Do you know “Your Approach to Hiring Is All Wrong”?- Fix It ASAP

The Harvard Business Review article says- ‘Your Approach to Hiring Is All Wrong’! Is it so? If yes, what mistakes are businesses committing even in technologically advanced 2021? How can we improve the hiring areas where we are making all wrong? All these questions can be answered once we go deeper in the business article and find ways to improve in our ways. Before starting the discussion, we must say that the hiring approach should be right rather than superior to win the competition and have the best candidates on board. 

According to a Harvard business review, businesses are doing the most hiring today and previously we cannot see this much hiring effort in any business organization. Business organizations have never spent this much money, time, and effort on hiring as they are doing today. In the same way, they are committing grave mistakes too. 

Why are businesses hiring this much and committing these many mistakes today? 

More and more surveys by Harvard have found out that more and more employers are complaining about the difficult scenario of hiring today. We can say that the scenario is getting complicated because employers are becoming very picky about candidates, recession in the slack labor market, and so many other reasons. 

It is evident that businesses are hiring candidates more than ever in modern history. Harvard researchers say that there are two reasons behind it. The reasons are-

First reason: 

It is evident that vacancies are getting filled more than often using external sources instead of promoting from within. We have seen that from the end of World War II to the 1970s, businesses used to fill their openings via internal promotions and lateral assignments. Today, businesses are conducting the internal promotion at a third or less ratio in comparison with the mentioned time span. Companies can save a lot of money if they hire candidates from outside as they do not need to spend much for training and developing their employees. 

Since the 1980s, it has become easier for all organizations to find skilled candidates outside the organization. According to a Harvard business review, only 28% of recruitment experts agree that internal candidates can also be an important source to fill vacancies in a business organization. There are many organizations that deal with less internal development and fewer prominent career ladders and as a result, their hiring approach includes more external candidates instead of promoting from the existing workforce. 

If an organization narrows the internal promotion regime, we can say that the organization is not concentrating on entry-level jobs and recent graduate candidates. It is easy for companies to hire high-level candidates i.e. experienced candidates as they know those candidates are doing the defined jobs somewhere else. These candidates require zero to little training and they can start contributing for you right away. But it is also true that they are much harder to find as well as to recruit. 

The second reason 

The hiring approach of nearly all modern companies is becoming tough each day. And the second biggest reason behind it is- 

Employee retention is now a challenging thing due to increased competition in the market. Modern business organizations keep hiring from their competitors in order to fill the open positions. According to the Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 95% of hiring takes place just to fill the existing open positions. Generally, these vacancies take place due to voluntary turnover. 

LinkedIn data indicates that most employees search for a new opportunity for career advancement that they do not get in their current companies. When employers will not promote employees to a senior position, it is obvious that they will find other ways to conduct their career advancements. 

It is also evident that the root cause of increased hiring is the poor employee retention rate. 

In order to improve employee retention rate and to fix the hiring approach, there are some effective ways that organizations can follow irrespective of size and industry type. 

Ways to improve hiring approach and employee retention rate

  1. Check the openings that are filled by existing employees

There is an effective formula for all business organizations and that is what we measure that we manage. But there are a lot of companies that do not concentrate on this formula especially while hiring new candidates to fill the existing position. We must say a lot of companies will be shocked if they check how many vacancies they fill using their existing employees in a year. If organizations keep hiring people from outside to manage different and bigger roles, it indicates that their people are not able to handle the growing requirements. It also indicates their poor training and employee development practices. 

So, whenever it comes to filling a bigger position, you should look first at your own employee base instead of starting with outside resources. If you promote your existing employees, there will be some ground-level vacancies that can be easily filled with freshers and new graduates. The hiring approach or cycle should run in a systematic way. 

  1. Ensure that all openings are posted internally first 

The internal job board is not a new thing as it has taken place during the dot-com boom phase. It is really effective in reducing employee turnover. It makes the process easier for people to find new jobs within their current organizations. It has been seen that even managers of some organizations were not allowed to if a subordinate is planning to move within the organization in fear that they will block that person or that person can leave the organization. Such a hiring approach was stopped for a period. But due to the worldwide recession, employees were not leaving their current organization and as a result, many companies went back to their old hiring approach to prevent subordinates from moving internally. 

