5 recruiting mistakes that may be adding to resignations


When there is a talent shortage, you have to be extra careful in your approach to hiring.

Whether you call it the Great Resignation or the Great Reset, recruiters are busy these days. An unprecedented number of quits have created an unprecedented number of vacancies that need to be filled. But your company’s recruiting methods could be contributing to your turnover.

“With job openings at record highs and unemployment at record lows, recruiters have to be extra diligent in making sure that they are hiring the right talent for the right reasons,” says Joanna Chavers, director of people and engagement at Atrium Staffing. “[Doing so can] help fend off resignations a few months down the road.”

Instead of using shortsighted hiring practices that create a revolving door of resignations, make sure you’re avoiding these five hiring mistakes:


Too often, organizations don’t spend enough time on the front end of truly understanding the problem they’re trying to solve and identifying the characteristics for the right candidate, says Luke Morris, a consultant with the executive search firm WittKieffer.

“What are those key competencies and attributes that you’re looking for that will help solve your organizational problem?” he asks. “Not having done that prep work can delay the process and lead to a poor choice.”


Offering flexible work arrangements is a good start for competing for talent, but if you don’t have the right technology or policies in place, the employee may eventually leave, says Steve Black, cofounder and chief strategy officer of Topia, an HR tech company specializing in global talent mobility.

“In our recent Adapt survey, we found 96% of employees rank flexibility in working arrangements as a key factor when finding a new employer, so when work from anywhere is offered, many employees jump at the opportunity,” he says. “But when the employee gets there, they realize they don’t have as much flexibility as they think. There are asterisks attached.”

For example, Airbnb’s recent flexible work policy that allows employees to work in 170 different countries. “This list of countries quickly gets narrowed down as soon as employees realize they need to get proper work authorization and visas,” says Black. “When employees realize this, the perk immediately loses its value.”


Employees who leave a company just months after they start are rarely doing so because of things like benefits, responsibilities, or commute, says Aimee George Leary, Booz Allen Hamilton executive vice president and global talent officer. “Those items are discussed upfront in the interview process,” she says.

One major reason employees are walking back out the door is that they are not seeing a future for themselves at the company once they take the position. This can lead to resignation a few months later.

“Employers need to adjust the career trajectories they are offering for their talent, as everyone is looking for a path that leads to growth and progression,” says George Leary.

Mistakes are often due to a misalignment of expectations between both the candidate and the company, adds Jess Elmquist, chief human resources officer of Phenom, a global HR technology company.

“Candidates want to understand their growth opportunities, including long-term and ongoing education, mentoring, and career-pathing opportunities before joining a potential employer,” he says. “If the employee experience doesn’t align with their expectations, they may leave quickly.”


Employers need to ask candidates what their biggest motivator is while in the interview process, says Chavers. “Find out what they are looking for in their career, what type of environment they like working in, and when they were happiest and most fulfilled in a position,” she says.

If the candidate is looking for money and someone else comes in with a higher number, you’ll risk losing the employee. “If they were desperate to get out of their previous role, or unemployed, you could be working with an employee who is in your organization for the wrong reasons,” she says.


Recruiters and hiring managers are under pressure to convince candidates that they are offering them a fantastic opportunity before another employer makes an offer. This can set up the employee for disappointment later, says Peter Corless, executive vice president of OnShift, a human capital management platform.

“Creating an unrealistic picture can lead to the new employee becoming disillusioned during orientation and training, and prompting another job search and a resignation,” he says.

Instead, Corless says it’s important to be up front and honest with applicants about the realities they will face if they accept the position. “Yes, this means that there will likely be fewer applicants who accept the position, but those who do will know exactly what they will face and have realistic expectations,” he says. “It may take more time to fill the position, but the new hire will be far more likely to embrace the challenge, stick it out, and succeed.”

During the interview process, candidates only get so much time with the team, and complete honesty can make a big difference, adds Morris. “To some degree, companies try to brush some things under the rug hoping that this individual will come in and help them fix those things,” he says. “The more time you can spend being up front and giving them examples about what it’s like to work there, the better it will be in terms of retaining that individual in the long run.”

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