According to a Harvard Business Review (HBR) report, “Businesses have never done as much hiring as they do today. They’ve never spent as much money doing it. And they’ve never done a worse job of it.”

Come again? The goal of any company’s recruiting process is to find the best talent available. But could your recruiting process be keeping your company away from top talent? Especially when the true cost of hiring can cost upwards of $4,129 per person?

Some will argue hiring from within an organization can save companies money as it reduces turnover. But in project-based industries such as energy and utilities, oil and gas, manufacturing, process services, and energy services,  one must take a different approach as keeping an employee on the payroll when they aren’t on a project can also be costly.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a bad hire can cost as much as 30 percent of an employee’s annual earnings.

Unfortunately, mistakes like poorly written job descriptions, sub-par communication, and extended hiring processes can result in top talent dropping out before an offer is made – or worse, some candidates may choose not to apply at all. Alternatively, too short of a hiring process can also be detrimental as doing so can mean mistakes in vetting candidates.

Here are some problems that can repel top candidates and how to fix them:

The timing isn’t right.

As often happens, staffing needs emerge with little notice and, despite the inconvenience, must be filled ASAP.   Getting to top-tier talent fast while maintaining employee quality and positioning your company as the ideal place to work is not easy.  Contrarily, working with a recruitment firm to portray your strengths can be critical to shortening the time to hire.

Candidates who must wait too long on a company’s hiring process may disappear when a job offer from a competitor appears first. Losing good candidates then extends the hiring process further, exacerbating the problem.

The Solution:

If you’re looking to tighten the hiring process, evaluate what tasks need improvements. For instance, are administrative and poor communication holding your organization back? If so, commit to a prompt hiring process. Consider consolidating interviews into a single “panel” interview or replacing one interview with a job-shadowing opportunity. When delays are unavoidable, remember to let candidates know what’s going on and that they are still “in the running.” If you work with a recruiter, they can also help you shorten the hiring process by prescreening and recommending qualified candidates.

The job description doesn’t accurately describe the work required.

A job description should not only sell the position and the company but be on point. Unfortunately, candidates may drop out of the hiring process if they learn that the job they applied for isn’t what they thought. Job descriptions that are poorly written or outdated can quickly fail to reflect the position’s actual day-to-day demands. If a job description is too “out of sync” with the actual position, candidates who are genuinely qualified for the work may not even apply – while candidates who can’t do the job appear in droves.

The Solution:

Talk to employees in critical positions and their supervisors to get an accurate, up-to-date picture of the job’s demands. Then use this information to revise job descriptions. What’s more, separate needs from wants.

The hiring team fails to keep candidates informed.

Clear communication equals lean recruiting. It’s why candidates who aren’t clear on the timeline or the next step in the process may become discouraged. They may read radio silence as a lack of interest. In a competitive job market, they may find their chances are better elsewhere – and drop out of the hiring process, even if the company still considers them one of the “top” candidates.

The Solution:

Regular communication is essential to keeping candidates “in the loop” and demonstrating that the company values their input. Even a brief email to let them know they’re still in the running, or a comment at the end of the interview mentioning when the company will follow up, can help keep candidates focused.

If your company is getting bogged down with hiring practices, especially when it comes to contract workers, a staffing firm could be the solution. At FootBridge, our experienced recruiters specialize in helping our clients streamline the hiring process to attract and hire top talent. Contact us today to learn more.