5 Costly Mistakes Companies Make When Trying to Recruit Top Talent

Learn from the mistakes of others when searching for your best prospects

If you’re looking for quality employees and finding the process difficult, you may want to examine your process and criteria. In some cases, the challenge may not stem from a shallow talent pool – rather the way you go about your search. Check out these 5 costly mistakes some companies make while trying to build out their team, and avoid them when and where possible.

1. Refusing to think outside the box

Many companies have extremely specific parameters about whom they employ, perhaps limiting themselves to the graduates of specific universities or alumni of large corporations, or individuals with many years of experience in a specific field.

While it’s important for recruiters to know what they want, your company shouldn’t limit itself by creating artificial employment parameters which may not affect a candidate’s actual on-the-job performance. In fact, it’s often some of the most unlikely hires who end up becoming the greatest workers – and sometimes even the leaders – of the companies they join.

2. Forgetting the past during the hiring process

When hiring a new employee, it’s essential to look at the past employees you’ve hired, especially the best and the worst ones. There’s a good chance that all the best hires had at least a few good things in common, and all the worst ones had a few negative things in common as well.

Whether you identify some subtle signs of future greatness, or a few warnings of bad on-the-job performance, it’s important to identify what these specific indicators are and look for them before they cost you, big time. As the saying goes, “those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.” And if you don’t study the history of your employment decisions, you’re bound to make the same mistakes.

3. Hiring solely for a resume, instead of company culture and values

Every company has a specific culture, with specific expectations, norms, and ideas about how work should be done. Often, these psychological elements have much more to do with the long-term success of an employee than simply an impressive resume. So, if you don’t completely love what you’re hearing or feeling about the person when talking to a potential recruit, but you feel like you can’t pass up an Ivy League education, top-tier MBA, or a successful stint at a Fortune 500, think again!

The candidate in question might be an amazing employee – just not an amazing fit for your company. Likewise, if you interview a candidate with a less-than-stellar resume, but their passion, perseverance, or attitude really touches or impresses you, don’t be afraid to consider bringing them on – even if it’s not for the role you originally were hiring for. While decent workers are everywhere, a truly amazing company fit is hard to find, and you don’t want to waste talent just because they don’t perfectly fit a job description.

4. Haggling during salary negotiations or trying to underpay for quality talent

While negotiating a fair salary price for a future employee can be an important part of the hiring process in any company, it’s important to keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The decision to underpay a qualified applicant with the goal of saving money often backfires – the employee often resents taking the offer and feels less valued at work, leading to reduced work performance and a desire to leave the company.

If anything, a company should aim to slightly overpay for good talent in order to increase employee retention and make sure employees feel valued and secure enough to produce their best work. This often creates a positive feedback loop of happy, innovative, and hardworking employees who are loyal and committed to an employer who they feel respects them.

5.  Lack of transparency about work expectations, compensation, and company culture

When trying to recruit a new employee, it’s essential to be as transparent as possible about both what you expect from them and what they should expect from you. For example, some companies may talk in interviews about flexible work schedules or going home early, when in reality, company bosses may expect 50-60 hour workweeks in the office. Likewise, some firms may go about advertising the potential for employees to get quick promotions, when in reality, they may need to work multiple years to get even a minor raise.

Most good candidates are willing to work hard for their salaries and any promotions they want to receive – however, no one wants to be seriously misled about what working at a company is really like. So, be as honest as possible and if a recruit doesn’t like what they hear, they likely aren’t the right fit for your organization.

When it comes to recruiting top talent for your company, common sense goes a long way. Look for hard workers with good values, no matter where they come from, be honest about the compensation and culture at your firm, and know that, when it comes to salaries, you get what you pay for.

At Capital Markets Placement, we know the ins and outs of the recruiting process for firms in a range of industries. For more tips about how to hire rock star employees at your company, contact us today at 212.342.7430 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.


Recruit Top Talent Mistakes, Recruit Top Talent,

Should Your Company Use Pre-Employment Tests to Source, Sort, and Qualify Candidates?

They’ll help you move quickly to snag top talent, but make sure to keep the process personal.

It sounds like the Dark Ages, but it was actually only a couple of decades ago: The only thing an employer really knew about a job candidate was what they put on their resume. Sure, they could ask for references—but we all know how easy it is to get around that. A company would hire, only to discover they played the wrong card, and this person was not qualified.

How could they have made a better decision? Fast-forward to the present, where companies must move quickly if they want to snag the best talent for a position. Pre-employment testing tools—most of which are now online—give them the power to validate skills.

Hard skills

As a whole, they’re known as assessment tests. The best are valuable tools to determine skillsets and mindsets. They’re customizable so they can be used to drill right down to the specific qualifications a candidate needs to be successful with a position.

