Recruiting is difficult. It’s one of the only jobs where you can do everything right and still fall short because the candidate walks away, or a hiring manager rejects the perfect applicant.
However, you can make your job a lot easier if you avoid these five common recruiting mistakes. Whether it’s disqualifying candidates prematurely or ineffective communication, we see these mistakes all the time. Learn how to avoid these pitfalls to make better hires and work more efficiently!
Equating Years of Experience with Skills
This is probably one of the biggest and most common mistakes made by recruiters. No matter the industry, role, or company, people tend to assume that just because someone has done something for years, they’re automatically good at it.
The truth is that it’s not always that simple. We all know someone who has done something for years without ever really mastering the skill. They’re that person that somehow manages to just coast by year after year.
On the other hand, we all know someone who has excelled on the job almost immediately. They’re the person that’s delivered phenomenal results with only a year or two of experience!
Experience is great, but it does not automatically mean someone is skilled or able to deliver results. Recruiters should focus on the RESULTS delivered by an individual rather than their experience.
Ask candidates directly what they have achieved, how they measurably contributed to their team, how they met/exceeded their key performance indicators, and so forth. This is a much better way to evaluate whether they will excel in a given role.
Making Assumptions About Why Candidates Would Accept a Position
Another common mistake is jumping to conclusions as to why a certain job is desirable. Maybe the compensation is above average, or the company has an incredible reputation in their field.
I mean, everyone knows why tech candidates want to work at Apple, right?
The problem with this line of thinking is that everyone is wired differently. We’re also all in different situations in our careers.
For one candidate, a job might be appealing because it’s a prestigious company and pays well. Another candidate may be much more interested in opportunities to develop their skills or getting a better work-life balance.
As a recruiter, one of the first things you should discuss with a candidate is what they might want out of a new opportunity. Ask about their career goals or ambitions, or what they do/don’t like about their current position. Otherwise, you may start selling something that they couldn’t care less about!
Making Assumptions About Why Candidates Would NOT Accept a Position!
On the flip side, recruiters should never disqualify a candidate based on assumptions. Are you noticing a trend yet?
All too often, recruiters will skip over a candidate for silly reasons. We assume a candidate wouldn’t be interested in a “less senior” position. We assume a candidate wouldn’t want to go from a well-known firm to a less prestigious organization. Or we assume they would never take a pay cut.
When it comes to people and careers it’s rarely so simple. Oftentimes we discover later in the conversation that a candidate is willing to take a pay cut for a better work-life balance or to get away from a bad boss. If a candidate seems like a good fit, reach out…you never know if they’ll consider the opportunity until you talk to them!
Assuming That Hiring Managers Know What They Need
One overlooked responsibility for recruiters is helping managers clarify what they really need from a candidate. Hiring managers usually think they know what they need. But as a recruiter, it’s your job to ask insightful questions to make sure they’re thinking about things clearly.
Hiring managers often assume a candidate has to have similar credentials to the last person who was in a role. Or they assume they need to follow a job description someone wrote years ago! Ask a hiring manager about the results they want from a candidate, their culture, their team. Try to dig deep to uncover what credentials are really essential for delivering results, and what credentials may be negotiable.
It’s not about twisting the manager’s arm. It’s about prompting them to think carefully and open their mind about what the ideal candidate looks like.
Writing Off Candidates That Aren’t on LinkedIn
Look, we get it – it seems like everyone is on LinkedIn these days. It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that if someone isn’t on LinkedIn, they must not be tech-savvy. Or maybe you assume they’re more “old school.”
In reality, a lot of candidates just don’t see the value in LinkedIn. Maybe they’re already set with a great job in their field or have a broad network on other platforms or in real-life. For in-demand candidates, LinkedIn is often more trouble than it’s worth because they just get spammed by recruiters.
If you write off candidates because they’re not on LinkedIn, you may be overlooking some of your best candidates!
Nobody’s perfect…and even if you’ve been in recruiting for years, there’s always something to learn or ways to improve!
If you’re looking for more advice on how to add more value as a recruiter, check out some of our courses at the Recruitment Education Institute. Thousands of recruiters have earned certifications with these programs and learned practical advice for making better hires, finding more candidates, and so forth.
Get started with our Recruiter Certification Program here.