The unemployment rate across the United States has remained quite stable since 2015 – sitting right at 5 percent as of September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s exactly half of what it was during the height of the recession in the fall of 2009.

With a smaller pool of applicants out there, you can’t afford to lose even one promising prospect. This begs two questions:

-How’s your hiring system working for you?

-Does it make it easy for job seekers to apply?

Let’s take a look at three cases of businesses that made simple mistakes in their hiring system, likely losing out on high-quality applicants.

Case 1: One of our clients thought they had ‘made it easy,’ by adding the following message to their call answering system: ‘If you’re interested in working with us, please press 2.’ Upon which, the caller heard: ‘Thank you for calling. To apply in person, please drop by Monday through Friday from 10:00 until 2:00.’

This ‘user-friendly’ message, in fact, eliminated the most promising candidates – all those experienced, hard-working folks who are busy working!

Case 2: A restaurant client was having trouble recruiting qualified applicants and was puzzled as to why. I suggested they test their system by sending one of their best employees to another one of their locations to apply. She ended up getting the brushoff.

Turns out she walked in at one of their busiest times and was summarily dismissed because the hostess had not been trained to extend every courtesy to all job seekers and provide the requisite job application. On top of that, the manager had not been instructed to make an effort to personally greet all applicants.

Case 3: A person who would have been a perfect fit for a hard-to-fill position heard about the job from another employee, but when she went to apply as instructed via the company’s website, she gave up after 10 minutes of entering unnecessary and redundant information.

When’s the last time you tested your hiring system?