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5 Rookie Recruiting Mistakes You Can Learn to Avoid

You ready to inject some energy and fresh ideas into recruiting? Your drive and your modern perspective already make you a credit to your recruiting team. But, a word to the wise: Common recruiting mistakes can trip you up and leave a less-than-stellar impression with your candidates. Avoid these recruiting mistakes to become a recruiting pro.

1. Disrespecting candidates’ time.

People live hectic lives these days, and no one likes to be made to feel their time isn’t valuable. This is especially true with job candidates. In fact, feeling their time was disrespected is one of the top three reasons candidates withdraw from the hiring process.  Tips to avoid this mistake:

  • Make sure you and other interviewers are on time or early to interviews
  • Review your candidate’s application and resume in advance of the live interview, and coach other hiring team members to do the same. Candidates can tell within the first 10 minutes if an interviewer is unprepared.
  • Get organized so you don’t ask candidates for extra interviews. In research with 200 active job seekers

2. Weak communication.

Relationship-building takes solid communication. The appropriate frequency may be different for each candidate. Avoid the extremes – inundating candidates with too many texts or emails so they start deleting your messages in irritation, or, not communicating enough. This is the famous “black hole” in recruiting, when candidates cannot get a response from you. Talent Board research with hundreds of thousands of candidates over the past years has shown that lack of communication is a top candidate trigger for a poor experience.

In addition, avoid sloppy communication, including misspellings, getting the candidate’s name wrong, and providing inadequate or inaccurate information. These kinds of mistakes are easy to make when you’re doing high volume recruiting, so give communication extra attention in these situations.

3. Getting key details wrong.

Nothing drives down candidates’ confidence in your organization as an employer, and in you personally as a recruiter, like getting key details wrong. A few common mistakes in this area:

  • Using the wrong wording in communicating about highly technical jobs. If you are unfamiliar with complex roles, spend time with the hiring manager up front to learn more so you can talk knowledgeably with candidates.
  • Not spotting a mismatch between a candidate’s level of experience and the job requirements. There is of course some flexibility if those are close, but accidentally pursuing highly-experienced candidates for an entry level job or vice versa can make them feel uncomfortable.  
  • Asking the wrong questions in an interview, either for a completely different role, or quirky questions that don’t relate to the job. Give candidates the chance to present themselves well by asking relevant questions. You gain great insight into your candidates and create a positive hiring experience for them at the same time.

You are representing your organization in the talent market, so show up as an expert!

4. Making it more about you than them.

You’ve got a mega-workload, so you’re in a hurry to fill roles and meet deadlines. Keep in mind this is a candidate’s career you’re holding in your hands. Don’t let them feel rushed when they talk with you. Take time to get to know candidates and think about your job from a coaching perspective. You have valuable insight and experience that could be shared with candidates to help improve their career journey. You can also talk with your manager about AI-enabled interviewing technology that will automate parts of your workflow and give you more time to engage with candidates.

Focusing on helping candidates find their dream job will improve your quality of hire and perhaps your own job satisfaction – isn’t that why you became a recruiter?

5. Letting hiring managers intimidate you.

Hiring managers also have mega-workloads. In their hurry, they may want to cut corners, like skipping the intake meeting or review of candidates’ materials before the interview.  Remember, you are the TA expert. The process you prefer they follow will lead to the best hire for their team.

It’s ok to push back respectfully on hiring managers who could be more cooperative – it may even earn you their respect. Read our blog for strategies on creating a more collaborative relationship with hiring managers.

If you’d like more pro recruiter insights, download 5 Things Your Job Candidates Won't Tell You. It offers some red flags to recognize, and the truth about the interview process as job seekers see.