Are You Guilty Of These 5 Bad Recruiting Habits?


Employers don’t return your calls and your best candidates have chosen to work with your biggest competitors. Your KPIs are way off target and your last shortlist was rejected by your client. Could you be guilty of these five bad recruiting habits?

 ‘Distorting’ the truth : Successful recruiters build their reputations based on trust, integrity and authenticity. Don’t claim you have a vacancy that doesn’t exist in order to try and attract passive candidates. Don’t fudge the fact that your strongest candidate has withdrawn from an interview or you only have twenty guaranteed temps for a project that needs thirty (and you guaranteed your client exactly that number). Be honest. Letting your client down jeopardises your reputation and your ability to build sustainable working relationships.

Stalking your clients (and candidates) : Calling, texting and e-mailing prospective clients (or candidates) half a dozen times a day isn’t an effective way to win friends and influence people. At a fundamental level it is harassment and suggests desperation. Follow up with an employer no more than three times. If they don’t respond to you they either aren’t interested or they don’t require your services right now. E-mail them to say you will follow up again in another three months – and do that.

Sending CVs without candidate permission : Sending a candidate’s CV to an employer, without their agreement is not only a bad habit but poor recruiting ethics. Candidates trust you to act in their best interests to find a position. Sending a CV without their knowledge in the hope an employer will like what they see is in only in your best interests. Explain to your candidate that the employer has previously expressed a preference for their particular skillset and you would like to present their CV to them now but make it clear there is no existing vacancy. While we’re on the subject, bombarding companies with unsolicited CVs in the hope that one will stick isn’t good business practice either.

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Treating candidates like commodities : Candidates are human beings and should be treated as such. Your best candidates become your clients or a source of quality referrals. Even the ones you can’t help right now can be a part of your long term network if you offer advice on how to enhance their career prospects – without expecting anything in return. Treat them with respect. If you can’t help them, don’t dismiss them if they have taken the time and effort to contact you.

False promises : You’re falling behind on your targets and an employer calls you with a job you know you can’t fill, yet still you say ‘yes’. Recruiters often earn themselves a bad reputation for making false promises in the hope that somehow they’ll piece it together and secure a placement. Exaggerating salaries, playing down job descriptions and embellishing the quality of candidates in your database will only prolong your agony. Be realistic about the job market, it’s widely acknowledged there’s a skills shortage. Offer alternatives, such as candidates who your employer can ‘hire for potential and train for skill’ and be truthful. It will save you the anxiety of failing to fulfil yet another assignment and damaging your recruiting success.

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