CDI Corporation

Common Hiring Mistakes That Hurt Your Employer Brand

Throughout 2016, despite some contractions in the labor market, hiring has continued to increase. Within the last 12 months through April, an average of 232,000 new jobs has been added each month. Many companies are focused on expanding, but are finding it difficult to locate enough skilled talent — both permanent and contingent — especially in the professional job market. In this sector, which is candidate-driven, employers continue to lose great candidates who are accepting other job offers or signing on with other companies that depend upon contract workers. So as a hiring authority, what key mistakes could you be making that might be damaging your employer brand?

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The 2016 Recruiter & Employer Sentiment Study conducted by CDI subsidiary MRINetwork, reveals that the inability to find quality talent coincides with lengthy hiring practices, lower than expected compensation, and the failure of prospective employers to sell their brand, the role and advancement opportunities. Retention is also challenging, as high performers recognize more jobs are available and feel more confident about pursuing them.

Based on the Study findings, the following mistakes may be hurting employer brands:

Mistake #1: Not recognizing the implications of a candidate-driven market.

According to the survey, 85 percent of recruiters and 62 percent of employers agree the professional labor market is candidate-driven in most industry sectors. The best candidates have multiple options, so your value proposition must clearly articulate how coming on board would benefit their career or enhance their skills. Assuming that candidates should feel lucky to be invited for an interview with your company is probably the biggest mistake of all. Focus on providing a streamlined and positive interview process that keeps applicants informed of where they stand every step of the way. Most importantly, be sure that everyone on the interviewing team provides consistent messaging about the role and clearly articulates why your company culture and values make it an enviable place to work, both for permanent and contract employees.

Mistake #2: Believing that compensation is the top deciding factor for high performers who are looking to make a job move.

Forty-nine percent of employers believe competitive salary is what’s most attractive to candidates about their organizations. However, 72 percent of recruiters say the top deciding factor for a job move is advancement opportunities. While compensation is important to candidates, immediate and long-term advancement opportunities are what drive talent to join a new company, as improved compensation is implied with upward mobility. You need to have real examples to share with candidates regarding how your best employees advanced within the company, or how contingent workers gained new skills or experience through their assignment. Ultimately you need to demonstrate that upward mobility and skill enhancement is a part of the organization’s culture.

Mistake #3: Deciding that a key strategic hire must always be a permanent employee.

More companies are creating blended workforces that include permanent hires and highly-skilled contract employees. The survey indicates that 63 percent of employers are either offering contract engagements, or are giving more thought to them, based on the level and requirements of the role. Knowing how to attract a contract worker is key. While competitive pay is a starting point, skilled contractors need to be sold on the value their expertise will bring to your project, as well as the potential to be exposed to new technologies, and ways of approaching business that will expand their professional experience. Your recruiter can help you determine when it makes sense to bring on a contractor, and then help you fill and provide back office support for these engagements.

Mistake #4: Making your employer branding and employee engagement strategies a one-dimensional effort.

Bringing on strategic hires is the top focal point for many employers (39 percent). Recruiting is now going beyond the realm of simply finding talent by executing a more comprehensive array of strategies — both proactive and reactive — that will position companies as employers of choice.  As you begin developing these strategies, be sure to include members from all departments. Their insight will help deliver a more well-rounded, targeted approach to employer branding and employee engagement initiatives.

Mistake #5: Not thinking outside of the standard interview process.

Fifty percent of employers are most frustrated by the lack of skilled talent in many sectors. While this is a common challenge, hiring authorities need to be able to act quickly when they come across great candidates for their permanent and contingent needs. Lengthy hiring practices are the main reason companies are unable to keep top candidates engaged, and ultimately get them to accept a job offer or a long-term assignment. Alternative measures to the typical face-to face interview, like Skype or video interviews for prospective contractors, can further expedite the hiring process. For permanent hires, team interviews, where companies ask candidates to participate in routine business exercises such as brainstorming or planning sessions, can provide insight on the applicant’s personality and likelihood of fitting in to the company culture, while reducing the interview process from three to two steps.

When you put these 5 hiring mistakes together, it’s clear how they may be impacting your employer brand and your ability to attract top talent in an already tight candidate market. The hiring landscape and candidate expectations have changed. Companies that want to attract and retain the best talent, will need to revisit their interviewing and talent management approaches, to create a strong employer brand.

