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Tech HR Mistakes That Will Cost You Your Employees

Hiring is always a challenge, but tech hiring is at a different level. Demand for IT specialists outstrips supply and the recruitment market is going through hard times. Hiring the wrong person is not just frustrating and time-consuming but also very costly. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a wrong hire costs at least 30% of its initial annual salary, but that number is believed to be even higher for tech professionals. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that replacing tech talent can cost a company up to several hundred percent of that person’s annual salary. A wrong hire is an HR manager mistake itself that companies cannot simply afford to make in today’s competitive marketplace. To help you avoid the pitfalls of a wrong hire and hire the tech talent your company needs, we listed the biggest HR mistakes for you to consider. Avoid these frequent HR mistakes and seize the opportunity to build a strong team of professionals that would drive the growth of your company.

“Team is everything. If you don’t have the right team, then you’re limited by what you can accomplish. If you get the right people in place, you can leverage what you can do and take it to another level. Not having the right people around you in the professional environment is worse than trying to do it alone”.

Michael Hyatt, CEO and founder of Michael Hyatt & Company

Common HR Mistakes to Avoid

Taking too long to get in touch with candidates

One of the most common HR mistakes is not moving fast enough with the hiring process. Tech talents know their worth and are aware of the fierce competition for IT professionals. If it takes days or even weeks for you to reach out to a candidate, chances are they have already accepted an offer from another company. According to a study conducted by MNINetwork, “accepted another offer” is the number one reason for job offer rejections. Although hiring managers are usually overwhelmed with the amount of work, it is critical they show the candidate that they are the top priority and value their intent to work with the firm.

No follow-up for rejected candidates

Generally speaking, employers are not required to respond to the candidates they decided to reject. However, the absence of a follow-up can lead to candidates feeling unnoticed, which usually results in a poor candidate experience. Candidate experience has a direct impact on employer brand and the eagerness to recommend a company to peers - don’t underestimate the power of referrals. Research by Careerism shows that over 40% of candidates who got no follow-ups from a company will not apply again to work for it in the future. Simply acknowledging that you will not be proceeding with the candidate further and thanking him/her for applying provides candidates with a positive impression of your brand even if they are rejected.

“If an organization is together enough to proactively update you on your status and turn you down directly but kindly, keep them on your radar. This is a culture that’s probably pretty desirable.”

Alexandra Levit, a partner at PeopleResults

Poor job descriptions

Starting the recruitment process is reasonable if you have a clear understanding of the candidate you are looking for and can write it down in a simple but engaging form. Unclear and confusing job descriptions impede the process of finding the right candidate. Qualified candidates may be reluctant to apply for a job that is not fully explained. A survey by Monster revealed that 64% of job seekers will not respond to a job ad with confusing job titles. Moreover, 60% of respondents found jargon in job descriptions annoying.

Failure to test technical capabilities

Many hiring managers often overlook the importance of testing hard skills and capabilities simply because candidates’ resumes often showcase the skills and experience the company is looking for. The failure to test candidates at the early phases results in many problems, including wasting time and resources on candidates who are not capable of doing the work due to the lack of skills or experience. Therefore, it is crucial to test technical skills so that candidates don’t need to go through the first round or two without having the necessary expertise.

Interviewing Mistakes in HR

One of the major interview mistakes HR managers make is to keep asking candidates outdated, pointless questions that are not designed to bring out the best in a candidate. Questions like “why should we hire you?” do not give a recruiter any information about why a candidate would be a great hire. Moreover, questions like “where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?” force the candidate to be disingenuous. In asking this question, recruiters seem to suggest what the interviewee’s answer should be: with your company, of course. Modern interviews have become less about finding qualified candidates for the role and more about how they can perform a series of rehearsed answers to the standard interview questions. One way to improve your interview process is to use integrated skills and attitude testing to get a better idea about a candidate's knowledge.  Case studies, real world tasks, group interviews are some of the ways to make your interview process more efficient.

Another common interviewing mistake in HR is favoring one candidate over another based on qualities and traits that have nothing to do with how they will perform the tasks. Some interviewers consciously or unconsciously try to find a new hire with the same traits as their current employees, or even themselves. Moreover, candidates are often compared against each other rather than being evaluated based on the job requirements. Similarly, some inexperienced recruiters rely on their first impressions or on intuition when making a hiring decision. Reliance on your intuition can result in making false assumptions and reading too much into small observations such as the candidate's outfit or body language. The best way to overcome interviewer bias is to have several qualified people meet and interview each candidate for a job.

How to Fix HR Mistakes

The key to efficient recruiting is to make use of all the tools and technologies available to hire top talent. One way to do this is to use affordable technology to optimize your recruitment process and make hiring a lot easier. For instance, you can use AI and gamification in hiring, as Google and many other companies do. Google asks all candidates to play a game version of their job to check whether their expectations match the reality of the job. There are also lots of coding and aptitude tests available online. You can use them to test your candidates' tech skills and personality fit, although we recommend making your own tests as pre-made online tests may be too broad or unrelated to your position. Create a challenge and test candidates’ problem solving skills, commitment, quality of the work and speed. Below are some pre-employment assessment examples:

  • Code test: timed automated assessments used to test programming skills. The most widely used technical code tests are Codily and Hackerrank
  • Take home technical assessment: candidates are asked to build or extend applications with tools they will be using on the job in their own programming environments.
  • Live tech testing: technical problems and case studies that are relevant to the role and solved with guidance of an interviewer.

Be careful to use certain words and phrases in the job description. Make it clear and don’t assume that candidates know anything about your business. The job description is your chance to let the candidate know more about your company and why you are a great place to work at.

Make sure to involve more people in your interviewing process to eliminate bias. For remote hiring, you can turn your interview into a one-on-one meet for the first stage and a group zoom meet for the final. Finally, don’t wait too long to get in touch with the candidates. Regularly inform them about the status of the hiring process and notify them if you've decided to pass on to another candidate.

Let Employa Hire for You

AI-powered recruitment tools, like Employa can be very helpful in automating recruitment process and avoiding common HR mistakes. Employa can be used as an AI-driven extension for your existing ATS, which will promote your posts, engage candidates, drive interest with email nurturing, and present you with only the best candidates while avoiding hiring mistakes. Or you can engage us to work as a full-cycle recruitment agency on your behalf. In this case, our team of advanced AI tools and experienced human specialists will devote all their efforts to getting you the best talent on the market.

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