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The Top 3 Recruiting Myths To Avoid

No one is quite able to pin it down precisely, but experts agree there is a steep price tag attached to employee turnover. For starters, it’s critical that you recruit and hire the right job candidates, ones that will not only cut the muster but also stick around.

But how do you know which candidates fit that bill?

There’s no scientific formula for identifying the right job candidate, but there are sensible recruiting practices that are proven to be effective and worthwhile. Hiring managers, however, often buy into common recruiting myths or sidestep smart practices in favor of a shortcut.

It’s time to debunk the myths and refocus your recruiting efforts so you can recognize the right candidate with real staying power.

**Myth 1: Interviews are secondary to assessments.** Assessments have grown in popularity and for good reason. They can be a powerful tool in assessing an applicant’s personality traits and skills. However, employers are mistaken if they allow interviews to become a mere formality and base hiring decisions solely on test results. Personal interaction is a critical part of the recruiting and hiring process. When conducted properly, face-to-face interviews are still the best way to understand the nuances of a candidate’s job history, gauge his or her passion and work ethic and get a sense for whether he or she will fit well within the company.

To conduct an effective interview, interviewers need to be prepared with targeted questions and be equally prepared to listen to the candidate’s responses.

**Myth 2: Only pursue A-list employees.** Recruiting gurus often note the need for companies to attract top talent. In reality, however, the best job candidates aren’t typically Harvard graduates or seasoned blue-chip executives. They may not even be candidates with the most experience. Perceived A-listers, however you define them, lean toward being more cerebral and ambitious. They want to advance quickly and be well-compensated for their knowledge and intellect. If your company or the position you are filling doesn’t provide a clear path for growth, that A-lister will move on before he’s broken in his ergonomic chair.

On the other hand, a B-list candidate who doesn’t have the same caliber of resumé may have better interpersonal skills and a stronger work ethic. Not only is he perhaps more suited for the position, but because his expectations are more aligned with yours, he’s likely to be happier in the job in the long run.

**Myth 3: Thinking, “When I meet the right candidate, I’ll know it.”** Recruiting isn’t dating – the right candidate isn’t going to make your heart race or your palms sweat. In fact, chemistry has very little to do with it. Recruiting is a step-by-step process, and each stage provides an opportunity to narrow in on the right applicant, so it’s essential that your hiring team be adept at developing job descriptions, culling resumés, conducting productive interviews, assessing relevant job skills and evaluating one candidate’s competencies relative to another.

In addition to all that, your hiring team also has to be able to sell the job and your company, because there’s nothing worse than finding Mr. or Ms. Right and getting rejected when you extend the job offer.

Recruiting isn’t a science that can be isolated in a lab. Test results can’t tell a candidate’s complete story. Recruiting takes human interaction and input, but it’s certainly not a dating game either. You shouldn’t base a hiring decision entirely on a gut instinct or an emotional response. Recruiting is a methodical process that requires time, discipline and patience, but when executed effectively, absent of shortcuts and myths, it can significantly contribute to your company’s ultimate goal of productivity and profits.

This article was featured in the September 2014 issue of the *Houston Business Journal.*
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