Four ways to know if you are being too picky when you are hiring
Some companies find they have jobs open for months. For most positions, it should not take more than 3 months to find and identify candidates with the qualifications needed to get the job done. If you average hiring time is more than 3 months per position, here are some questions you might want to ask your hiring team.
Do your Current Employees meet your current screening and the hiring standard?
According to Peter Cappelli, professor of management at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, if the majority of your current employees don’t meet your hiring requirements, it’s a sign that hiring expectations and results are not aligned in your organization. The simplest test for appropriateness of any standard is to ask how many of your successful current employees could meet the hiring standard,” If the vast majority could not, your hiring standards are probably inappropriate.
Often, hiring manager try to justify implementing higher standards by saying that they wants to “upgrade” the staff. The problem with that theory, Cappelli added, is that hiring criteria doesn’t determine whether someone will perform at a higher level, just whether candidates meet enough basic qualifications to handle the job. If you set the requirements unrealistically high, you will screen out capable candidates based only on small qualification differences. Additionally in order to set the bar higher, many companies incorporate into their screening, criteria that demonstrates no correlation to job performance. If you job requires cleaning floors why make a 3.0 a minimum grade requirement? With this kind of an approach companies end up screening out qualified candidates only to settle for candidates that may match an artificial screening criteria that in no way will be indicative of better job performance.
Companies that are intent on upgrading, also need to be willing to pay substantially more. Failing to align pay with credentials not only creates unrealistic expectations—it turns off high-caliber prospects. Finally companies that raise the bar ultimately have turnover issues. If you are hiring software developers and every team member you bring on has management potential, ultimately won’t some be forced to leave in order to pursue career growth? Might a “career developer,” someone who would be happy long term writing code be a better fit?
Rejection Rates are Sky-High
If your screening criteria and management rejects more than 90 percent of the candidate pool, there is likely something wrong with your criteria. “If months go by without seeing multiple candidates that have all of the must-haves for any job then it is probably time to go back to the basics and focus not on a wish list but on the deliverables of the role.”
For instance, does a technology professional really need 10 years of experience to do the job, or is five years enough? Does he need a particular GPA or can you instead focus on someone who has specified job skills. Job descriptions that are too narrow or screening criteria that are too narrow are problematic, because no one measures up. You’re continually screening out people that can do the job.
Cost-Per-Hire is High and Rising
You’re spending more and more to attract, interview, qualify and hire, but are you getting the best rate of return on your investment? Unfortunately, perfect candidates are few and far between, and hunting for these “purple squirrels” not only drives up costs, it also creates cut-throat competition for their services. Given how the average tech workers stays in a job for only two years companies need to be careful about driving up their cost per hire through the selection process. Often not measured in cost per hire numbers is the amount of time wasted. If your company interviews 10 candidates and each candidate meets with 5 or 6 team members for 1.5 hours, that two weeks of time lost to the interviewing process. If you interview 20 candidates, that more than a month lost. How much better must the final candidate be to justify spending the equivalent of person month in the interviewing process?
Vacancies are Negatively Impacting Business Results and Staff
If business results are suffering due to unfilled vacancies, it’s probably a sign that you are being too picky when it comes to hiring. And when your tech team is short-staffed, morale declines, and overburdened top performers may get frustrated and leave. The cost of this turnover can be enormous.
Many companies don’t consider or measure the direct and indirect consequences of unfilled positions and so the problem continues to proliferate. Maurice Fuller, founder of New Vector Group, a training firm for tech recruiters, summed it up this way: “If projects are being delayed and promises to shareholders aren’t being kept, flexing the requirements or reorganizing the job duties to include a wider range of candidates may be in the best interest of the company.”