How to increase both candidate quality and productivity

“Go apply over at that company, they will hire anyone!”

Every time you hire, you are setting a standard either high or low. The applicant pool will know your employer reputation. The really good quality candidates will steer far from a company who will hire anyone. The good employees know they are good and know what it is like to work with bad employees. They don’t want to waste their time.

When I hear employers complain about the low standard of candidates they are seeing, one question comes to mind. What are you doing to set the standard so low? The number one response is: “I need warm bodies”. Then that is the standard you are setting. How did you get yourself into a position where you are hiring warm bodies? The number one response to that question is: “We waited too late to start recruiting.” We were at a deadline. Do you see the consistency in all the answers?

They are all controllable by you

I worked with a company who had this exact problem. There was little to no candidate selection process for certain jobs. At the same time, for other positions they had a very extensive well thought out and challenging selection process. It is not unusual to have this type of contradiction within the same company. The difference in candidates was also quite pronounced. The first challenge was to have everyone agree the contradiction did not make a lot of sense.

The next challenge was to look at both of the processes and make them more consistent. It was interesting, we ended up making changes in both of the processes. Immediately upon our changing the first selection process, the candidate pool took notice. We heard back through the grape vine the first process was now rejecting the low quality candidates. A certain level of candidate simply quit applying. We had successfully increased the quality of candidates!!

The next step took a little longer. The candidate pool had to adjust to the new standard. Over a period of time the higher quality candidates started to come around. The higher quality candidates we did hire started bringing their friends and neighbors. When you are able to attract the higher quality candidates, the result is always the same.

Productivity skyrockets and your cost per $$ of revenue drops!

How many more reasons do you need to increase your standard of hiring?