To view a summarized overview on hiring mistakes that can be easily distributed to others in your organization responsible for hiring, click here. To view the complete Study, visit

Recent CDI Analysis

“Knowing how to attract a contract worker is key. While competitive pay is a starting point, skilled contractors need to be sold on the value their expertise will bring to your project, as well as the potential to be exposed to new technologies, and ways of approaching business that will expand their professional experience.”

Talent & Technology Solutions
CDI Corporation

Employment Situation (U.S.)

An impressive 287,000 jobs were added throughout the U.S. in June, far exceeding Bloomberg economists’ forecasts of 180,000 jobs added. Expectations were lower due to a surprisingly slow May, which saw only 38,000 jobs added, the lowest amount in nearly six years, according to Bloomberg.

The unexpectedly grim employment report in May had been disturbing enough to convince every voting member of the Federal Reserve’s policy-making committee last month to oppose any increase in its benchmark interest rate, noted the New York Times. That jobs report, combined with Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, had fanned wider worries that the American economy was in danger of stalling, added the source.

While these concerns remain, the strong June gains point to a strengthening economy, despite a small increase in the unemployment rate, from 4.7 percent to 4.9 percent. This increase is partially due to more people entering the labor force, a sign of confidence in the jobs market. The New York Times noted that robust consumer spending, an improving service sector and manufacturing indexes and rock-bottom levels of new claims for unemployment benefits all point to fair weather for the national employment situation and the economy.

Average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payrolls increased during June, rising 2 cents to $25.61. Average hourly earnings for private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose 4 cents to reach $21.51.

In addition, the number of unfilled jobs continue to be at record levels, according to The New York Times. “During an economic downturn, the first place employers look to cut are unfilled jobs,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor Economic Research, in an interview with the paper. “When I look through all the data, there is no smoking gun that the U.S. economy is pulling into a recession now.”

Professional and business services added 38,000 jobs in June, while retail posted 30,000 positions. Financial activities gained 16,000 jobs in June, with the sector growing by 163,000 positions over the year.

Mining continued its downward trend, losing 6,000 jobs over the month.

Other industries such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, and government were virtually unchanged in June.

The full Bureau of Labor Statistics report can be downloaded by
clicking here.

Employment Situation (Canada)

The economy remained relatively unchanged last month as 700 jobs were lost, according to CBC News. With more than 18 million workers in the job market however, the loss was considered to be quite trivial.

There were 39,400 part-time jobs created but full-time work was down by 40,100 positions, according to Bloomberg. Economists polled by the source had predicted 5,000 jobs added for the month.

The unemployment rate however did beat economists’ forecasts of a 7 per cent jobless rate: The Canadian unemployment rate for June fell 0.1 per cent to 6.8 per cent.

The information, culture and recreation sector gained 14,000 jobs. Self-employment increased, employment in the private sector remained little changed and the number of those employed in the public sector fell.

Employment in natural resources saw little change, although growth in the sector is down 11.4 per cent from 12 months prior.

Overall, gains for the second quarter came in at 11,000 jobs. This marked the lowest quarterly change for this period since two years ago.

According to Reuters, the figures for June point to obstacles and layoffs within the energy sector as the economy works to adjust weak oil prices. Moreover, Reuters Canada reported that the wildfires in Alberta led to the evacuation of Fort McMurray and forced several oil production facilities to close down.

However, the Bank of Canada remains unflustered by the June employment numbers. A poll of the bank released by Reuters Canada on Thursday indicated that it will keep interest rates unchanged for the next year. In a telephone interview with the source, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, Doug Porter, said the employment report for this month will not likely guide the Bank of Canada.

The U.S. economy is actually a stronger influence on the Bank, he noted.

“The consolation prize for the Bank of Canada was the nice, solid comeback in U.S. jobs last month – which suggests our biggest trading partner is still rolling along,” Porter told Bloomberg in an interview.

Since June 2015, the number of employed Canadians has increased by 0.6 per cent, according to Reuters Canada. Of the 107,600 jobs added in the last year, most were in part-time work.

Canadian ES Report:
Labour Force Survey, June 2016

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