Avoid Common Recruiting Pitfalls With These 3 Tips

Steve Lowisz
A variety of issues can stem from a broken recruiting strategy, but if you don’t know exactly what’s broken, how can you fix it?

Sure, it’s easy to blame frustrations and failures on talent shortages or picky hiring managers; however, we need to take an honest look at our own methods as recruiters to determine if we happened to drop the ball ourselves.

Making a conscious decision to frequently evaluate and refine your own processes will help you stay on top of your A-game.

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

Pitfall #1: Misunderstanding Expectations

Some recruiters will jump into a search without fully understanding the hiring manager’s expectations for a role. They will take note of a few explicitly mentioned background requirements but won’t dig deeper to gain a sense of what is needed beyond that, such as culture fit or soft skills. This means that their search will only be focused on checking the boxes of a narrow list that doesn’t fully encapsulate what it will take for a person to thrive in that role.

Operating with a strict “check the box” mentality leads to submittals that miss the mark as well as wasted time for both the recruiter and hiring manager.

Another situation that causes misunderstanding is when a hiring manager expects the “perfect” candidate that can take on an extraordinary number of responsibilities for an average (or less-than-average) wage. If a recruiter isn’t familiar with typical roles or standard rage rates within an industry, they won’t question these unrealistic expectations and just move forward with the recruiting process.

This inevitably leads to a loss of high-quality candidates and unfilled positions.

Tip: Prepare In-Depth Questions for the Hiring Manager

Clearly establishing expectations for candidate qualifications and role responsibilities is crucial for a seamless work relationship between the recruiter and hiring manager. Doing your industry research in advance and preparing in-depth questions for the hiring manager puts you on the same page throughout the entire process.

It is your duty to touch on topics that the hiring manager might not have thought to discuss. When formulating your 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 the industry and find 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.

Pitfall #2: Lack of Communication

One of the top complaints that candidates seem to have about recruiters involves irregular communication. There are recruiters who will sell a candidate on a position, have them go through the hiring process, and then never reach 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.

Tip: Keep in Touch with Contacts Consistently

Respond to all candidates, whether they’re active or passive, in a consistent and timely manner throughout the application and hiring process. Establish and maintain a 48-hour response window with each candidate, even if it’s to deliver bad news.

Develop a communication strategy that outlines feedback and follow-up for each step of the recruiting process.

Once you’ve submitted a candidate to the company you’re working with, determine who will manage each step of the communication process from there. The recruiter, hiring manager, and HR should be kept up to date on a candidate’s status at all times.

Pitfall #3: Only Looking at What’s on Paper

While resumes are certainly a useful tool, they should not be a recruiter’s sole source of information. Quite frankly, there are plenty of candidates out there who embellish parts of their resume. There are also countless passive candidates who don’t regularly update their professional profiles.

It’s easy to assume that all someone has to offer is what’s outlined on paper but taking resumes at face value completely depersonalizes the experience. More than half of candidates say they don’t feel like they’re treated as an individual during the hiring process.

Tip: Go Beyond the Resume

Experiences listed on a resume doesn’t necessarily translate to what exactly candidates are able to bring to the table. In order to find the most qualified candidates, recruiters must go a step further and forge personal relationships.

Genuine conversations are critical to assessing soft skills, discovering a cultural fit, and gauging their professionalism. Take the time to recognize each candidate as an individual. Develop conversational techniques that encourage open and honest communication in your relationship.

Adjusting your recruiting strategy to avoid these common mistakes will give you an opportunity to increase productivity and reduce stress. These simple changes will lead to happier hiring managers, long-term placements, and, most importantly, lasting relationships with candidates. Whenever your projects seem to be struggling, take a look at your own methods before placing blame elsewhere!