Most of these tests are used to assess hard skills. If you’re joining an IT department, you need to have more than basic computer skills. Your area of responsibility might be supporting specific equipment, hardware, and software, or to be versatile with several programming languages. An employer can test for these skills, right down to the brands found throughout the company.

Hard skills also include areas of expertise that are either native or learned. A candidate who will work with your Asian customers can be tested to ensure they’re fluent in, say, Mandarin. Are you looking for a spreadsheet ninja? You can arrange for candidates to take an assessment test that will validate their ability to tackle even the most difficult of pivot tables.

Soft skills

Hard skill assessments measure specific types of knowledge. Soft skill assessments help to validate experiential ability. Are you looking to expand your customer service department? You can train them how to use your call center system, but they need to show up on the first day possessing top-rate customer service skills.

Soft skills assessment tests allow companies to determine a candidate’s interpersonal abilities. These tests can be customized to look for certain qualities. Does your salesforce use consultative selling techniques? An assessment test can give you the level of certainty that a candidate has this particular talent.

Many of these tests have the goal of measuring communication skills. They can also give insight into a candidate’s capacity for working on teams. Time management assessment tests are available for candidates who will assume self-directed positions.

Personality tests

This collection of assessments is often the least understood. They’re not going to help you predict inappropriate behavior. Your organization wants to attract employees who will be comfortable with your company culture, and these assessments can be customized to ask the kinds of questions that help you confirm that a candidate shares your organization’s business philosophies. They are also helpful in determining a candidate’s reliability and trustworthiness.

We are advanced enough in the science of psychology to test for the exact personal character traits needed to excel in a specific position. The assessment you’ve heard of most often used for this purpose is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. It’s beneficial in helping an organization feel confident that a job candidate has the right mix of character traits—especially in management and leadership positions.

Cognitive tests

Not all assessments are meant to gauge what a candidate knows. Cognitive tests determine how a candidate thinks. Can they process new information? Are they able to analyze a complicated scenario and make a decision that advances company objectives?


We live in a well-connected world. It’s unlikely that a candidate will be completely caught off guard if asked to take pre-employment assessment tests. They’re aware that this is a common practice.

What sometimes gets missed in the process, though, is thoughtfulness and diplomacy. You’ve got competition out there if you’re trying to attract the top talent in your industry, and job candidates know this. They’re assessing you, just as you’re about to do the same for them.

Keep that in mind if you plan to ask candidates to take pre-employment assessments prior to being considered as a potential job candidate. It takes just a moment to set the stage. A future company superstar can hear one of two approaches:

  • Company policy. Mandatory. Required in order to be considered any further.

  • We don’t want to waste your time, or ours. These assessments help us to make sure we’re a good fit for each other.

Your first impression on a job candidate is important. It sets the stage for the lifecycle of their employment. Pre-employment testing helps you get in front of only the right people, and it can all be done online, remotely, with nothing but a browser and an Internet connection.

But make sure you keep the process personal.

If you are looking to find the right candidates for your company, look to Capital Markets Placement. Call us at 212.342.7430 or connect with us here.


Pre-Employment Tests

The Growth of the Modern Independent Workforce

The Growth of the Modern Independent Workforce

A look at the trends that are defining the new norm

Employment has traditionally required a singular focus on one position, with one employer. The currents are changing, however. The 21st century is altering the faces and places of employment, nurturing a breed who constitute a growing proportion of the global workforce. Independents. Freelancers. Contingents. Work-from-homes. 1099’s. Moonlighters. Whichever label they adopt, they’re on their way to becoming the majority.

The rise of the independent worker

According to this research commissioned by the Freelancer’s Union, the shift toward the independent sector has been slowly but surely underway for decades. The study ranks the significance of this change as on par with the Industrial Revolution. Over 50 million Americans are taking on a freelance lifestyle and working free of the typical 9 to 5 job. This means that close to 1 in 3 of employed US workers could be classified as a freelancer, and these professionals add $715 billion to the U.S. economy every year.

The independent mindset

In the past, not pursuing a typical 5-day work week was frowned upon. Red flags were raised about employability or the desire to work at all. The stereotype is changing, but it still takes a particular courage and hustle to choose the freelance route. Would you work in a sector where there’s no such thing as a minimum wage and no traditional work-related benefits?

The independent work route also deals with another stereotype; the idea of a work-from-home job that isn’t all that stressful. The reality is quite different. Freelancing is a rapidly growing sector, and as such has price transparency and serious competition among those looking for work. This means winners and losers resemble any other employment model.

It also means that a prospective freelancer can take on work for many different employers. The main reason freelancers choose to go independent is to obtain a secondary (or tertiary) source of income. The other motivating factor is their ability to flexibly manage their time and retain a degree of independence.

The diversity of this demographic

Freelancers are a highly diverse group of individuals operating in many locations at varying levels of work intensity. They run the spectrum of age, gender and social status. Some freelancers have a full-time job that’s being supplemented by independent work. Others may work multiple jobs of limited hours and freelance in their spare time. As a flexibly scheduled financial supplement, the independent workplace is tailor-made for those juggling family, educational, or personal responsibilities.

