4 Big Mistakes Solar Companies Make When Working With Recruiters

Generally speaking, when a renewable energy organization decides to hire solar (or energy storage) recruiters to help fill a critical need, it’s because they realize they need the help of an expert. So if a company decides to hire an external expert to help with a critical hiring project, why wouldn’t they let that expert work through their process to ensure the best possible hire?

Sometimes it’s because Hiring Managers and HR teams think their internal process is better. Other times, they have worked with other (possible weak) recruiters in the past that have allowed bad habits, practices, and processes that negatively impact their ability to hire Rockstar Talent to creep in.

We could write a book on all the mistakes we’ve seen solar companies make throughout the hiring process (and there are many books out on the subject already), but here are the 4 common yet costly mistakes that solar companies either don’t realize are mistakes, don’t believe are a big deal, or actually think are good practices.

Mistake #1: Overposturing

No one wants to dramatically overpay their new hire. Sometimes in order to avoid overpaying, organizations will understate their salary range, assuming that they will stretch above it if absolutely necessary (while not sharing that information). Although it’s important to have a clear idea of what salary range you are willing to pay for a particular role, you do not want to overposture and set those numbers too low.

While money should never be the only/biggest reason someone makes a job change, the best people are generally well compensated and expect to see an increase when making a change. Setting your salary numbers low automatically puts you at a disadvantage if your goal is to hire the best possible team. (For the record, if hiring the best possible team isn’t your number one goal, you’re doing it wrong.)

In terms of acquiring top talent, you stand to lose a lot more from overposturing than you stand to gain from being flexible and transparent right up front.

Mistake #2: Working with Multiple Recruiters

Some companies work with multiple recruiters. The thought process generally is something like: “This is urgent and we need as many people as possible helping.” OR, “It doesn’t cost us anything to have multiple contingency firms on this, so who cares?”

If you are hiring for a critical position and there are a limited number of people with the necessary skill set, having multiple recruiters calling the same small talent pool makes your job seem immediately less attractive. The recruiting/interview process is a direct reflection of, and gives a candidate the first impression of how your organization operates. Do you have streamlined, efficient processes, or do you have 4-5 people with inconsistent information reaching out to the same person, thus making you look desperate?

You will always achieve better results with the fully dedicated efforts of one excellent Executive Search firm than getting 50% (at best) attention from multiple recruiters.

Mistake #3: Shortcutting the Process

There’s a whole process to successfully onboarding top talent, and you could spend an entire career studying, testing, and mastering recruiting best practices. That’s what recruiters do, they study and practice the methods, approaches, and practices that produce the best results.

Whether you’re an HR Manager or the CEO, you want to ensure you have a consistent, repeatable process that will result in you hiring the best people. Work with your recruitment partners to make sure they can get the valuable feedback and insight needed throughout the hiring process.

Often times companies mean well and want to move quickly, but sometimes slowing down makes for a smoother process, and a smoother process leads to a faster hire. Work with your Recruiting partner to establish and stick to a consistent process.

Mistake #4: Ghosting

If you aren’t yet familiar with the term, defines “ghosting” as “the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation.

We get it. It’s a lot easier to walk (or run) away from a collaborative project without having to communicate any bad news or face resistance from the other individuals involved, but we all know that is bad business.

Not all ghosting is the same though. There are varying degrees of ghostitude. The above definition depicts the end of the ghosting spectrum, but there are milder forms of ghosting: like being chronically late, sporadic, inaccessible, unresponsive, and unreliable.

After a candidate interviews with your team, you owe them feedback within a reasonable period of time. That doesn’t mean it has to be a Yes/No hiring decision, but you have to give them something. There should never be a part in the hiring process where a candidate does not hear from or move forward with the next step for more than 2 weeks.

Sometimes things change, and that’s OK. But if the role changes for budgetary reasons or you decided that Candidate A will not be a good fit (even though you told her in the interview that you wanted to meet again next week), basic human decency dictates that you let them know. People talk, and when Candidate A’s friend talks with them next year about the upcoming interview with your company, they will share the unflattering details of their experience.

The right thing to do isn’t always the easy thing to do, but if it needs to be done, then it needs to be done.

Bringing it All Together

The bottom line is that you want to work cohesively with you recruiter and not make things any harder than they need to be for either of you. After all, you and your recruiter are on the same side.

The better the two of you can work together, the better (and faster) the hire! So work together to avoid the costly mis-hires that could set your team, department, or company back significantly.

If you are a Hiring Manager with a Renewable Energy company who would like some direct feedback and insight on this matter, click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation to determine if it makes sense for you to partner with a recruiter at this time.