You have a “hard to fill” open position at your job. Even after interviewing candidate after candidate, the spot has been vacant for over 6 months and you wonder if they’ll ever find someone. To make matters worse, you’ve listened to your HR recruiting manager complain for weeks about “not finding enough qualified applicants”. But in reality, this is why you can’t fill that position.

The applicants don’t fit within the close-minded parameters that you’ve set for the position.

The Job Description is Wrong

Maybe the job description is written in such legalese that only a Harvard grad can understand it and come up with reasonable answers to the open-ended questions your interview team posed to them.

Are the job description and the position expectations measurable? If not, don’t expect an applicant to provide good answers that measure the level of his or her accomplishments at their current or previous job when you don’t do it for yours.

The description is a page and a half long with every conceivable task and responsibility listed. Who are you kidding with this? You’re chasing away so many potential candidates because you’re asking for too much.

You Focus on the Wrong Thing

Do you focus more on what the applicant doesn’t have (10 years’ experience, a master’s degree, previous leadership roles, a holder of various alphabet soup certifications) instead of the positive qualities she does bring (being coachable, steady work history, confidence, “can-do” attitude, a large circle of friends, volunteering for worthwhile causes)? Face it, you simply don’t know how to write a job description!

Questions to Ask Your HR Manager

The previous holder(s) of your open position have all left after a brief stint. Have you found out why? Have you interviewed the department’s supervisors and managers to identify the reasons why they can’t keep an employee? If not, do you really expect a different outcome from any new candidate?”

There’s a Reason Why You Can’t Fill That Position

Maybe the problem isn’t that you can’t find qualified applicants but it’s that you can’t keep your own employees long enough or identify a great new one.