You may have read my recent article that offered advice to attract skilled field service technicians. The bad news: That approach alone won’t necessarily solve your recruitment challenges. Too often, delays in filling an open position aren’t caused by the tight labor market, millennials’ high expectations, or lackluster job marketing efforts. Rather, mistakes made by your HR team and hiring manager are making it difficult for you to make effective hires.
Let’s say your candidates do show up for the interview and you’re impressed—but the candidate isn’t. It’s game over—they’ve rejected you. They drop out or decline your job offer. What now?
This brings leads me to five more signs that your recruitment strategy is broken, and tips for how to fix it. And this time around, the burden falls squarely on internal processes and people.
Applicants Withdraw After the Interview
It turns out that applicants who withdraw their application after an interview are just well-mannered, highly qualified candidates who didn’t ghost you. After learning more about the job, they:
- Decided the job didn’t reflect the job listing
- Were turned off by the interviewer
- Found a better opportunity
- Realized their current job offers more security and pays more
Solution: Tighten up your marketing message. Survey and get feedback from candidates that reject you. Find out why they withdrew and fix the problem(s). If nothing else, you’ll have one more opportunity to engage the candidate. Who knows? A few might even reconsider because you showed you cared.
Applicants Turn Down Job Offers
There’s nothing worse than investing hours into screening and interviewing a candidate who then turns you down. Reasons vary for this rejection, but very often it’s a lack of transparency and candor during the interview or selection process. Hiring managers and candidates get so focused on saying the right things during the interview that they avoid discussing critical concerns from both the employer and candidate sides.
One big culprit that stands out is salary. I can’t tell you how many companies I hear hold off compensation discussions until the end. Why waste everyone’s time if the basic tenets of a job search are salary and benefits? Top talent seeks transparency and authenticity. Keeping your salary a secret compromises both. By not discussing salary upfront, you’re automatically positioning yourself for a fierce negotiation.
Solution: Record the reasons why your job offers get turned down. Is it money? Maybe it’s time to change your pay or benefits. Is it work hours? Consider more flexibility for your techs. Whatever the reasons, record them. One occurrence may be an outlier. Multiple occurrences may indicate a problem emanating from an exaggerated job listing, ineffective interviewing, or unfair compensation.
New Hires Quit or Don’t Show
There is something worse than a rejected job offer—your new technician doesn’t show, or quits after a few days. While there might sometimes be justifiable extenuating circumstances, this situation is typically the convergence of a weak interview, poor selection, and feeble onboarding process. It’s a symptom of hiring warm bodies and counting filled job requisitions without considering if someone is actually the right fit for the role.
Solution: Do whatever it takes to keep the focus on the candidate. Deliver an awesome candidate experience. Keep the candidate engaged throughout the selection process, job offer, and onboarding. Ensure they have all the tools they need for a smooth transition—from login information to all the various programs they’ll need, to access to a senior mentor that can help new technicians get adjusted.
One metric that should be added to every recruiter’s toolbox is new-hire-retention-rate and quality of hire. While the recruiter might not have control over all the factors leading up to a new hire’s success or failure, the job offer is not a sign the task is complete.
New Hires Miss Performance Expectations
There’s a long list of reasons why a new technician might be underperforming in his early days. Under-performance can be traced to a misleading job ad that didn’t fully illustrate all the requirements and responsibility, poor interviewing techniques that didn’t effectively assess the candidate, gut-based hiring decisions, trial-by-fire onboarding, and unhelpful direct supervisors that aren’t clear about expectation-setting.
Solution: The best way to help a new hire get back on track is to find the source of the problem. That could be a massive undertaking if you don’t have good metrics. But, by setting clear objectives for each phase of the candidate-to-new-hire lifecycle, it’ll be easier for recruiters and eventually managers to define expectations at each step of the way and measure new hires’ performance against a rubric. This way, problems can be caught before they escalate.
There’s a Lack of Diversity and Inclusion
Practicing diversity and inclusion means embracing differences, not just posting inspirational messages in the lobby and offering annual training. Diversity and inclusion have been buzzwords for a long time, but today they are strategic imperatives. Companies with higher levels of gender diversity are linked to lower employee turnover. Inclusive workplaces experience increased job satisfaction and knowledge sharing. Diverse teams are critical for innovation and improved financial performance. A lack of diversity and inclusion is a major symptom of a poorly designed recruitment strategy with grave consequences for the future of your business.
Solution: This is a tough one. It requires a mindset shift and complete, unadulterated buy-in from management. If diversity and inclusion aren’t a priority at your company, it will take commitment and courage to reshape the culture and enforce the change. But some of the changes don’t require huge initiatives—small efforts to increase self-awareness can pay off too.
One place to start is the job description. Job boards are breeding ground for discrimination and exclusion. Examples posted every single day range from embarrassing to downright stupid, most often by good-intentioned recruiters and HR professionals. Even using a gendered pronoun, such as “he,” for example, can dissuade female technicians from responding to your job listing. Get more thoughtful and deliberate about how you phrase your job descriptions, and ensure that they appeal to a wide pool of applicants from different backgrounds.