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6 common hiring myths debunked

Published on 7th December 2021

​With the end of the year fast approaching and colleagues discussing their holiday plans, it is easy to think hiring may slow down at this time of year. This is just not the case for many of the organisations we partner with.

Here we explore 6 common hiring myths and whether they are worth taking stock.

1. No one hires over the festive season, it's best to wait until after Australia day

True, many hiring processes traditionally begin after Australia day, but only because people in hiring processes are all traditionally "at the office" from that point onwards. This also means EVERYONE is hiring at the same time. If you're not using the January school holidays for leave or have people on your recruiting committee working fully remote and flexible who are your interview panel, hire now when there is less pressure. If not, maybe restructure your process to enable you to keep hiring when others might stop. If recent history tells us anything, if you think no one is going to be leaving your business next year, think again!

2. The talent pool diminishes during the festive season

Only because traditionally people want to take a break and think about work again in the new year. Our lives have now meshed into a far more "work to live" model and people are listening to and taking advantage of opportunity as and when it presents itself. True, perhaps people will be disinclined to physically resign during the Christmas to New Year week from a logistics perspective but hiring processes and notice period often take several weeks anyhow.

3. A recruitment process takes up a lot of time that I don't have right now

When will you have the time? The best efficiency from a time perspective is to reduce the number of recruiters you engage, thereby increasing the responsibility you give to one on your behalf. Rather than sending you applicants, it should be their job to present you with two or three candidates who are legitimate contenders for the role, thus saving you significant time in the process. If your impediment to hiring is time, outsource the time!

4. The candidate with the closest skills and background match, is best for the job

When it comes to professional contracting, yes you must hire the person most able to contribute to the outcomes as quickly as possible. When hiring for a person who may join your business for many years it's worth remembering that you can teach skills, which in many markets become obsolete rapidly, however you can’t easily teach people how to learn new skills or how to fit in. They either can or can't, do or they don't. Make evidence of personal and professional growth your essential skill and shared purpose or interest the behavioural prerequisite and open the field to candidates who will grow with you.

5. An engaging advert is all that is needed to find the best candidate

Typically, those seeing adverts on job boards are active candidates, those considering their next move and often as a result of being actively disengaged in their current organisation. Whilst it may be typical of this group to be attracted to an advert in the first instance, it will be a combination of many other factors that finally secure these people. For the remainder of the candidates IN the market (not ON the market) the advert may not reach them at all. In either instance there needs to be a bigger picture to grab the attention of, and ultimately secure, the right person for a role. These things might be a combination of:

  • Why/Purpose - What does the company do that the new person can feel part of?
  • Clarity of role and how it makes an impact - people want to feel their contribution is meaningful.
  • A leader the person can meet and believe in.
  • Clearly articulated vision - where does all this lead to?
  • Clearly articulated culture brand - instead of HR writing about remuneration and benefits packages, this is the people who work at your business freely articulating what real life feels like. What are these channels and how does this work? and then,
  • Employer Value Proposition (EVP) - including ‘what's in it for me?’ Remuneration and benefits.
  • Other contemporary work considerations are made clear - what does flexibility really mean? Do we have a remote culture or are we just remote tolerant? How and where do we come together as a group? What defines the business other than the address or head office location?
  • Where is all this heading for me? Candidates who already have a good job will need to be engaged with a vision for their own career.

Furthermore, an advert is just one channel. How do your website, social media channels, internal talent teams and recruitment partners represent you and the opportunity in the market?

6. You should only look to hire when you need staff

Ever received an unsolicited CV from a recruiter for a candidate you might be interested in? That's because a big proportion of the market hires top talent when there is a chance to do so, not just when there is a role vacant. This is especially true in a highly competitive, candidate short market.

A little-known fact about the recruitment industry is how large the "out of cycle" hiring marketplace has always been. Many potential candidates will identify organisations they would like to work for based on that organisation’s efforts in the above attraction categories. All that work on branding your organisation turns into people who want to be a part of what you're doing! Even if you don't hire these people, you should be meeting them to create a pipeline of people for your business. It's worth assuming 10% attrition every year, so hiring out of cycle is part of the solution to being well resourced throughout the year ahead.

If you are looking to hire or would like to discuss this topic further, please contact the team today.