Avoid These 3 Recruiting Mistakes...

Steve Lowisz

No recruiter is perfect. If you’re looking to improve your recruiting abilities, a great place to start is by learning from others’ experiences.

We’ve been recruiting for over 20 years now. In that time, we have made all of these mistakes ourselves. We've learned from them and are better recruiters as a result...but there’s no reason for you to make the same errors!

Without further ado, let’s take a look at three of the most common recruiting mistakes.

Recruiting Mistake #1: Focusing Too Much on the Title

As recruiters, we often assume we know what a candidate wants. If we’re recruiting for a vice president, we assume no CEO or president would be interested in the position. If we’re recruiting for a manager role, we assume no director wants the job. This is a big mistake!

When we make assumptions on behalf of candidates, we rule out great candidates. While it’s reasonable to assume that a CEO would (probably) never drop down to an entry level position, the fact of the matter is that there’s more to a job than the title. Maybe joining another company results in a pay raise. Alternatively, taking a “lower” title might mean less stress or overtime

And let’s not get into the amount of times you see candidates with self-inflated or made-up titles on LinkedIn...There's plenty of reasons why a candidate might want to take a job with a “lesser” title. People do it all the time. Do yourself a favor and don’t rule out every candidate with a more senior title.

Recruiting Mistake #2: Assuming the Candidate Only Cares About Compensation

Recruiters should never make assumptions about compensation either. While a lot of candidates would never take a major pay cut, the reality is that many others would!

A 2018 report from the Harvard Business Review reported that 90% of employees would take a pay cut for the chance to do more meaningful work. Millennials and Gen Z professionals are especially drawn toward purposeful work.

There’s plenty of other reasons why candidates take pay cuts as well. For example, candidates might be interested in jobs closer to home, flex-time for more time with their kids, remote work for travelling, the list goes on and on.

The bottom line is that you should talk to candidates before disqualifying them. If someone seems like a great candidate but might need to take a pay cut, pick their brain before writing them off.

Recruiting Mistake #3 Focusing on Skills or Credentials Rather Than Results

In talent acquisition, we can get tunnel vision for certain skills or credentials. We might gravitate towards the candidates with six years of experience rather than the one with only two, for example. However, we have to remember why we hire a candidate in the first place...because we hope they will deliver results for our company (or our client’s company).

The fact of the matter is that people often leverage different skills to get the same results. One manager might use video to communicate with their team remotely, while another may be more comfortable on the phone or sending detailed emails.

Furthermore, many credentials are no indicator of success! We’ve all seen professionals with minimal experience who can deliver incredible results. In short, the best practice is to focus on the candidate’s ability to deliver results...not specific credentials. Be sure to ask candidates about their achievements and track records rather than just their qualifications.