Knock it Off with These Recruiting Worst Practices

There are best and worst practices for every business. The recruiting and HR space is no different. Candidates take note of the things you do well… and not so well. With the consistent development of new tools for the space, the hiring process is constantly under construction. The best practices change and evolve along with the technology. There are easy solutions to these poor hiring practices. Communication, applications, and job descriptions all are necessary to the hiring process, however they are in desperate need of improvement according to many candidates. 


What’s a good relationship without communication? It doesn’t exist. A good recruiter develops and fosters relationships with their candidates. After talent applies for a position, they expect a response. After all, it’s only polite, right? Well, 75% of candidates never hear back from employers. Not only is that not a good practice, it’s simply unacceptable. On the flip side, however, 60% of candidates feel they have a relationship with the company before they apply for a position. Most of these applications stem from a connection through social media, a career page, or through a ERP – employee referral program. So, it stands to reason then that an organization with a well-developed ERP, career page, and social media strategy will have the capability to attract candidates. It’s up to the recruiters to use their skills – or their tools – to keep in contact with them.

All the Time in the World

You might think your candidates have a great amount of time to dedicate to your application process, but in reality, they have other things on their to-do list as well. The advancements in technology have left the human attention span dwindling. Yes, 1 in 2 candidates will spend at least 3 hours per week looking at online applications and job openings, however, that doesn’t mean they spend a lot of time on each one. Nearly 30% of candidates won’t spend more than 15 minutes on an online application on average. Millennials don’t quite fit into that group… 35% of them will spend 45 minutes or more filling out the application of their dreams. However, if yours takes longer than the average 15 minutes, there’s a good chance the majority of your talent pool will abandon the process before they’ve completed the application. 

The Job Description is a Bit Stale

“Self-starter,” “leader,” “detail-oriented.”  These are found in a vast majority of job descriptions, and they make the job search stagnant. Poorly written job-descriptions don’t make your job as a recruiter any easier. In fact, they can make them harder. A description that doesn’t have much to do with what the talent would actually do in the position doesn’t give much room for the candidate pool to self-select out of the hiring process. That means there will be more candidates to sift through before you find the right one.

Unfortunately, there is such thing as being too picky in recruitment. There is too much focus on the “perfect” candidate. Most recruiters report that 50% of candidates simply don’t possess the basic skill set needed for the job. Now, there is nothing wrong with sending them that rejection letter if they don’t have the rudimentary requirements fulfilled. However, an individual who is willing to learn on the job could be just as viable as someone who already has the skills.  Most companies will use an Applicant Tracking System to help filter out the candidates who don’t quite par up to the experience level as the job description requires.

Your employer brand depends on the opinions of candidates. However, with the three-quarters of candidates mentioned earlier who aren’t privileged enough to hear back from their recruiters, it stands to reason that some recruiting practices need adjustment. You can’t have a relationship without communication, and even if that relationship doesn’t end in employment; recruiters should in the very least send the dreaded rejection letter. 

If you enjoyed this post, check out our main blog here.

photo credit: tranchis via photopin cc

Views: 333

Comment by Teju Adisa-Farrar on October 1, 2014 at 4:02pm

This is great Sean, I totally agree! If people are having a problem with mediocre job descriptions, here is a resource.  The candidates, especially outspoken ones can make a brand look really bad.


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