Top 6 Mistakes Companies Make in Attracting Talent


Recent reports indicate that there are labor shortages for IT, manufacturing, mining, and medical professional jobs. Hundreds of thousands of job are currently unfilled in the United States. While there are many reasons beyond the control of 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  the Top 6 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 8 out of 10 skills required for the job, companies should strongly consider hiring them and teach them the other 2 skill sets.

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

3. 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 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 like IT and other labor shortage categories. For example, 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 Insititute).

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

6. Cumbersome and lengthy help wanted job postings. Job ad’s 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.