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HR Trends

Talent Shortage: the mistakes to avoid in 2023

eye 264 Published on 01 Dec. 2022
tag #HR advice

All sectors are facing a talent shortage: this is a fact that cannot be denied.

Companies are not only struggling to find candidates but also to retain them with the wave of "great " and "silent" resignations. But with the massive number of resignations, there is a marketplace for available candidates! 
Faced with this paradox, the first reflex is always to find a loophole.

And what if the main flaw was the human factor?  If we often dwell on the procedures, tools, and methods to be followed, we rarely address the human nature behind all this.

The fear of making mistakes, the overconfidence, the deep-seated beliefs, the stress, all these emotions and the behaviours that ensue from them are the root causes.

In this article, let's look at the 3 human mistakes to avoid in recruitment.

The fear of mistakes 

Making a mistake in recruitment is expensive: internal and external costs, onboarding costs, training costs, the cost of termination, and hidden costs that impact the team builds the pressure to make the right decision during recruitment, which can be overwhelming for an HR person.

The fear of making a mistake can be frightening, leading to doubt, inaction and even guilt. The tense context of the Covid-19 crisis, with the wave of departures and lack of candidates, has amplified this feeling of fear and even powerlessness in facing challenges. 

But making decisions always involves a margin of error. Taming the fear of making mistakes begins with accepting that fear is inherent in human nature and that errors are inevitable. Like any emotion, fear has its positive side; it is there to remind you that you are in a difficult situation. It is a warning signal to be cautious and direct you towards behaviours that will help you reduce the risk of failure.

In a recruitment context, you can always control the processes and tools to ensure minimal margin for error. 

Asking questions like, what is the selection process that will allow you to avoid making mistakes? Is the information about the candidates reliable? Do you have objective sources to support your decision? Do you have sufficient knowledge of the context and the position to take the right approach?  What procedures allow you to see the gaps? What methods do you use to rectify if a decision has unforeseen consequences? help in foreseeing and controlling the possible errors that can occur.

Trusting your intuition too much

Which recruiter has never said, "I had a good feeling about a candidate", and yet we all know how misleading our intuition can be.

Humans have a natural tendency to hold their thoughts in high esteem because they believe that their judgements are based on experience and that their decision-making is rational.

In reality, what we call "listening to our intuition" is basing our judgements on an immediate knowledge of the truth without relying on reasoning. Intuition is a rapid cognitive mechanism, unconscious and emotionally charged from similar experiences in the past.

According to researchers, intuition can help us in our decision-making when the information we perceive unconsciously adds value to the information we already have in our conscious mind. Unfortunately, some recruiters give too much weight to intuition without verifying their feelings with facts, which leads to many failures and discriminations.

This overconfidence also makes us forget the numerous cognitive biases that affect our judgement. The first is the illusory superiority bias, whereby an individual tends to overestimate their qualities and abilities. Or confirmation bias, the tendency to privilege information that confirms one's hypotheses and give less weight to hypotheses that differ from one's own, which also translates into a reluctance to change one's mind.

How do you make a decision?  Is it immediate, without questioning? Or do you confirm your intuitions through a structured process that includes factual elements?

Saying, "I've always done it this way".

Behind this sentence lies a mental laziness that is probably linked to a heavy workload, but also out of habit.

Like intuition, habit is a mechanism that our brain has put in place to make the least possible effort. 40% of what we do on a daily basis is not a voluntary decision but simply a habit.

Therefore, we automatically function without noticing it; whether in our daily lives or in the workplace, these automatisms serve us well, but most of them also serve us poorly.

In the workplace, fear of change can arise for a variety of reasons: fear of the unknown, lack of motivation, lack of skills, lack of agility etc.

Faced with these reactions to change, which are quite normal, it is important to remain agile, ask the right questions, control stress and panic, and know how to question the processes.

For example, in recruitment, it may be a question of taking an iterative approach right from the beginning of the job definition rather than following a rigid process, and always keeping an eye out for new methods to test them. This will help in training one’s mental agility and embracing change without fear.

Adaptability is a highly valued soft skill today, as individual and organisational habits are omnipresent.

In conclusion, understanding these common occurrences of human errors will enable one to become aware of them and thereby make efforts to develop a process of recruitment that challenges it. At the end of the day, we are recruiting another human being. In today’s world, as we evolve to be more understanding and open to our flaws, validating an individual with data and facts becomes essential instead of just intuitions and experiences.

Lucia Mititel

Communications Manager - Central Test

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