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What Happens When Your Hiring Process Is Founded on Deceit? The best talent out there steers clear, that's what happens.

By Andre Lavoie Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


When it comes to hiring new employees, employers are always on the lookout for white lies and exaggerations on resumes. But do they ever consider how they may be misleading job seekers? There are actually certain parts of the hiring process that can lead to misunderstandings between employers and candidates and can affect employee retention in the long run.

Related: How to Attract Awesome Talent During Employee Recruitment

Here are ways in which your company may be lying to job seekers and some quick tips on how to fix these problems:

1. Outdated job descriptions

An OfficeTeam survey in 2014 found that only 50 percent of the 2,290 administrative professionals surveyed said their job description accurately described the work they did. Forty-one percent of those surveyed said their jobs had evolved significantly and considered those descriptions inaccurate.

Those percentages are alarming because job descriptions are the foundation of the hiring process. As times have changed, many jobs have been combined, rendering existing descriptions outdated; many more jobs have evolved over time as businesses have grown or evolved.

Whatever the reason for the inaccuracies, clear, accurate descriptions are to the employer's advantage. The reason is that with unclear or misleading descriptions, the best candidates will be deterred and employers will waste valuable hiring time interviewing underqualified applicants.

The updating method, meanwhile, is simple: Provide a list of accurate responsibilities and duties associated with the position and tell job-seekers specific details about the company to entice them to want to work there. After all, these descriptions are tools for evaluation, and if they are inaccurate, they are setting new hires up for failure.

Quick tip: Advise current employees to write down detailed descriptions of their position. This will update records and establish a clear idea of expectations for each position, as well as what positions actually need to be posted.

2. Inconsistent company brand

Companies must determine who or what department is handling employer branding, an issue closely conecting to the hiring process.

The problem is that many companies suffer from a lack of ownership for employer branding. The Universum study, "The Future of Employer Branding," found internal confusion in companies regarding who should handle this task. Sixty percent of more than 2,000 CEOs surveyed said they considered this task their responsibility, while 57 percent of recruiting executives believed HR staffers should be responsible for it.

With clear direction and ownership of branding, an effective strategy can be built to yield a strong hiring process. Companies should identify what specific traits are most valuable to job seekers and market them. An effective employer-branding campaign expresses an organization's values and vision in a relatable way candidates will flock to.

A holistic approach is also vital here. Even though HR and the marketing department typically partner for branding strategies, the employer brand is owned by the whole company and should be integrated into every facet of the organization.

Quick tip: Adopt an approach that integrates a community aspect to employer branding, and focus on maintaining this strategy throughout the employment life cycle. Consider integrating corporate, consumer and employer brands into one unified brand lens.

Related: Why One Person Should Be Dedicated to Shepherding Recruitment at Your Company

3. A disconnect in communication

Employers continue to fail at communicating their needs to job seekers. The "Multi-Generational Job Search Study 2014" found that 61 percent of 2,978 HR professionals surveyed agreed that companies believed their talent needs had changed over the past two years, but 54 percent of them hadn't communicated those changes to the student marketplace.

The disconnect that apparently exists will be costly. Specifically, turnover rates may increase. A recent CareerBuilder study found that 73 percent of the 2,002 hiring managers surveyed said that making a bad hire was far more costly than leaving a position open.

Retention starts with recruiting. So, hring managers need to communicate their organizations' expectations and values to attract top talent and make good hires. Otherwise, job seekers may sense an internal disengagement.

Aside from creating clear job descriptions and building a consistent brand, employers need to be transparent with job seekers about what the hiring process looks like. Fifty-eight percent of HR professionals surveyed for the CareerBuilder study said that they didn't communicate how long the process would take, and another 52 percent said they responded to less than half of the applicants.

Failing to communicate is a fast way to earn a reputation for poor recruiting tactics. In a world where companies are reviewed for their culture and recruitment, word travels fast.

Quick tip: Establish a timely hiring process, communicate the expectations and details of the process to job seekers and maintain communication throughout.

4. Poorly defined culture criteria

The best method for establishing company culture criteria, which is crucial to recruiting, is to develop a clear set of core values. Companies' teams need to brainstorm about what's important before consolidating and defining what values matter most. Those values should be framed around the culture to ensure consistency.

With values in place, the company can implement internal programs to boost morale and maintain a strong culture. Making work/life balance a priority, for instance, shows that a company values its workforce as people, not just workers. Flexible schedules, like flex-time and the use of virtual workspaces, can help employees create that balance.

Related: Retaining Company Culture Comes Down to Hiring the Right People

Quick tip: Offer collaborative social activities like pizza parties or gaming events to encourage employee engagement, and provide employees with training that supports their career development. Strategies that empower the workforce pave the road for a strong, unified company culture that can be expressed via branding.

How is your company deceiving job seekers and what are your plans for improving the hiring process?

Andre Lavoie

Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder, ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the talent-management solution that helps companies identify, hire and retain more A players. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter.


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