Five common mistakes you could be making when recruiting

Ashby Jenkins

As January 2022 started, we were all expecting (and hoping for) a huge increase in the number of candidates applying for jobs, leaving behind the candidate-short market of 2021. But whilst the number of vacancies being advertised has dramatically increased (1,863 live jobs on “Fundraising” on CharityJob at the time of writing) we haven’t seen the normal upswing of applicant numbers you would expect. So perhaps the “new year, new job” mentality has taken a back seat, being replaced by a security and flexibility-driven market which is making it increasingly difficult to fill vacancies.

There are still many organisations making some mistakes when it comes to recruiting that can be reasonably easily solved. Below are a couple of common mistakes that could be reducing your chances of recruiting successfully:

Leaving long wait periods between shortlisting candidates and interviewing them
In the current market, the few candidates around are searching actively, often applying for multiple jobs and securing multiple interviews. If you are leaving more than five working days between your shortlisting and interview dates you are at high risk of losing some of your shortlisted candidates. Keep timelines reasonably tight, shortlisting on a Friday and booking candidates in for the latter part of the following week works well and minimises risk.

Long application processes
Most sectors will interview candidates based on CV only applications (some just through seeing a LinkedIn profile.) So if you are asking for a CV, application form and long statement or portal you may be creating a time barrier for application numbers. It can also mean that your recruitment process isn’t as inclusive to the neuro-diverse or people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Insisting on multiple interview stages
Do you need a two-stage interview for your roles? Sometimes it’s unavoidable but could you consider introducing an in-interview task to showcase the ability to do the job? If you have to go to a second stage try to keep a gap of less than five working days to minimise drop-outs.

Tasks at the first stage interview
If you are planning a multiple-stage interview process from the offset, can you include tasks at the second stage? This will reduce the stress and pressure on candidates. Normally this will mean that you are only asking a maximum of two candidates you are genuinely interested in to invest their time preparing a presentation.

Not putting candidate experience and wellbeing first
Every time you are recruiting you are representing the employer branding of your charity. Something that alienated candidates during the height of the pandemic was never getting updates on their applications or feedback from interviews they attended. If you fail to give prompt, constructive feedback, you risk putting that candidate off ever applying again, leading to long-term recruitment challenges. Also, detailed feedback on which question a candidate scored lowest on is extremely helpful so please take the time to do this.