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Buying Into These Myths Can Make for Bad Hiring Decisions

Hiring - TBM Payroll, Glens Falls, NY

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

Buying Into These Myths Can Make for Bad Hiring Decisions

When you buy into age-old “wisdom” suggesting you should assume certain things about people you haven’t even met, you’re shortchanging both the applicants and your business. While you likely can’t eliminate your skills gap tomorrow, you can improve your hiring success by forgetting a few persistent myths.

Myth 1: Your job ad should focus on describing the position in detail.

A job description can make even the most exciting role sound like a real-life version of “Office Space.” “Must be able to fix unruly printer” or “Must come in and file TPS reports on occasional Saturdays” aren’t going to attract strong candidates with options. Candidates aren’t looking to apply to a position with a boring bulleted list of responsibilities. Your job ad should be just that — an advertisement.

Explain what qualities you’re looking for, but also highlight what’s in it for the prospective employee: “Expect to constantly learn and grow with the rest of our tight-knit marketing team” or “Passionate, driven candidates could earn bonuses and the flexibility to work from home two days each week” are much more enticing. Forget the self-assessments, too. Lazy candidates aren’t going to weed themselves out merely because you wrote “Must have a good work ethic.”

Myth 2: Job hopping is always a red flag.

You’re right to pay some attention to job hopping on a résumé. After all, employee turnover is expensive, and retention is critically important to your company’s success. But to be clear, while job hopping can be a red flag, you shouldn’t automatically assume it is. It could indicate a candidate who’s had to deal with incompetent management or poor working conditions, or it may be reflective of someone who has had a change of heart or is especially ambitious and unwilling to settle. It could spotlight someone working around family health problems or taking care of an elderly relative. Or it could be a combination of these things, one after the other. The point is that you won’t know until you ask, and you’re doing the candidate and yourself a disservice by making unwarranted assumptions.

Myth 3: Vet for experience above all else.

The skills gap is affecting many industries, but STEM fields are among the most impacted. In fact, research from Code.org indicates there are more than half a million vacancies in computing jobs nationwide. Meanwhile, computer science programs graduated just under 64,000 people in 2018. To close this gap, LaunchCode, a workforce development nonprofit, argued in a recent announcement of its New Collar Coders initiative that companies should hire for passion and drive rather than overlook valuable candidates because they lack outdated credentials such as a traditional computer science degree.

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