What’s the No.1 Reason Recruitment Efforts Fail? (And how to prevent that)

Adi Assaf 0 Comments 10/12/2018

I’m going to talk about an important part of your recruitment process, the one nobody talks about because everyone is concerned about tough competition, budget problems, and talent shortage, critical issues no doubt, but when it comes to recruitment, this one ranks at No. 1.

Sure, solving the problems stemming from this specific issue is not as glorious as solving the above-mentioned issues, solving these issues will allow you to get things done more easily plus you’ll get a standing ovation from everyone concerned.

I’m talking about focusing on your hiring process.

It might surprise you, but recruitment efforts fail because organizing your hiring process is no small feat.

In the age of information overload, the recruitment landscape underwent changes that made focusing on the right candidate extremely difficult.

The introduction of new technologies raised the bar, companies trying to recruit new employees had to optimize the way they search for new employees because there’s so much choice.

Don’t get me wrong, choice is great! Opportunities are all over the place and you can find your dream candidate relatively fast, that is if your hiring process is up to par and if you’re extremely focused.

Alas, most companies think that they can just ‘wing it’, and believe me, it’s an expensive less to learn.

If you don’t have a focused hiring process in place, you’ll find that getting the recruit you need is impossible, there’s just that much you can wing.

There are two things who affect your ability to get to the candidate you want, let’s start from the one who’ll make the biggest impact:

a) Making better choices

One might think that having all the choices in the world is great, but the realities of choice are complicated, especially if you have to manage a chain of decision-making who need to determine which candidate to hire. Let me explain:

We make choices on a daily basis, about everything we do, even the things we choose not to do, have an effect on our ability to makes choices, because inaction, is a choice.

Realities of choice are complicated

Our ability to choose is limited, we can make up to 35,000 conscious decision per day. If we strain ourselves, we pay a cognitive price that might lead to decision fatigue, or as it called in the professional lingo, ego depletion.

1.  In addition, we face another ‘choice related problem’, many choices can prevent us from reaching a decision, because we’ll get stuck in an analysis paralysis mood. You probably ran into that before, it’s when you can’t make up your mind.

2.  Now, take these two problems, and apply them on a team of decision makers who need to manage their own tasks and projects, and eventually hire the right recruit.

They are already feeling drained, they have their own tasks, and this ‘hiring a new team member thingy’ is really bugging them, because they need to get it done, but they can’t muster the focus to do that.

Wrong choices result in time, effort and money lost, nobody wants that, but it’s one of the possible realities when you begin your recruitment efforts.

You must find ways to clear the noise and help yourself and everyone around you to get to the right candidate, here’s how you do it:

  • Build a system – Every action you make is a part of a plan or a project. If you wing your recruitment effort, you probably won’t get the results you want. To hire someone new, you’ll need to design a ‘system’, a set of recurring daily routines that will allow you to get your goals.


  • Schedule a time – Your ability to make choices is influenced by the ‘hour of day factor’. If you’re making important decisions during your evenings, stop. Good decisions are influenced by your willpower, if you had a good night sleep and you just finished drinking your coffee, you can tackle anything. After 5 pm, you just don’t have the willpower to make the right choices.


  • Review your process on a weekly basis – Once a week, on Friday morning, conduct a weekly review of the process and your progress. Review the things you achieved, what remains to be done and make adjustments if necessary.


  • Define who owns this – Companies are led by CEOs, countries are led by presidents or prime ministers, your hiring process should have a leader too. Appointing someone in your company to lead the hiring effort is a must, that person needs to be responsible for getting the right candidate for the job AND organizing the resources and time to do so.

Their biggest challenge is the define who needs to participate in the process, on each and every stage, set out time for them to join in, and make it happen.

b) Conducting that reality check from time to time

We all want to get the best candidate possible, and this can hamper our recruitment effort because it focuses the campaign on finding the wrong candidate.

This might come as a surprise, but no one needs ‘the best candidate possible’, it’s the best way to get nowhere, fast.

The ‘best candidate possible’ is not real because it describes a perfect condition, and as we all know, perfect is the enemy of done!

When we publish in our campaigns specs that are not real, we get fewer CVs, add the fact that only 50% of the CVs come close to qualifying to any given job and find out that you don’t have much to work with.

“You can’t always get what you want but sometimes you get what you need” – Rolling Stones.

Instead of searching for this kind of candidate, search for the candidate you really need. Don’t add to your campaigns and list of demands skills and traits that are not required for the job, encourage people who come close to the candidate description to send their CVs.

A good candidate that is ‘close enough’ is good, because ‘close enough, is real.


About Adi Assaf

I specialize in talent recruiting that answers your culture, values and recruitment needs. I believe that great teams fuel growth, and you don’t need to settle for less. Drop me a line if you need a great team

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