Receive daily articles & headlines each day in your inbox with your free ERE Daily Subscription.

Not logged in. [log in or register]

5 Recruitment Myths Debunked

by Jun 25, 2013, 5:38 am ET

Let’s get right at it:

  1. Recruitment is recruitment is recruitment false. One size doesn’t fit all.  Just ask Cinderella’s step sisters. Recruitment for any job, level, or industry may start off the same — defining the need, however the lifecycle, approach, skill, and methods employed differ extensively. Another analogy is cars — ask a Range Rover owner if they believe a car is a car is a car. Automobiles have an engine, wheels, etc. in common however how these components are constructed can be quite the anomaly. Would one’s approach to building and buying a high end sports vehicle be the same as a family vehicle? Why then apply the notion that recruitment is recruitment is recruitment to drive your business forward when it comes to your key hiring practices?
  2. Recruitment is not difficult; it just requires hard work. False. If it were true, why have the same challenges facing recruitment been present for decades if recruiting were easy and just required effort?  Convince the CEOs across multiple industries that their No. 1 challenge of hiring top talent hinges on their recruiters simply not putting in the calories to get the job done? If this were the case, then recruitment would be one of the most effective machines existing in organizations today. Recruitment requires professionals with the skills and expertise to apply to changing requirements, work environments, and target talent pools. It is not the “post and pray’”or direct sourcing activities that keep a recruiter working hard. Recruitment is much more interrelated to the complexities of business.  Recruitment is not a duty, or a task on the side of one’s desk. Its importance is tied to the bottom line.  Recruitment is a profession that requires training, development, and expertise. Ask yourself this: “if recruitment came so easily every time, then why is the industry (comprised of RPO, ATS, consulting, agencies, job boards, social media, psychometric testing, etc.) worth so many millions of dollars?
  3. Agency or contract in-house recruiters are more effective than full-time corporate recruiters. Wait! This is partially true in many cases. Effective and efficient talented recruiters are few and far between. This is because of 1) time, 2) training. Full-time, permanent, corporate recruiters are often required to spend more time on corporate duties, administration, and updating a cumbersome ATS than on actual talent acquisition activities. These corporate recruiters handle high volumes which in turn reduces time to focus on candidate sourcing, management, and experience. These same recruiters are typically under-sourced or administrative or recipients of little if any professional development. Talented recruiters are sought after — whether they are agency, contractors, or corporate, and come at a premium.  It is the old saying, “you get what you pay for,” but I’d add “you get what you invest in.” These talented recruiters possess a unique set of skills. These include: communication and listening skills; relationship building; concern for quality; networking skills; business acumen; research — thirst for knowledge and understanding; tenacity; and most of all passion for acquiring talent. 
  4. Post and pray or post and wait are no longer used in today’s market. False. If this were only true.  The post and pray (for the right candidate to apply to our ad) is still used in many organizations, regardless of size or industry. This is similar to the “build it and they will come” mantra. Using one’s brand (and fostering its brand), advertising opportunities through job postings are only one piece of the recruitment puzzle. Relying on one’s strong brand position in the market and on job postings are tactics that fail to yield the desired hiring result each and every single time. Companies are aware of this, but due to recruiters’ time and training (there lack of), and heavy investments in marketing, ATS, and job ads make this fourth myth a reality. The better approach is to use one’s corporate brand and resources such as a careers website and job listings and focus on strategic and proactive recruitment activities to target the right talent at the right time.
  5. Social media has changed recruitment. False. Social media has modified virtually every aspect of our personal and business lives. Social media (such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others) have provided a medium for recruitment to reach candidates in a much faster and broader way than ever before. Recruitment has always been and continues to be about relationships, communication, networking, and quality hiring results. Social media is a widely available tool to attract and acquire talent.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • Pingback: | You’re Religious? You’re Hired! + MORE | Get Hiring

  • Howard Adamsky

    Brilliant. Clear, concise and honest.

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Tina. If I may add another a few more for now:
    6) If a rich and famous Employer of Choice (EOC) tries/does something, your company should try/do it, too.

    7) You should look outside for recruiting advice before/without asking the people doing the work how to improve things.

    8) Company founders, CXOs, and Sr. Executives have unique insights into recruiting, and their dictates should be unquestioningly followed as “best practices”.



  • Jacob Madsen

    As with Howard and Keith (I never know if Keith is complimentary or not) my compliments to a well written piece that holds many truths and significant takeaways. I particularly like the ‘if only’ as we see so much that is written/spoken about only for it to transpire not being the case, Google interview wisdom anyone!!!

  • Jacob Madsen


  • Richard Araujo

    I’d rephrase the sentence in #3 to, “You don’t get what you don’t invest in.” Any investment has a risk to it, investing doesn’t guarantee the payoff. But not investing guarantees you won’t get the payoff. Point being, if the principles don’t make investment in talent acquisition a priority, it won’t be a priority, plain and simple.

  • Pingback: Findly - Hiring myths could prevent recruiters back from finding great candidates

  • Keith Halperin

    A few more:
    9) Recruiting problems could be solved if recruiters were more “passionate,” “engaged, and “committed to recruiting excellence”. (Related to #2.)
    10) Recruiting problems could be solved if we always use the latest new techniques or technologies.
    11)Recruiters are responsible for less-than-perfect hires and/or poor retention.
    12) There are other elements of recruiting as/more important than putting quality butts in chairs on-time and within budget.

  • Jay Fritzke

    Tina thanks for the nice concise article. As an agency recruiter I agree with all of you points

    Keith I was worried you ran out of snarky but I see you found some more.

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Jay: No need to worry- I am the “King of Snark”.

    Happy 4th, Cruitaz!