Unemployment rates have been slowly recovering since the recession and as we roll into another year, statistics show that 36% of employers plan to hire full-time employees in 2016.

When it comes to hiring, a company may be looking for the best candidate, but what they don’t always consider is that the best candidate is also looking for the best employer. While there are good practices to follow when recruiting, there are also poor ways to hire that could backfire on a business.

What are these taboo recruiting methods? We’ve highlighted seven of them below.

1. Low Offer

Before hiring a new employee, it’s important to map out the position and its responsibilities, as well as the starting wage or salary. Undervaluing a position could also affect your ability to find a good candidate.

Setting a fair wage depends on the type of position and whether it’s an entry-level position or an executive role. You can look at the market rates for the role you are hiring, what other employers are paying, and what the position means to your business. Will it make money for the company or will the job save you money? Recruiting agencies are also a good source for finding salary information.

Take the potential candidate’s salary request seriously and weigh their experience, education, and skills. Are you willing to negotiate or do you think you can find someone else? If you don’t remain competitive and pay top talent fairly, you may lose out on a good employee.

2. Discrimination

Discrimination at any point during the recruiting process is a big no-no, as it is illegal to judge a candidate on anything other than their qualifications.

Many types of discrimination exist, from sexism and ageism to racism and religious discrimination. The Equality Act of 2010 prohibits employers from exercising any form of discrimination in the job posting, interview, and workplace. Some interview questions, while seemingly conversational, are off limits too, such as asking about a candidate’s marital status, hobbies, or children.

3. Misrepresenting the Job or Company

Crafting a job posting that is misleading, vague, or even too long can scare candidates away or entice the wrong candidates to apply.

It’s best to write a posting that:

  • Accurately describes the job, using clear and concise language
  • Is specific and avoids generic skills or duties
  • Lists the requirements (and differentiates between must-haves and assets)
  • Uses your company’s tone and voice
  • Has a clear call to action (instructions on how to apply)
  • Speaks directly to the applicant
  • Is organized and easy to read (white space, bullet points, etc.)
  • Uses keywords to help with search
  • Is engaging like an advertisement

Take time to thoughtfully construct your job postings. What you put out there will affect the quality of applications you receive. Your job is to make it clear and appealing so that candidates will want to both fill the role and work for the company.

4. Unprofessional Communication

HR managers or business owners represent the company while hiring. Any informal or even unfocused behavior will drive your candidates away. Set the bar high for how you want potential employees to act, keeping in mind that first impressions are important for you as well.

Successful communication throughout the hiring process is frequent and vital. Keep your candidates up to date. For instance, many employers set up autoresponders to send an email to the candidate as soon as they apply to let them know they’ve received their application.

If you tell the candidate when you should know the outcome for the position, be sure to follow up with them in either scenario. It reflects well on the business to follow through.

5. Long Hiring Process

It’s understandable that employers want to be certain about the employees they hire. While keeping their cost-per-hire to a minimum and preventing turnover is valid, some hiring processes are simply too long and wear candidates out.

For instance, if you conduct more than two interviews with a candidate in addition to several tests, you need to be sure this is necessary. Keeping your recruiting costs down is also dependent on streamlining your hiring process.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to tailor your hiring process to the level of employee you are looking for. In the case of an entry-level position, you may only require a single interview and a series of tests to qualify them. For executive or managerial positions, you can take more time because this role is more important to the company.

6. Bad Reputation

Many job seekers look up a business before applying to work there. A red flag in your company’s past could deter people from sending their applications in if you’re not careful.

Bad press can kill your growth efforts just like any other PR disaster. Perform a Google search of your business and try to squash any lingering bad reviews or information about your company that could hurt your hiring efforts. If it’s out of your control, try to remain transparent and develop a plan for responding to candidate questions if they happen to come up.

7. Poor Branding

The effectiveness of a company brand is subjective, but even the most established of brands still scout out their weak points. Review your website, social media platforms, and any other areas where your business is active. Fix your sore spots and spruce up your image. This serves to benefit the company’s overall brand and how customers, candidates, and even employees feel about it.

You want to put your best foot forward while recruiting a new worker. For those who look into the company beforehand, they are going to establish an opinion fairly quickly. Like bad press, a poor brand presence will automatically lower the applicant’s confidence in your business.

Ditch the Bad Practices and Invest in Your Company’s Future

Investing in the recruiting process should be a top priority for small businesses looking to grow. No business can afford to practice bad hiring methods, as it has an impact above and beyond price. Dodgy recruitment has also been known to negatively affect a business’s reputation, lower productivity in the workplace, and reduce future applicants through bad word-of-mouth.

Without putting the effort into making a good impression and keeping talented recruits happy, the good ones can slip out of reach easily.

Have you ever had a bad hiring experience?

Posted by Kristy DeSmit

Kristy is a blogger, Twitter enthusiast, and company legalese interpreter.