Technology enables everything

The freelance market is growing along with technology. As more and more retail stores close up physical shop and move into the infinite showroom of cyberspace, a brick and mortar office is looking increasingly less necessary as the future arrives. Work-from-home jobs (and the sites that offer them) are numerous, offering independent opportunities in nearly every sector, from social media management to medicine. Even the liberating term “work from home” is limited. Freelancers can be found in coffee shops, parks and beside us in transit. If you’re taking an Uber, then your driver is part of this independent workforce. Within the next seven years, it’s projected that online independent work platforms could boost global GDP by trillions of dollars and create as many as 72 million new jobs.

The future means further freedom for freelancers

At the heart of it all, technology is the mother of this employment reinvention. This staggering chart reveals the pace at which tech is advancing. Everything (everything) is moving away from traditional static models into fluid and organic forms. The only thing that may solidify in the freelance market is the an infrastructure to fix minimum rates, secure benefits, and create some sense of professional unity among those in the field.

Traditional jobs are on the wane and whether or not it’s a choice for them, millions more people are set to step into the waters of an independent workforce. Employment is undergoing a revolution, and the independents are evolving to adapt, survive, and thrive in this brave new world.

CMP.jobs matches freelance and traditional talent with the employers who need it. From start-ups to Fortune 500’s, we’ve helped some of the world’s biggest players find the right people. Check out our listings or sign up today.


Independent Workforce

How Some Companies Are Using Social Media to Recruit Top Talent

And why you shouldn’t wait another minute to follow suit

It’s a digital world. And every person in every industry, everywhere in the world is impacted by and engaging in new ways via today’s technology. When it comes to recruiting, the advent of social media has opened up brand new avenues to hiring and is rapidly doing away with the old paper-in-hand resume model of yesteryear.

Companies that embrace social media channels for their recruitment efforts are already outnumbering those who don’t – and those who haven’t jumped on this bandwagon may just find themselves searching for talent in a vast wasteland of mediocrity.

Social hiring – who’s in?

When you consider that in a given month, there are more than 250 million people using Twitter, 300 million using Instagram, and close to 900 million using Facebook, the question of just how powerful social media channels could be for your company should be crystal clear.

The fact is, more and more hiring managers and recruiters are sourcing their candidates through social media and finding the employees they’re looking for. Big dogs like UPS, Home Depot, and Disney are maximizing the advantages that only social media provides: huge reach, the ability to interact and engage with candidates virtually in real time, and the opportunity to use compelling photography and enticing videos.

Why would anyone want to work for you?

What’s it like to work at your company? Instead of the old, one-dimensional wanted ad, why not show them with a big, bold photo or a high-energy video on LinkedIn or Facebook that features your top workers doing what they do best?

Consider how Marriott not only features open positions on Facebook but also includes photos of the properties where the jobs are located. Talk about enticing! They are leveraging their brand effectively with a page has more than one million likes. They also offer “career chats” where their employees answer questions from potential candidates – and they keep it warm and friendly by having their team members use their first names instead of just “Marriott Hotels.”

How appealing is your social talent brand?

If you’re shaking your head, it’s time you learned what this term means. Picture Google headquarters, for example. Pretty much everyone with a pulse immediately envisions a bunch of really creative, talented people working together in a bright, colorful, progressive, campus-like environment – complete with think tanks, coffee bars, fitness centers, and other really cool perks.

And the reason we can all relate to what it would be like to work there is because Google does an amazing job at showing off their social talent brand. The key is to have a cohesive brand across all channels, and keeping it fresh at all times (always be posting).

Got evangelists?

Companies that are great places to work have no problem finding employees who want to talk about it. Giving your team permission to tweet, post, and engage online with others about how awesome your organization is can be a key way to draw in talent. And when you consider that candidates are more willing to explore an opportunity that they learned about from a friend or connection, having your team share on their own pages can take your recruitment efforts farther than ever before.

Is your culture a cause for celebration?

Even if you’re not posting a new position, sharing your company culture on your social media pages helps spread the word about what makes your organization unique and special. So when you’re hosting that office Halloween costume contest, creating a new prototype that’s going to blow the industry away, or doing a group charity event, post those pics and videos and get everyone to share, tweet, retweet, and repeat.

There’s no denying the power of social media. And whether you like it or not, the world of recruiting is rapidly becoming 100 percent digital. So either you’re in or you’re out. And if you want to continue to attract top talent, especially techies, millennials, and even generation Z, being out is not an option.

Ready for a new generation of talent? If so, turn to us. We’re leading the recruitment industry with our innovative methodology and proprietary software that goes beyond traditional methods to connect you with one of the largest networks of technical talent worldwide.


Social Media , Recruit Top Talent