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5 Recruitment Practices That Are Hurting Your Organization

by Aug 11, 2014, 12:01 am ET

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Some recruiting tactics are actually doing more harm than good, reducing the organization’s candidate pool and tarnishing its reputation in the process.

Check if your organization’s recruitment department follows any of these pervasive behaviors setting the wrong standards:

Leaving Out the Unemployed

Most hiring managers would be more willing to hire or call a currently employed candidate for interview, rather than giving a chance to the long-term unemployed workers. In fact, the figures for long-term unemployed peaked in 2010, after which there has been some improvement as evident from the graph.

America hasn’t experienced such a high level of long-term joblessness since The Great Depression, and while a weak economic recovery is partly to be blamed for this, recruiter’s reluctance to hire the long-term unemployed is also a major culprit here.

An academic study showed that job seekers who have been unemployed for six months get 45 percent fewer calls than people out of job for only a month. The reasoning that HR executives give is, “If the unemployed candidate was so good, he wouldn’t have been unemployed for so long at the first place,” — which is entirely wrong.

If your prerogative is to find the best talent and nothing less, expand your candidate pool by actively seeking individuals who have been unemployed or are working as independent consultants. As a recruiter you are in a better position than anyone else to understand a layoff situation or other reasons forcing even the best people to leave their jobs.

Putting Out Inaccurate or Inefficient Job Descriptions

A well-developed job description is often one of the most underrated parts of the entire hiring process. Job descriptions are essential tool for both the recruiter as well as the prospective employee. They pass on the important information regarding the various functional aspects of the position, the expectations of the employer from the candidate as well as the necessary skills that he must possess.

An efficient job description is necessary as the candidates can do a self-assessment on his or her suitability for the position. Outdated descriptions that do not correctly convey the roles and responsibilities of the position can lead to a mismatch of expectations between the job seeker and the employer.

Contacting Candidates Without Performing Due Diligence

If you are contacting a candidate with whom you never had any kind of prior professional connection as a recruiter, do a bit of homework to avoid wasting resources and time.

A recruiter obviously cannot know everything about the candidate before calling out him for a face to face interaction, but he still needs to know enough so as to be sure that his favourite prospect has the relevant experience or is not a fraud.

Offering Uncompetitive Wages for High-skill Positions

Every single recruiter out there wants to get his hands on the best talent for any given position, & the one who wins is usually the one that bids highest. When you ask employers about the pervasive talent shortage, most of them will blame the lack of skilled workers. However, a lot of these complaints actually have a different origin. Employers can’t get candidates to accept jobs at the wages offered, which in actuality is an affordability problem, and not related to skill shortage.

If recruiters plan to be inflexible about their hiring strategy, and offer flat or uncompetitive wages for tough-to-fill positions, it will obviously result in more offers being turned down and a limited, weaker applicant pool for the organization.

Filtering Candidates Based on Previous Job Titles

A CareerBuilder study of over 2,000 organizations threw light on recruiter behavior, which actually limited their candidate pool by only looking at applicants with specific job titles. The same survey revealed that 55 percent of the hiring managers who were apparently not able to find qualified candidates for job openings typically hired people who held the same title as the open vacancy.

Experts say this is a needless limitation, which, not only puts every other candidate, regardless of his experience, skills, and intelligence at an unfair disadvantage, but also creates an illusionary skill gap fuelled by employer’s inflexibility.

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.

  • http://www.medievalrecruiter.com/ Medieval Recruiter

    Wow. Finally an article that mentioned that paying a market wage is one of the key strategies in getting decent people.

  • http://www.EngineeringReferral.com Douglas Friedman

    Thank you for a good article. I particularly like your emphasis on having recruiters do a reasonable amount of due diligence before contacting a candidate. This is a big cause of inefficiency in corporate recruiting that often goes unidentified. It’s actually not at all unusual to see recruiters engage with a passive prospect and spend a significant amount of time and energy selling them on a particular position in an organization, only to decide, after the prospect expresses interest and “throws their hat in the ring”, that they aren’t really a good candidate after all. Sometimes this is inevitable because of limited information available online versus a full resume. But taking a few minutes to look over all available information is time well spent. I think this problem is exacerbated by the popularity of LinkedIn recruiter accounts because they make it so easy to fire off emails to very large groups of prospects at once. Keep in mind that most people who respond to these mass emails are going to want more information on the company, job, etc. If it turns out they aren’t qualified, then a bunch of time is wasted. As you point out, looking before leaping is good policy.

    Doug Friedman
    EngineeringReferral.com
    My LinkedIn Profile

  • http://www.medievalrecruiter.com/ Medieval Recruiter

    I didn’t know LI Recruiter offered that functionality. I knew it made dealing with contacts easier, but I wasn’t aware it essentially allowed bulk InMailing. Seems like a waste of a resource.