3 Hiring Myths That Are Sabotaging Your Talent Search

Way too often, potential job candidates make assumptions about what an employer is looking for. Then they decide to take themselves out of the running based on those assumptions, whether they’re valid or not. Many talented applicants have sold themselves short by giving up on a position before even applying.

Sadly, job seekers aren’t the only ones thinking inside their little boxes and missing out on potential opportunities. Plenty of employers also make assumptions and generalizations that keep them from hiring amazing talent.

Here are some common employment myths employers buy into during the hiring process:

1.) We have to make this a full-time position

Do you, though?

If the job can be done in 30 hours a week, why hire someone full time? Sure, that person might give you another 10 hours of miscellaneous help in other ways. Or, they might find a way to spread their 30 hours of work out into 40.

There tons of smart, talented people struggling to balance the demands of work, family, and personal commitments. Many of them are excellent employees who would jump at the opportunity for a position that allowed them greater flexibility. Healthy, balanced lives lead to a healthy, balanced workforce. There’s no shame in creating awesome part-time positions.

Departments or organizations may fear losing clout or funding if they don’t convince higher ups that the position is important enough be full-time. This is a ridiculous notion to any true business person. Make your case based on evidence and efficiencies and you’ll have any good manager’s ear. Don’t force a square peg into a round hole if it doesn’t fit.

Dangerous assumptions:

  • We’ll get X hours of additional work out of whoever we hire!
  • No high caliber candidates would ever be interested in a part-time position.
  • A part-time position will seem less critical, less important, or less worthy of funding.

Dangerous behaviors:

There’s a fine line between offering part-time positions because it makes sense for the job and offering part-time positions strictly to avoid paying living wages and providing employee benefits. Don’t be THAT company. Design your positions fairly and pay your people what they’re worth.

2.) We need an outside expert 

No one is saying that outside experts can’t be helpful. But there is mounting evidence that inside hires are better business decisions.

Because your current employees are already familiar with the culture and each other, the learning curve is shorter. Outside hires have to learn everything from the ground up. They also tend to command higher starting salaries. And the real kicker? They don’t last as long in their positions. Internal hires require less hand-holding, fewer resources, and they hang around longer. Win-win-win.

Why so many businesses insist on overlooking the talent they’ve cultivated is perplexing. You hired these people. They’re known entities. Take your high performers and see what they can do given the opportunity. Don’t rule people out simply because they don’t have 100% of the skills they need to step into a particular role. Yes, they will require training. But so will an outside hire.

When it comes to transitioning the new person into their role, a well-respected internal hire will have a big advantage over an unknown outsider. Plus, they may even be willing to train their replacement before moving into the new position.

Dangerous assumptions:

  • We need someone with “fresh eyes”
  • No one here is qualified to step into this position
  • It will be too hard to transition an internal candidate into the new role

Dangerous behaviors:

Choosing an internal candidate can’t be done willy-nilly, or with blatant favoritism. Promoting a marketing intern to VP of Marketing probably won’t go over well, especially if she happens to be the CEO’s niece.

Establish a fair and sensible internal hiring process, and apply it evenly every time. Oh, and just because research says internal hires don’t demand as much compensation doesn’t mean you should lowball them. Make sure you’re offering competitive salaries and benefits.

Of course there may be times when you really do need to make an outside hire, especially if you’re planning on a major organizational overhaul. And that’s okay. But it doesn’t need to be your default.

3.) We can’t hire someone who Seems overqualified

Here we go again. Making assumptions.

There’s a reason this person applied for the job, despite appearing to be overqualified. Unless you way overplayed the substance and significance of the position, you should trust that anyone who takes the time to apply is actually interested in the opportunity.

If it’s money you’re worried about, here’s the question that must be asked: Are you including salary range information in the posting? This will quickly clear up any misconceptions about compensation. Just because an applicant has a lot of experience doesn’t necessarily mean they have higher than average salary expectations. It also doesn’t mean they are destined to get bored and leave at the first opportunity.

Maybe they’ve done their research and are excited about your product, mission or culture. You don’t know what drew your candidates to you. Until you ask, that is.

There may be a perfectly good reason they are interested in a position that appears to be less than challenging. Perhaps they’re being challenged in other areas of their life instead. Maybe they have an ill parent or child at home. Maybe they’re writing a novel, or training for an ultra-marathon.

The point is, that “too qualified” candidate you just put in the no pile might be the best employee you never had.

Dangerous assumptions:

  • We can’t afford this person
  • He will never stick around
  • She shouldn’t want this position. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Dangerous behaviors:

There’s a big difference between hiring an occasional overqualified person and writing job descriptions with requirements that are out of sync with actual duties.

While it’s true that an overqualified candidate might want to opt in, it’s also true that demanding a master’s degree for an entry level positon is total overkill. Make sure your job postings are painting an accurate picture of what life in that position is really like, including the compensation structure. This will make the job search much easier on both ends.

Don’t let erroneous hiring assumptions sabotage your employee recruitment. Expand your range of vision and you’ll be much more likely to spot your next best hire.


Photo by photoschmidt 

5 Pillars of Employee-Related Expenses eBook

10 Ways to Get and Keep Top Talent

As business becomes more and more competitive, simply filling open positions isn’t enough. You need serious talent. And you want serious talent that will stick around.

Increasing employee retention is becoming more and more difficult. In fact, a MetLife survey found that only 66% of employees are looking to be in their same job in 12 months.

