It’s easy to blame recruiting frustrations on talent shortages or picky hiring managers but it’s high time that we address the elephant in the room. These issues are caused by broken recruiting strategies. A lot of the stress felt by recruiters can be alleviated by using effective communication and implementing more realistic techniques.

Today, we’re going to break down the top 3 mistakes that recruiters make and offer proactive solutions.

Mistake: Misunderstanding expectations

Many recruiters jump into a search without fully understanding the hiring manager’s requirements for the role. This “check the box” attitude leads to low candidate quality as well as wasted time for both the recruiter and the hiring manager.

In other situations, hiring managers expect the “perfect” candidate who can take on an unrealistic number of responsibilities at an average (or less-than-average) wage. Since recruiters are typically working for unfamiliar industries, they don’t question these expectations and just move forward with the recruiting process. This leads to lost high-quality candidates and ultimately, unfilled roles.

Solution: Prepare in-depth questions for the hiring manager

Immediately establishing expectations for candidate qualifications and the role responsibilities is crucial for a seamless work relationship between the recruiter and hiring manager. Preparing in-depth questions for the hiring manager puts you on the same page throughout the entire process.

When formulating the questions, consider these guidelines:

  • Differentiate between “must-have” and “like to have” candidate attributes. Do your best to keep this limited to top 3 per role.
  • Research market comparisons for compensation. Ask yourself what it would take to find and retain the talent necessary for the role. Discuss the attainability of this talent with the hiring manager.
  • Consider how frequently you plan on updating the hiring manager and confirm that this meets their needs. Adjust accordingly.

Mistake: Lack of communication

One of the top complaints that candidates make about recruiters is about irregular communication. Recruiters are often guilty of selling a candidate on a position, having him go through the hiring process, and then never reaching out to the candidate again. This absence of contact causes a drop-off of qualified candidates while burning bridges with individuals who may fit future roles.

As many as 83% of today’s candidates are not notified when an application is received or a position is filled. Often times they are not even told how long the application process will take.

Solution: Keep in consistent contact

Respond to all candidates, whether they are active or passive, in a consistent, timely manner throughout the application and hiring process.

  • Establish and maintain a 48-hour response window with each candidate.
  • Develop a communication strategy that outlines feedback and follow-up for each step of the recruiting process.
  • Determine who will manage each step of the communication process. The recruiter, hiring manager, and HR should be kept up to date on a candidate’s status at all times.

Mistake: Only looking at what’s on paper

While resumes are a useful tool for differentiating between qualified and unqualified candidates, they should not be a recruiter’s sole source of information. Quite frankly, many candidates fudge parts of their resume, such as embellishing their skills. Plus, passive candidates don’t regularly update their professional profiles.

On the flip side, it’s easy to assume that all someone has to offer is what’s outlined on paper. More than half of candidates say they don’t feel like they’re treated as an individual during the hiring process. Hiring managers take resumes at face value and it completely depersonalizes the experience.

Solution: Go beyond the resume

Experiences listed on a resume don’t necessarily translate to exactly what candidates are able to bring to the table. In order to find the most qualified candidates, recruiters have to actually form personal relationships. Genuine conversations are critical to assessing soft skills, discovering a cultural fit, and gauging their professionalism.

Work with the hiring manager to identify key candidate traits prior to and during candidate assessment by both parties. Recognize each candidate as an individual and develop techniques to encourage open communication in your relationship.

Re-working a recruiting strategy to avoid these common mistakes will instantly create an increased productivity and reduce stress. These simple changes will also lead to happier hiring managers, long-term hires, and, most importantly, satisfied candidates.