When it comes to building a solid recruiting system, mistakes have a lot to teach us – but in today’s war for young talent, mistakes can also be incredibly costly. Losing just one star candidate to your competitors can cost you a major client, a huge contract or the market edge you’ve worked so hard to attain.
Luckily, there’s no rule that says the mistakes that we learn from have to be our own. Companies have been screwing up both recruitment and hiring since the dawn of civilization, and with the emergence of employer review sites like GlassDoor.com, people have been able to document these hiring process breakdowns in very public ways. So before you start posting “help wanted” ads all over the place, take a minute to learn how not to hire from these three companies.
Don’t Let Sharks Run Your Hiring Process: Assisted Living Concepts
Assisted Living Concepts has the dubious honor of being GlassDoor’s lowest-rated company, averaging a score of 1.1 out of 5 stars in 118 different employee reviews. The company, which operates over 200 senior living facilities in 20 different states, is currently in turmoil due to a change of focus in its management hiring system a few years back.
According to employee reviews, ALC’s tailspin began when the company decided to replace its older, more experienced executives with younger employees who were asked to increase profits. The policies these new executives instituted resulted in massive layoffs, ridiculous budget cuts and a ludicrous amount of corporate red tape.
“Typing this just makes me angry and hurts my heart for the residents who are left to the mercy of these corporate giants that could care less about them,” said a former residence director from Texas.
“Understaffed, underpaid and ridiculous management,” commented a current employee in Florida. “They have no respect for their employees, or the families themselves. They only care about the occupancy rate because that equals more money!”
The lesson here is clear. For a business to flourish, executives who are experienced and who genuinely care about the company’s mission are an absolute necessity.
A Bland Company Culture Is a Bad Recruiting Tool: The Scoular Company
The coolest companies to work for will always attract the top talent, while uninspiring companies have a harder time hiring and retaining star employees. That’s why an engaging company culture is such an invaluable recruiting tool, and it’s why the Scoular Company must be kicking itself right about now. The grain-trading company’s bland and disorganized office culture has resulted in a disappointing 1.5 out of 5 stars on GlassDoor.
“The company needs some major reorganization,” said a former employee, an international documents specialist. “They are basically working back in the ‘70s.”
“Nothing more than a desk job in the grain industry,” said a current international documents specialist. “Pay is a little low, the location is in a smelly part of town and the upper management seems to be clueless.”
Of the 27 published reviews online, 10 mentioned that the high employee turnover rate was a big problem. To avoid a similar fate, create a contemporary and exciting company culture for your business. Encourage employees to have fun. Don’t hinder them with outdated technology and micromanagement. You’ll attract better talent, you’ll retain more employees, and you’ll increase your productivity exponentially.
Your Recruiting System Needs Some Structure: Optimal Solutions
For a data and policy analysis firm, Optimal Solutions Group seems more than a little foggy about the effectiveness of its own hiring policies. Mismanagement, poor bidding practices and unpaid overtime all contribute to employee dissatisfaction at Optimal Solutions, but the biggest gripe seems to be the company’s insistence on hiring young college graduates with low salary requirements to do complex technical work. The company’s score on GlassDoor currently sits at 1.7 out of 5 stars.
“Junior staff do the grunt of the work, they manage the projects and track the budgets with no training,” said one former employee.
“The turnover is phenomenal,” said another. “Beyond a core set of a few employees, a large proportion stays for less than 18 months. The Optimal model is to hire new graduates at low salaries, work them to death (some actually sleep overnight in the office sometimes), and then they either move on after a year or go back to school.”
What’s even stranger is that, in an apparent effort to cut costs further, Optimal Solutions employs no middle management. As another former employee says, “The owners of this company of 50 require that everyone, from the receptionist to the senior staff, report directly to the CEO or COO. There is no middle management.”
Great recruiting depends upon a great preexisting employment structure. Balance your group of young employees with experienced workers who know the industry. Competent managers free up your time so that you can focus on the bigger issues, but more importantly than that, they increase your company’s productivity by motivating and managing your employees. Spend the money to hire a reliable and productive workforce now so that you don’t hemorrhage money trying to reduce turnover later.
Final Thoughts: Treat Your Recruiting System With Respect
If there’s one thing to take away from the stories of these three companies, it’s that the hiring process has to be treated with respect. Hiring sharks is a good way to run a company into the ground. An organization that lacks an effective internal structure may ultimately disintegrate. And if a company doesn’t work on developing a good corporate culture, it won’t attract talent in the first place. So take the time to build up your company properly. It’s easier said than done, but the process begins with the same thing every time: an honest assessment of your company’s strengths and weaknesses.