candidates, you’ve ultimately reduced your options for hiring.

2) Being vague about the role

Of course, you’ll want to find out as much relevant and honest information from each candidate as you can, and the same goes for them finding out about you. Be clear and honest about what the job entails, what your company policies are, and what they can expect from working with you. Misleading information will nearly always result in the wrong people applying for the job.

3) Using the same old job descriptions

Active candidates looking for new jobs might be savvier than you think! They’ll be checking jobs boards regularly and they’ll know if your job descriptions and specifications are simply re-hashed from previous adverts – it can be enough to put candidates off applying for the job.

4) Relying on the interview alone

In some cases, one interview is all you need, but in so many others you’ll want to see more from your candidates before deciding on who’s best to do the job. Think of the role you are advertising for, what skills are needed for it, and how best to assess these qualities in your candidates – it’s likely you’ll find new things out at every stage.

5) Dismissing overqualified candidates

Sometimes dismissing overqualified candidates is necessary, but if you like what you see on paper, why not invite those candidates to talk to you about it? They’ll either clarify your initial feeling, or they’ll give a very good reason why they’ve applied for your vacancy and what they can bring to the table that others can’t.

6) Failing to ask the right interview questions

Even the most experienced interviewers can get it wrong which is why it’s so important to plan and discuss your interviews before conducting them (allowing some flexibility for going off-script, of course). The interview process is timely and costly to businesses, so make sure every one counts.

7) Not having time to check references

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 25% of businesses never check references. It’s sometimes viewed as a rather archaic, unnecessary stage of the process, but references can be so valuable when it comes to verifying your candidates, and assessing their ability to do the job.

8) Dragging out the process

If your application process is too long, your candidates will lose interest and move on. When your vacancy requires more application stages than most, consider how you communicate with your applicants – if they’ve not been kept informed at every stage of the process, they’re more likely to opt for a company that has.

9) Underestimating rejected candidates

Just because an impressive candidate doesn’t fit the bill for this vacancy, they might be the perfect match for another. Consider how you handle your rejections and where possible keep hold of contact details of those that really impress – they could well still be your employees of the future.

10) Waiting for the perfect candidate

Your ideal candidate isn’t going to suddenly appear at your doorstep at exactly the time when you’ve got a vacancy to fill – at least not 99.9% of the time. Candidate searches take time, manpower and a whole lot of energy and enthusiasm, not to mention experience in the process and industry contacts.

If you’re looking for help and advice to fill a vacancy within your business, we’d be more than happy to talk through your requirements – just get in touch with us at Stuart Maxwell Recruitment for a friendly, informal chat.

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