So how do you win those coveted, quality candidates? And get them to stay?  

Here are 10 steps to building and maintaining a winning team:

1. Know what drives them— Make sure that your employees have at least one part of their job that gets them fired up. Discover that passion and encourage its pursuit. In doing so, you’ll create a situation that is fulfilling and rewarding. And hard to walk away from.

2. Challenge them intellectually— Smart, creative people love solving problems and trying new things. Take away these things and they can become bored or uninspired. Create an environment filled with a healthy dose of challenge to keep your team engaged and inspired.

3. Give them ownership— Hard-working employees love making an impact, and being empowered to make things happen. Staff will get way more excited about something they helped create than something that was simply dropped on their desks.

4. Develop their skills— The best talent isn’t happy standing still. Or falling behind. These employees crave career development. One study showed that 46% of employees said limited opportunities to learn new skills was the top reason they were bored in their current roles.

5. Listen— Those with the strongest talent may also have the strongest opinions. It takes a confident leader be comfortable giving their employees a legitimate voice. Allow this to happen in your company and you will have the admiration of everyone in it. This doesn’t mean you make every decision by consensus. It just means you need to listen before you decide.

6. Get to know people— Take a genuine interest in each employee. Get to know what makes them tick. Learn what motivates them, and what makes them feel bad. See your staff members as people first and employees second, and you will earn their respect, appreciation, and loyalty.

7. Reward their efforts— This means more than just not taking employees for granted. It means taking the time to actively acknowledge the hard work and effort your team puts in every day. It also means accepting that not all recognition is created equal. What works well for one person may not mean much to another (see #6 above).

8. Be fair— Nothing destroys loyalty faster than favoritism. Employees want to know that everyone is being treated equally. Create a culture of fairness and consistency. Whether you’re talking about company rules or rewards, make sure your policies are applied evenly to all.

9. Follow Through— Trust is critical to your ability to cultivate talent and build loyalty. To earn it, you’ve got to have integrity. Do what you say and say what you mean. Be honest. If you make a promise, keep it. If you make a mistake, take responsibility.

10. Be a leader— No matter how strong their talent, most people are hesitant about going somewhere new on their own. If you have the courage to take your company (and your employees!) to new places, your team will follow you almost anywhere.


Photo by WAYHOME studio

5 Pillars of Employee-Related Expenses eBook 

Could Employee Benefits Be the Key to Employee Retention?

Providing employee benefits is expensive. So is employee turnover.

If you’re thinking of both of these things as two giant, financial burdens that are sucking the life out of your business, maybe it’s time to shift your perspective.

Instead of focusing on the “unavoidable” costs of both of these things, start looking at how investing in one area could positively affect the other.

Raising the ROI

Research is showing that employee benefits are more important than ever.

According to MetLife, 73% of employees believe that employers have a responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their employees. And get this… 82% of employers agree.

This study also revealed the following:

  • Nearly 60% employees said that health and wellbeing benefits are important to driving job loyalty— and that they would be more loyal to their employer if offered these benefits.
  • 75% of employees said they would be likely to accept a new job if they were offered the ability to customize their benefits to meet their needs.
  • 52% of employees said they would be willing to pay more for the cost of benefits if the benefits met their needs.
  • Over half of employees agreed that achieving financial wellbeing through benefits impacts their productivity at work.

The right benefits plan has the power to drive employee satisfaction, retention and productivity.

Now, just imagine if you put together a custom benefits solution that met (or exceeded!) employee needs and expectations. You’d be well on your way to a happier, healthier and more loyal workforce.

Even better, in addition to reducing the high cost of employee turnover, you may even be able to reduce your overall benefits spend.

Sound like a pipe dream?

It doesn’t have to be.

We know there are plenty of insurance brokers out there who will insist that healthcare costs can’t be contained, and that you should expect to pay more for less every year. But there are also a whole lot of dedicated employee benefits consultants who will tell you that’s hogwash.

A new wave of benefits advisors is emerging, and they aren’t interested in simply quoting policies and collecting commissions. These advisors are as fed up with the broken healthcare system as you are. Many of them are business owners themselves, and they understand the struggle between wanting to provide for their employees and needing to find business solutions that work.

They personally know people who are struggling to find coverage. They’ve seen friends, family members, and colleagues rack up astronomical medical debt. And every single day, they’re out there talking with employers who continue to fork out more and more to provide less and less.

These innovative brokers are putting together creative solutions to help employers manage their costs and take care of their employees, such as:

  • Self-funding options for groups large and small
  • Cost reduction strategies for known high cost drivers such as prescription medications and surgeries
  • Family medical care designed to manage chronic care, reduce emergency visits, and proactively manage individual health
  • Guidance to hand-hold employees as they navigate the complexities of the system, both in finding and evaluating care options and in managing the ensuing bills
  • HR and technology solutions that both HR and employees can get excited about

Keep your employees, lose your broker

If your current agent isn’t coming to you with new ideas and strategies to help you accomplish your business goals and impact your bottom line, it’s time to start looking for a trusted benefits consultant who will.

Want to talk with a consultant who is interested in helping your business thrive? Contact your Q4iNetwork broker for help with creative, cost-saving solutions. Need help finding one? We can help you get connected.  


Photo by Edgars Sermulis5 Pillars of Employee-Related Expenses eBook