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What am I doing wrong? Most common reasons why your recruitment is not working as well as it used to.

For just over a decade, the debate about the ball being back in the candidates’ court in terms of the hiring process has been back on the table. The term “candidate is king” was bandied about regularly on recruitment blogs and live events.  


Today that debate is over. Candidate IS king. The ball is firmly in their court.  


Convince me that I should join you 


It’s no longer about your business and the candidate convincing you to hire them.  


It’s about you convincing candidates, why they should join you.


What we have now is a complete shift in the market.  


As a business trying to attract, engage, and hire the right candidates you, like every other business out there, are probably looking at: 


  • Your brand  
  • Your place in the market 
  • Your ethics 
  • How you operate. 


You’ve realised you must attract people in a different way because today’s candidates are motivated by different things.  


Recruitment past 

It used to be that that people wanted a career for life. To work for one company and to progress within that company. 


If you looked at a CV and someone had moved jobs every two to three years, that would have given you a negative impression of that individual and s/he would likely have been labelled a ‘job hopper’.  


Recruitment present 

Today, people are moving jobs every 18 months to two years. Their motivation for moving could be a new position, a new country, a new sector, a new role. In fact, it’s no longer uncommon for individuals to change career 5-6 times throughout their full career life cycle.  

It’s much more difficult to set up a model that says: we’re going to recruit X number of people, we are going to grow at a steady rate, and in five years’ time those people will still be here, and their careers will develop like this etc.  


Businesses don’t hold all the cards anymore.  


Recruitment future  


You’re competing with increasing living costs, pressures on families, and virtual working.  


To compound all that there are new skills being created in the market all the time. The jobs your children will be doing in 10-15 years’ time might not even exist yet because the market is changing so rapidly! 


Market conditions and competitiveness 


Moreover, another business just like yours is across the road is trying to recruit the same people you are.   

All this is creating huge issues in how you hire. 


“What happens if I get recruitment wrong?”  


Recruitment is like a barometer for success in terms of business outcomes. If your hiring processes or strategies are up to scratch, then your business can function properly. 


If you don’t get your recruitment right, there’s a financial impact on your business. 


Productivity will be lower, projects slow down, timelines of things underway shift, and everything takes longer to get done. You might even have contracts in place with significant penalty clauses if you don’t get projects completed on time.  


Or perhaps you’re trying to implement an IT system and you haven’t got the right people to help with that and so the timeline of a three-month project, turns into a six-month project, turns into a nine-month project. This then means you haven’t got the product, which means you can’t do something else.  


That’s how bottlenecks in the hiring process can affect the wider business.  


However, the problems aren’t always immediately apparent. 


The conversation might start with: How come we didn’t complete that project on time? 


But it’s only over time that you realise it's because of something in your hiring function that isn’t working. 


Pressure from above 


Even if you’re getting 80% of your recruitment right, your hiring managing community or your CEO, can’t get things done because of the 20% that’s going wrong. This is having a massive knock-on effect on the wider business and what it’s trying to achieve.  


Therefore, the pressure you’re feeling internally is that “you’ve got to fix this”. 


“What’s going wrong with my recruitment?”  


There are a multitude of things that could be going wrong. 


  • You’re not attracting the right people.  
  • It’s taking longer to hire people.  
  • You’re not hiring the right people.  
  • Your attrition is high.  
  • Your retention is low. 
  • People are dropping out of the process.  
  • When you make an offer, candidates drop out.  
  • You used to put a job out there and get 100 replies and today you’re getting three, and you don’t know why that is. 
  • You’re not advertising in the right places. 
  • You’re not nurturing future talent. 
  • You’re not being proactive in the market.  
  • You’re not head hunting.  
  • You’re not talent pooling.  
  • You don’t have the capacity to talent pool. 
  • Your employee value proposition needs work.  



Moreover, there is more competition than ever and you’re all vying for the same people.  


“What am I doing wrong?”


Is the approach you’re using to attract the level of people you want antiquated? Having an in-house talent team, putting out a job advert, wading through CVs, interviewing the ones you liked, and hoping you’ll find and hire the talent you want, just doesn’t cut it.  


These days you might not even be able to get the talent you want applying for your jobs, let alone drawing up a shortlist. 


If your way of recruiting involves asking candidates to click on a link, download a job spec, fill in a form, write a covering letter, attach a CV etc, you’ve lost them.  


“Candidates have gone, they’ve moved on. They’re not doing that anymore,” said Richard Williams, Rullion Client Solutions Director.  


“They want to look for work in the way that they buy something from Amazon. They want to click on a button and apply.” 


Richard said the process needs to be slicker, more automated, and more engaging.  


That’s why companies are spending huge amounts of money trying to get that process as efficient as possible, so that the user experience, from both the hiring manager and the candidate, is the best it can be. 

If you’re looking for someone, who has a rare skillset in your market, in a location that’s typically difficult to hire, you’ve got to bear in mind that candidate probably has several different roles to choose from.  


That’s why your recruitment process, from attraction through to interview and selection, and the way you present yourself throughout the entire cycle, needs to be really good. 

And businesses today, are struggling with that. 


Having a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work 


Pockets of business today are literally trying to double in size and if you’re in a sector that is experiencing massive growth, are you geared up for being able to find those people?  


As your business grows and your world becomes more complex, do you have the skills internally to fix those problems or is it something you should go externally to try and find?  


For example, the way you’re doing your recruiting is perhaps outdated and there’s a strong chance your recruitment process is too lengthy, and too many people are involved in that process.  


Companies also want to attract a diverse workforce and don’t have the skills or know-how to do that. Having an image of a Caucasian man with a clipboard and a hard hat on your website won’t cut it as it’s inadvertently geared to appeal to a certain demographic. 


The way you write job adverts and the language you use also influences the candidates you’re attracting.  


Even the timing of your interviews has the capacity to repel or attract candidates. For instance, if you’ve scheduled an interview for 3PM, anyone on the school run is out. 

By not being mindful of a few key things you automatically, albeit it unintentionally, shift your target audience.  


That’s why many of your competitors are paying professional companies to come in and try and fix some of this stuff. 

In today’s market, having a one-size-fits-all approach to your recruitment doesn’t work. You need something specific for your sector, your business, your brand, and for the relevant roles within your organisation.  


Using one job board, where everything looks the same, will not get you the people you want. You need to spend time giving a lot of thought to what people in those positions really want so that you can attract them. How you present yourself, what you write, and how you write it, must then be tailored accordingly.  


If you want the best people in the market and you’re not getting them, you might need to completely rebrand how you’re positioning yourself in the market.  


Show candidates all the perks of what working for you looks like; what sort of lifestyle you offer and what ‘a day in the life’ looks like at your organisation. If your roles involve international travel, showcase that, as well as the incredible clients your candidates would have the opportunity to work with.   


That’s when you might think: We’ve got to get some help to come in and do it for us. 


To find out more about what you can do to improve your recruitment read our blog postWhat can I do about it? Recruitment is not working as well as it used to.


If you’d rather just speak to us directly, fill out our contact form below and we’ll get back to you.