Cornell University’s JR Keller has found out that when managers tried to fill a vacancy with someone internally, the performance was not up to the mark in most cases. And they have also found out that the newly hired ones were better in terms of performance in comparison with existing employees who have been posted to a bigger role internally. We must say that there are some companies which know well about their talent as well as capabilities. 

  1. Protect employees against discrimination 

It is not that only hiring good candidates is going to help an organization at the best level. After hiring good candidates, there should be a system to protect them from any kind of discrimination. The hiring approach and employee management approach should follow state and federal laws while hiring and maintaining employees with disabilities. 

Employers must ensure that the hiring approach is not discriminatory. We have seen that there are some groups of people who are less likely to be hired. Employers should have valid reasons for his/her hiring approach as he/she does not include any particular group of people in his/her workforce. Employers should have a prediction strategy to recognize good employees in statistically meaningful ways. 

  1. The expense of external hiring 

According to Mathew Bidwell, it has been seen that internal employees will require nearly seven years in order to reach the pay range that an outside hire easily gets. If the company depends on too many outside hires, it will automatically create a sense that existing employees will not get promotions here and they have to search for somewhere else where they can conduct their career advancement. Such a hiring approach will ruin the company culture and stress peers who are there to help new hires to define how things work. 

It is not that outside hiring is a bad idea. But if the company is not creating new job positions, relying only on outside hiring is definitely a bad idea as it will ruin the balance and culture of any business organization. 

Employee retention is not a good thing. There are some ways to prevent it. In order to prevent this, you have to start with identifying who wants to leave the organization and who wants to stay with you. Using advanced technologies such as HR analytics, you can easily measure flight risk. Once you get data about the flight risk, you can take the necessary steps according to the leadership mood. 

  1. Hiring process improvement

We have seen that in order to get skilled people on board, companies commit many mistakes. It is good to use technologies and modern ways but too much dependency often makes them miss the ultimate goal. Quality hires are still a possible thing if the entire hiring approach can be revamped. How can you revamp your existing hiring approach?- let’s explore

  1. Do not publish ‘Phantom jobs’ openings 

We all know that posting free jobs will not require any money! You can easily post a job vacancy on the company website and on other online job portals. But nearly all organizations forget to take the job ad down when the position is filled. In this way, a lot of fake job positions or phantom jobs keep hanging on company websites and online job portals. Because of these empty job ads, the labor market seems tighter and economic policymakers find it difficult to craft something meaningful. On the other hand, it also creates frustration for active job seekers as they cannot understand which company has actual vacancies. It can also affect the reputation of an organization. So, it will be better if the vacancy is filled, the job ad will be taken down. 

  1. Only include realistic requirements 

While preparing for the job post, you should only consider the actual job requirements and required skills, expertise, and experience of candidates. You should not mention anything that can create a vague sense of the position. Now resume sorting gets down by the applicant tracking system and often many skilled candidates get eliminated at the very beginning due to missing keywords. Too much dependency on the applicant tracking systems can make you miss truly expert candidates again and again. And in some cases, you may need to apply for several more job ad postings. It wastes money, time, and effort. There should be sound manual intervention in order to make the hiring approach error-free. 

  1. Concentrate on passive candidates 

We all know that highly skilled candidates remain open for a new position only for a few days and winning them in such a short time is extremely tough. It is not that whenever you will have vacancies, they will be available to accept your offer. In order to fill the vacancies faster, experts suggest concentrating on passive candidates too. It is evident that a vast number of people are okay to move to a new organization if they get the best remuneration and benefits. With the right hiring approach, best packages, and benefits, winning a passive candidate is not a tough task. 

  1. Identify the limit of referrals 

Linked research says that up to 48% of new hires come from employee referrals. But that does not mean you have to always rely on referrals whenever it comes to hiring new people. Extreme dependency on referrals creates a culture of a homogeneous workforce. It creates a lack of diversity, innovation, and ideas. The workforce should have the required diversity to grow as well as improve the social scenario. 


In these 5 ways, hiring approach improvement is an easy thing. The hiring approach does not only decide how many candidates you hire in a year but also it is linked with employee retention rate. If the approach is right and welcoming, it is easy to increase the employee retention rate without facing any interruptions. In order to improve the hiring approach, we have shared some effective ways. The hiring style changes with time. It will be better if you analyze every associated element of your hiring process and decide the entire system on a regular basis. The recruitment market is getting tougher each and every day and that’s why each step should be well measured and improved regularly.