Thursday, 26 April 2018

Not Attracting Quality Applicants - This May Be a Reason

One of the tasks of corporate leadership life I least enjoyed was recruitment.

I always felt a huge responsibility when seeking to attract someone to my organisation. I was always aware they were already in a role that they knew, were often comfortable with and were often paid as well as I might be able to offer.

Part of my process was to “over disclose” everything that may be unattractive about the role I was seeking to fill. I was being selfish, never wanting a new employee to feel deceived or misinformed about their new role.

The advertising of an available role is an obvious first step in the recruiting process. For 30 years I have been amused by job advertisement placed by major industry employers devoting 30% or more to talking about themselves. In my opinion, a suitable applicant would already know this information.

I regularly questioned “why we are doing our Corporate Brand Advertising in the positions vacant column” and inevitably the reason given was “corporate policy”.

What is outlined in an advertisement for a position is most important as I learned in Melbourne last week during a discussion with a “job seeker”.

The person in question is highly talented with a proven track record. They have one degree and 85% of a second, both in relevant disciplines. They have 7 years of practical experience in both back office and client facing roles.

While not unhappy with their current employer, both parties accept the next opportunity needs to come from another and a larger employer.

Moving interstate or even overseas is not a problem and money is not a motive.

We talked further about what they consider to be the right employer and an example of a recently advertised position was brought to my attention. On the surface, I felt it to be the perfect role and just what they were after. It was a surprise to hear they were not applying on the basis of what the advertisement said about the employer.

My conversation partner explained the wording of the advertisement indicated a lack of care, courtesy and consideration for people and supported this assumption by referencing wording in the add which said only applicants being interviewed will be responded too (or words to that effect)

I am aware that many roles receive hundreds of applicants and the process of advising those who are unsuccessful can be time consuming. I therefore understand where the employer is coming from.

I had never considered the impact such a statement may have on those who may be well qualified and suitable for a position.

However, I accept such a statement can imply an employer does not consider basic courtesy to be important.

In this case, I know the employer quite well and sort to convince the potential candidate to apply. I assured them of the employer’s credibility, care for staff and reputation.

They were unmoved by my assurances and an employer missed out of an application from an exceptionally well credentialed person.

All too often, the relentless strive for efficiency is a high cost strategy when effectiveness is sacrificed.

It occurred to me that making the statement that unsuccessful applicants will not be advised may well be another case of the high cost of striving for efficiency in the sacrifice of effectiveness.

No comments: