7 Awful HR Strategies and How to Fix Them

Posted by Sally Ann Moyer

If you feel like your human resources department is falling behind, then it’s time to make some changes for the new year. You could be guilty of following HR strategies that are only bringing your company down. Here’s seven of the worst and what you should be doing instead:

1. Hiring only people like you
One of the easiest hiring traps to fall into is hiring clones. You know that you have succeeded at your organization, so you seek out similar people. When you hire only people like you, your company will either quickly fill up with a lot of yes-men or turn into a zero productivity zone from all the friction. Be wary of hiring too many similar personality types. Each job has a different function with separate skill sets required. Hiring people that are just like you doesn’t make sense for building a strong team. Diversity will give your company a variety of viewpoints, which can lead to greater creativity and boost productivity. A diverse company will also have a wider appeal and help you better serve a variety of demographics.

2. Losing touch with qualified candidates
Unfortunately, finding qualified candidates does not always overlap with having open positions. It’s a common tale for which HR often bears most of the blame. But nurturing candidate relationships can be difficult, especially when qualified candidates accept outside jobs or internal openings come about unexpectedly. Keeping the pipeline full of potential candidates is one of the ways that marketing is influencing human resources in with recruitment CRM. Use tools like iCIMS Connect and LinkedIn company pages to build talent pools and keep candidates engaged in real-time.

3. Hiding the purpose of multiple interviews
Candidates often experience frustration at recruitment practices that drag them through several rounds of interviews, especially when their purpose is unclear. Advancing to the next round often signals a narrowing candidate pool, but some companies simply do not have enough recruiters to match the number of qualified candidates. Be honest about the purpose of multiple rounds of interviews, so that your candidates can better prepare and give you the interview you are hoping to achieve. Is it an interview with potential coworkers to gauge teamwork abilities, a vetoing-power interview with senior management or another round in the selection process? While it might seem fun to keep candidates on their toes, you also want them to be able to prepare enough so the interview doesn’t waste your time.

4. Breaking employee confidentiality
Perception can often overpower reality when it comes to issues of confidentiality. A perceived risk will carry the same weight as if you have already betrayed employee confidentiality. While you might feel like HR is a good place for employees to air complaints and work out their departmental frustrations, employees may shy away from placing their trust in you because of your position to influence their careers. Consider bringing in an external executive coach to “listen, support, challenge and guide them.” And, of course, actually keep the trust of those who do confide in you.

5. Misusing HR metrics
The trouble with most HR metrics is that they look only to the past or report current information without providing future analysis. Looking only at metrics like cost per hire and turnover rate will not give you the full picture on how well a potential candidate will fit your organization. Use “forward looking analytics” to build your company’s success. Make sure your company has channels to use data and not just collect data for data’s sake.  Read more: The 4 Most Useful HR Metrics for the Future

6. Keeping your search too small
A great job opening at your organization does not guarantee a great talent pool. Potential candidates need to know the opening exists. Bad recruiting strategies such as using only obscure ads, relying on word of mouth or having unrealistic expectations for applicants could be holding you back. Just as you should nurture candidate relationships for when openings occur, use these tools to tap into specific and relevant markets. A small search might get you nowhere, but a specific search can be a great way to find the best candidates.

7. Confusing personal and professional
While the field of human resources often dabbles in the personal realm, it’s important to still keep the personal and professional worlds separate. Consider why a candidate does or does not appeal to you and make sure those reasons fall mostly in the realms of skill sets. Gut feelings and personal relationships are not enough to make a candidate the most qualified for a position. It might be easier to hire a referral, but a stranger could be the better match for the job. Use objective employee assessments to find the strongest candidates.

What awful HR strategies have you learned to avoid? Share with us in the comments section or on Twitter.

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