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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

6 Ways Your Business May Be Driving Away Talent

October 27, 2014
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Laptop Work-3Recruiting and retaining top talent is vital, especially for small business owners and startup entrepreneurs who have less spaces to fill. While finding a qualified candidate may seem hard, your small business or startup may be driving candidates away before they even apply or during the hiring process. Here are the top six ways companies are driving away top talent.

1. Boring Job Advertisements

What do you job descriptions and advertisements looks like? Chances are, they could use a little facelift. While most job descriptions contain a generic list of qualities a candidate must have, few actually do a good job of “selling” the applicant on the job. It is vital to have job descriptions that sound like they were written by a human being, outlining the benefits and opportunities for growth with the position, rather than the desired qualifications. Its hard to attract key talent when they don’t want to come in and interview in the first place.

2. Long or Tedious Application Processes

While a well-written job description and advertisement will spark the interest of potential candidates, a tedious application process can turn them off just as quickly. If it takes an applicant too long to get through all of the required fields on your applicant tracking system, they are more likely to abandon the application process and look elsewhere. Why make your desired talent pool jump through hoops during your application process?

3. Not Communicating Properly with Each Candidate

Many applicant tracking systems include an automated response feature to notify each applicant that their information has been received and is being processed, this is not enough to keep some candidates interested. Try and reach out with a personalized message to each applicant, no matter how short. A quick, personalized email simply to notify the candidate that you have received their resume and will be reaching out shortly means a lot more coming from a person than from a robot.

4. No News is NOT Good News

While no one wants to receive bad news, not hearing anything is even worse. If the job opening has been filled, cancelled, or postponed, be considerate and reach out to the applicants to notify them. Aside from being polite, this will ensure that your organization has a good reputation in your industry. In addition to losing a potential candidate by decreasing the chance that they would re-apply to your company, not responding to an applicant makes it less likely that they would refer a qualified friend your way.

5. Uncompetitive Compensation

Once you get through the application process and find a desirable candidate, it is vital to make sure you are offering competitive compensation packages within your specific industry. The phrase “you get what you pay for,” is especially true when it comes to paying for high-quality talent. If your company is making offers and getting turned down on a regular basis, it may be time to re-evaluate your compensation and benefit packages.

6. Inflexible Vacation/Time off Policy

An overly strict time off policy is another way to drive away top talent. While having a set protocol for requesting time off is vital for running a business smoothly, you can really turn off a potential job candidate by appearing inflexible or unreasonable about giving employees time off.

Other Small Business Recruiting and Retention Articles:

Recruiting for Your Small Business: 4 Interview Don'ts

Small Biz Tips for Social Media Recruiting

How to Reduce Employee Turnover at Your Small Business

The Top Ways Small Businesses Recruit Employees

5 Easy Tips for Hiring the Best Employees

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