A lot of companies make the mistake of assuming a position of power in the recruitment and personnel management process. The idea – perpetuated by ill-informed managers – is that the company is the only interlocutor in this exchange who can decide of the future of an applicant or an employee. But in reality, personnel management is a two-way conversation in which the employee – or applicant – also has the opportunity to take control.
To put it simply, businesses need to understand that their main asset is their employees. Negative attitudes from a distant past that claim that employees can quit if they’re not happy with the company’s strategy or approach are not applicable anymore. When an employee or a candidate chooses not to work with your business, it’s not about how many others fishes there are in the sea. It’s about the skills and specific experience that your business loses. Therefore it’s essential to understand what your company is doing that is putting off talent.
You put candidates off
If you need more candidate applications, the first explanation – once you’re sure that the ad displays a clear job description – is that candidates might not be using the same platform. Indeed, there are many job boards around, and it can be tricky to identify the most relevant ones for your audience. However, more often than not, a lack of applications doesn’t mean lack of visibility. It can be linked to your brand reputation – if candidates have access to negative reviews from previous employees, they’re unlikely to want to work with you. Similarly, a long and complex application process can also cause the most enthusiastic candidates to drop. Finally, a company that promotes itself as being a great employer but whose careers site is lacking personality and information will be deemed untrustworthy by potential applicants.
You’ve struggled with scandals
If your company name has been recently involved in business scandals that made the front page of the newspapers, you might find that applicants are cautious about working with you. From applying environmentally unfriendly approaches in your day-to-day work to having been exposed for unfair levels of pay, if the company is not beyond reproach, most applicants might prefer to send their resumes to a competitor with a better reputation. Similarly, existing staff who may not have been aware of the scandal at the time can be pushed to resign once they learn about it.
Your management style doesn’t work
Everybody knows what a bad boss looks like because everybody has experienced working with a difficult manager. But when you’re the bad boss, it can be more difficult to notice your errors. Not all bad bosses are intentionally mean. But the failure to communicate your expectations and goals can affect teamwork and morale.
Similarly, if you fail to provide recognition for performing employees, your attitude can inspire them to look for work elsewhere. More often than not, a bad boss is an inexperienced manager who could gain in asking for direct and honest feedback. However, bad bosses tend to develop in work environment where the opportunity for input and support for managers is non-existent.
Unattractive companies exist. But the failure to notice their mistakes means that they can’t correct issues that occur during the recruitment process or in everyday operations. When an employee or a candidate reject an offer to work with you, swallow your pride and ask the reason why. It can be the beginning of a great self-improvement journey.