7 Mistakes Companies Make While Attracting Talent

The savvy employers will continue to attract the best talent by focusing first on the candidates, not on themselves.


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Recent reports indicate that there are labor shortages for manufacturing, mining, and medical professional and IT jobs. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are currently unfilled in the United States. The battle for talent is real. 

While there are many reasons beyond the control of the companies looking to hire, there are several factors that are within the control of companies looking to hire. Based upon our experience with both businesses looking to add employees, and employees seeking new job opportunities, I have compiled top seven mistakes companies make in attracting new talent.

1. Holding out for the perfect candidate. In areas such as skilled trades, where there is a significant labor shortage, companies that need to get work done today do not have the pool of available talent to pick from. If a candidate has eight out of ten skills required for the job, companies should strongly consider hiring them and teaching them the other two skill sets.

2. Having a slow decision making process regarding new hires. Talent that is actively seeking a new career opportunity will, on average, get three job offers. A company that takes 2 to 3 weeks to make a job offer will lose candidates to competitors.

3. Using electronic tools and screening processes that eliminate qualified candidates. Companies that rely on high-tech screening tools and multi-step screening process end up eliminating qualified candidates. Job seekers are not professional resume writers and rarely enlist the skills of professionals to help them craft a high-end resume that includes the key words found in search algorithms. Additionally, companies with multi-step, automated reply screening processes turn off the job seeker, who often has multiple interview opportunities.

4. Believing that high unemployment numbers equal plenty of qualified candidates. The reported unemployment numbers are for mass consumption and do not reflect sub-category accuracy for careers such as CNC machinist and other labor shortage categories. If there were plenty of unemployed machinists, there would not be 600,000 unfilled jobs currently in the U.S. (according to a report for the Manufacturing Institute). 

5. Refusing to use outside sources, like recruiters and paid job boards. A recent LinkedIn survey we conducted showed that the average unmanned CNC machine costs a manufacturer a minimum of $75 per hour because of a lack of production and missed opportunity costs. That is $3,000 per shift, per week. The option of paying an outside resource such as a recruiting firm is not as costly as many manufacturers assume, compared with the lost revenue incurred with not having an employee.

6. Using cumbersome and lengthy help wanted job postings. Job ads filled with company policies; EEOC compliant jargon and soft skill language do not resonate with many job seekers. Candidates who like to “get things done” are looking for job ads that are direct and to the point.

7. Implementing inflexible interview processes within organizations. Most skilled and talented employees are currently employed. Because of this fact, they are unable to interview during the 9 to 5 business day. They are able to interview before or after work or on weekends. Employers who are not willing to work with job seekers who are currently employed elsewhere are reducing their pool of available talent significantly and will lengthen the time a job remains open. Additionally, employers need to take this simple fact into consideration—you wouldn’t appreciate your current employees going to interview with potential new employers during the work day, impacting your production; don’t ask job seekers to do that to their current employers.

As the battle for talent continues to be an issue for manufacturing companies, the savvy employers will continue to attract the best talent by focusing first on the candidates, not on themselves.