5 Mistakes Recruiters Should Avoid

Being a recruiter is not an easy task. You have to ardently look for and recruit candidates, check their resumes, prepare interviews and then try to find the best one for a certain job position. No matter how hard you prepare for the recruiting process, it is the small details of this process that usually go awry and which can make a recruiter lose a valuable candidate.

According to Ken Sundheim, the CEO of Placement Recruiters, around one in four decisions, a business makes along the recruitment process will severely diminish their chances to hire prime talent. Tony Hsieh, the Zappos CEO, said that his own bad hiring decisions had cost the company more than $100 million.

Besides being creative with the strategies they use, recruiters also have to learn how to avoid clumsy recruiting mistakes. Here are five of the most common mistakes.

1. The job description is not inclusive

Candidates do not fall for generic and dry job descriptions anymore, quickly losing interest if it's not well crafted. Using such a job description could chase away good candidates and even make the company hire the wrong people. That is why the recruiter has to be creative with the job description and include all the qualifications and qualities that a candidate should have, as well as give information about the company's goals and culture and how the candidate would fit into the company after they fill the position.

Remember that both job descriptions and titles have diversified and evolved over time. This means that a description that would have worked a couple of years ago might be considered obsolete today. So if you have old job posts that you want to republish, first revise them and see if the title and details are still relevant for the kind of candidate you want to attract.

2. Poor application process

A poor application process would harm not only the chances to attract great candidates, but also the company's reputation for hiring practices. If your strategy is to narrow the pool of candidates according to specific educational backgrounds, qualifications, experience or skills, can adversely affect the recruiting process. What you should do instead is create a strategy that is oriented towards a diverse workforce.

You should also avoid using duplicated or outdated applications and not having a definite timeline for the application and recruitment process. If the recruitment process moves too fast, the recruiter could overlook key factors and the company could end up hiring the wrong candidate for a certain job position.

Desperately needing a candidate for a certain position can also lead to big mistakes and the wrong people hired. According to a study made by the National Business Research Institute, 43% of the respondents said that the need to fill a position quickly was the main reason for the bad hires they made.

3. The interviewer's bad behavior

Professional etiquette and punctuality are a must not only for the interviewee, but also for the interviewer. Some interviewers chase away good candidates and damage the company's image by being very late for the interview, not giving the candidate enough time to answer the questions, rushing them, not paying attention to the candidate, talking throughout the interview, answering emails and phone calls, mocking the candidate or discussing the other candidates. Even if the candidate passes the interview, there is a high chance he will refuse the job due to this behavior.

4. Not checking the candidate's reference

Each recruiter should aim to attract a diverse pool of candidates, however, despite their skills, experience, gender, origin, race, age or socioeconomic background, it is very important to check their references before hiring them.

Here is what recruiters should focus on when checking the candidates' references:

  • Their previous job responsibilities, to figure out how well they would manage to handle the new job's responsibilities.
  • Their strengths, to figure out what they could bring to the table when they are hired. This question will also include information regarding any possible promotions or raises that the candidates were in line for.
  • Their weaknesses. Although most references would not mention the candidate's weaknesses, the interviewer could pay attention to their hesitations and tone of voice to make an idea about this.

5. Not following up with the interviewed candidates

Following up with the candidates after the interview is very important. Each candidate deserves to have a follow-up communication about their status, even if they will not be hired. By doing this, the recruiter shows them that they value the candidates and that they appreciate their time no matter what the final decision might be.

By paying attention to these common recruiting mistakes, recruiters would be able to find the right candidates. 

Mia Stokes
My name is Mia and I live in Sydney. I find writing to be one, not just a hobby, passion or a fling, but creation, knowledge, history, is the entire world in words. It is something that I could not live without. Being a writer has helped know the world in a way that I could not imagine. You can find me on Twitter stokesmia23_mia or at