The Top 10 Reasons You Aren't Hiring Top Performers

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, September 25, 2023
The Top 10 Reasons You Aren't Hiring Top Performers

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There can be many reasons why you can't seem to hire top performers. Blaming the economy or "people just don't want to work anymore" are cop-outs. Here are the real top ten reasons why you can't seem to attract top talent to your organization.

1. You don't pay enough.

Why would a top candidate work for you if they can do the same job for the competition and get paid more?

2. They say people quit jobs because of bad managers more than any other reason. If you're losing workers but not doing something about your bad manager or team leader, the problem will continue. Which leads us to the next reason why you're not hiring top performers...

3. Word gets around. Many people find new jobs through personal networking. They tell their friend, "You should work for Ace Tomato Co. They're great!" This goes both ways. They might also tell their friend, "Don't apply for that Project Manager position at Acme Produce. Nobody stays there for long because the boss there has a terrible reputation."

4. You're not keeping your promises. If you describe the job duties or work atmosphere one way in the job listing but the candidate finds out it's something entirely different during the interview phase, they'll ghost you and seek other openings. The worst is when they accept the position and then discover the bait-and-switch after getting hired, only to leave soon after. Turnover is expensive and degrades morale for team members still on board (for now).

If you bait-and-switch candidates with a different work environment or duties than what they signed up for, they'll leave and you'll be back where you started.

5. Your job listings suck. If your job listings are sub-par, you won't be getting any Tiger Woods-level candidates. Or you might get no applicants at all.

Writing a solid job listing is not that hard. The best practices are well documented and easy to find. Writing a great job listing doesn't require much more effort. If you're just phoning it in, or have someone on your team writing job listings without knowing the basics, top performers will pass you by without a second glance. They may not even see your job listing at all. Hiring a qualified job listing expert can be well worth the investment in their expertise.

If your job listings are sub-par, you won't be getting any Tiger Woods-level candidates.

6. There's a disconnect somewhere. This one is related to poorly written job listings but in a more specific form. If you're seeking to fill a role for Job X but have written a job listing that really describes Job Y, there's a disconnect. If you're seeking candidates to fill a medical assistant position but are advertising on legal field web sites, there's a disconnect. If you're offering to pay $18/hour for a position where the standard starting wage is $30/hour, there's a disconnect.

7. You have onerous hiring practices. A common lament from job seekers is the needlessly tedious application processes too many companies impose. A classic example is requiring the candidate to upload a PDF of their resume and then also requiring them to copy/paste the contents of that resume into a series of form fields.

Another way to push top candidates away is to make them undergo a series of interviews with a long roll call of supervisors and peers, some of whom the candidate may never work with once on the job. You shouldn't require a candidate to participate in more than two interviews, and keep group interviews to a minimum (or don't do them at all). If you must get the interview in front of many people, keep it simple and record it to be watched by the management team offline.

8. Your job listings or interview process unconsciously (or consciously) conveys a lack of diversity and inclusion. If you want to attract top talent, then let that talent shine in whomever possesses it. Many job listings today present a sort of dog-whistle-like message to some groups that they are implicitly unwelcome, oftentimes without the hiring team being aware it's happening.

Organizations with diverse teams achieve higher profit and performance than less diverse companies.

Poorly conducted interviews can give off the wrong vibe as well, further alienating candidates who may be rock stars in the role but don't fit within an unconscious or even deliberate mold. Even where your job listing is posted can unintentionally exclude candidates who would excel in the position.

Get your job listings reviewed by a qualified hiring professional, or at least look for online resources — often free — that will scan your job listing for the presence of implicit bias or exclusionary language.

Get your job listings reviewed by a qualified hiring professional.

9. You require staff to work at the office for jobs that can be easily done remotely. There is currently a huge disconnect between employers and employees when it comes to remote work. The pandemic made it a necessity and both employees and employers had to adjust. Although not to the extent it was during the worst of the pandemic, the health concerns surrounding Covid-19 still exist. Apart from that, many workers discovered they can actually be more productive working from home while saving time and money on pointless commutes.

An increasing number of employers are pushing for a return to the office without presenting any valid reasons that are backed by data.

In direct contradiction to real data that shows the benefits for both workers and their employers, some business leaders are demanding their teams return to the pre-pandemic norm of commuting to a central office. Others are taking a hybrid approach where employees are on-site two to three days a week and work from home the rest.

Every company is different — some jobs cannot be done any other way than on-site — and each role has its own demands. But workers know if their job can be done 100% remotely or not, and if an employer is seeking candidates for a role that is remote-capable yet are insisting it be done at the office, their pool of available candidates will be reduced significantly.

And the top reason why you aren't hiring top performers is:

10. You don't use the Core Values Index™ and a Top Performer Profile™ from eRep. The CVI and TPP combination assesses the candidate's psychometric profile (CVI) and compares that against the ideal profile of the role (TPP). Candidates who are "highly recommended" matches move forward in the screening process.

Job candidates who are matched to their role using the CVI and a Top Performer Profile often experience 200% or higher productivity and engagement while demonstrating 50% or lower turnover compared to their unmatched peers.

Employees placed using this highly accurate system often report the position feels as if it was custom-made just for them. Their engagement is high as is their loyalty (as demonstrated by their much lower turn-over rate).

Core Values Index™ and CVI™ are trademarks of Taylor Protocols, Inc.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

Employees hired with a CVI that closely matches a Top Performer Profile often outperform candidates hired without a TPP match by 200% or more. → Learn more

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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