7 Things You're Doing to Push Away Great Talent

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In a 2013 Manpower Group report, 35 percent of the employers surveyed said they had a difficult time filling positions because of a lack of talent in the workforce. Although employers complain about the growing talent gap, they don’t realize how their current hiring and managerial practices drive talent away from their organization.

Let’s take a look at Steve Jobs, for example. Jobs was a talented individual who didn’t have a college degree, yet had the intelligence, creativity and innovation to create new technology. Once Atari founder Nolan Bushnell decided to hire the scruffy 19-year-old Jobs, someone whom Bushnell said “very people would hire, even today.” Jobs proved himself to be one of the most brilliant creators in history.

Hiring stories like that one illustrate how employers need to stop focusing minutely on details like education pedigrees or years of experience a candidate has and instead focus on the candidate’s true capacity to create, innovate and learn.

Here are seven things employers do to push away great talent:

Related: Hiring Done Right in 3 Brutally Honest Steps 

1. Not having a web page dedicated to career opportunities.

Job seekers want to learn the story behind companies they contact for job opportunities. Employers who don’t have a page dedicated to job postings are missing out on the opportunity to attract bright professionals.

2. Presenting lengthy, confusing job applications.

Why make talent jump through hoops during the application process? When talented job seekers encounter long job applications filled with dozens of questions, most will think the application isn’t worth their time.

3. Overlooking young professionals or candidates lacking certain education requirements.

Employers who require applicants to meet a GPA requirement are pushing away talent. Pay attention to accomplishments and skills, rather than the grades the candidate earned in college.

Unfortunately, many young professionals don’t have the opportunity to shine in their new careers because employers haven't yet granted them the chance. Be open minded when hiring for entry-level positions. Instead of overlooking candidates with just six months' experience, give them their first trial. 

Employers who require candidates to have a specific type of industry experience are pushing away candidates with strong skills sets. For example, a health care employer hiring a social media strategist may require the candidate to have a certain number of years in the health care industry. However, this qualification may push away an amazing social media marketer without that specified experience from even applying for the job.

Related: Work Experience, Be Damned: Here's How to Hire the Best Problem Solvers (Infographic)     

4. Not responding to job seeker inquiries and applications.

One of the biggest ways employers push away talent is by not responding to every applicant, which creates a negative relationship between employers and job seekers. According to research by Aberdeen this year, 45 percent of employers surveyed recognized the need to improve the candidate experience so as to strengthen their brands.

5. Forgetting about those brought on board.

People need to feel like they’re a part of a culture and mission once hired. Employers who provide little employee onboarding and zero ongoing training will drive away potential hires. According to Aberdeen's research, 69 percent of “best-in-class” companies begin onboarding an employee before the first day of work. 

Related: All Aboard? Aim for Perfect Employee Retention When Hiring.

6. Not providing creative or work environments or enough meaningful work.

Employers who don’t give employees the freedom of creativity, collaboration and innovation are missing out potential accomplishments. According to the Creative Jobs Report, nearly 4 in 10 employed U.S. adults said they would leave their current job for more creative endeavors.

More so now than ever before, the employee-employer relationship is a mutually synergistic one. While a company's ultimate goal is to make a profit, this cannot be achieved without a contingent of happy employees. In fact, according to the Creative Jobs Report, one-third of millennials desire to have meaningful work in their jobs.

7. Not offering opportunities for career growth.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials born in the 1980s will have about six jobs by the time they’re 26.

Employers need to give more opportunities for millennials to grow within a company. For example, employers can offer more promotions, salary raises and learning opportunities to encourage these Gen Y workers to stay on.

What are some ways you believe employers push away talent?

Related: What Young People Want From Work