10 Recruiting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Mistake #1: Recruiters who forget about their interviews


Candidate experience is key to keeping quality candidates in the recruitment process. After all, good talent can choose from many offers. Forgetting or missing an interview is not something your company wants to be associated with. Often the reason for recruiters missing an interview, is messy scheduling, overworked recruiters, or over scheduling. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help you to manage and track your schedule and can facilitate candidate communication when rescheduling is needed. 

Mistake #2: Recruiters who try and justify bad Glassdoor reviews


Employer branding in today’s day and age is heavily influenced by what employees (past and present) are saying about you online. Candidates will likely ask questions if they see a negative review or something alarming. Making up a bad excuse like “that’s just one bad apple” or “that was a disgruntled employee” may set off alarm bells in a candidate’s head. 


Companies should actively reply to these reviews (when possible) so that when candidates find these reviews, there is clarification over these concerns. Those involved in the recruitment process should also be aware of their company’s employer brand, and be honest with candidates about their work culture. 

Mistake #3: Overloading your job description with buzzwords 


Job descriptions are an effective way to grab the attention of potential talent and get them to apply. If your job description sounds positive and exciting, reflects company values, and explains what you’re looking for, it will help attract top talent.


It’s also critical to leave out corporate jargon (aka HR buzzwords) and to review your job descriptions for potential bias that might turn off diverse talent.

Mistake #4: Cultural fit is over-emphasized in the hiring process


Many jobseekers are looking for an attractive company culture that echoes their values or personal goals. That’s why it’s critical to cultivate a positive company culture and to promote it internally (and externally). 


What you should not do, as a recruiter, is place too much emphasis on achieving a perfect cultural fit in your candidates. Having a diverse team drives productivity and creativity. You want to recognize and value certain attributes, but also how this candidate's personality might add to the existing team dynamic.

Mistake #5: The only detail shared about the salary is that it is competitive


Nothing raises more distrust than claiming a competitive salary without sharing the details. Candidates need salary transparency in order to make an educated, weighted decision about whether they want to pursue it or not. Giving candidates this transparency will make them more motivated during the application process and have more trust in your company from the get-go.


Transitioning from no transparency to full transparency needs to however be carefully crafted. The step to implement pay transparency can involve the following:


  • Conducting research to understand any legal obligation you might have to disclose salary ranges.
  • Auditing the employees’ salaries to identify pay gaps.
  • Defining a company salary formula.
  • Addressing any salary gaps identified during the audit.

Mistake #6: The remote part of the hybrid statement is actually fake


Triggered by the pandemic and driven by peer pressure, we have seen a landslide movement of employers offering remote work options to their employees. This group dynamic of needing to keep up with the competition has led to some recruiters making false promises about the remote work options available. 


Trying to lure candidates in with false statements will tarnish the employer-employee trust relationship. Much more constructive would be to openly communicate the work culture that consists in the office. Not everyone is looking for a remote or hybrid work setup and would enjoy a vibrant office culture.

Mistake #7: Hiring bias is not controlled for in the hiring panel


Usually, the hiring panel is set up with the purpose of controlling hiring biases in the process. However, it often occurs that the hiring panel becomes increasingly homologous over time as a function of group think. Groups of people tend to agree more often and to give off an impression of being more efficient. An unwanted byproduct of this group dynamic is the lack of variety in the candidates being hired. This can also lead to high-potential candidates being disregarded and sub-optimal candidates being hired.


Luckily, there are methods by which you can strengthen your hiring panel: 

  • Making votes anonymous
  • Instilling inclusive leadership 
  • Consistently evaluating the diversity of the hiring team

Mistake #8: No communication from the interviewer throughout the hiring process


The sought-after situation a recruiter is thriving for is to have a strong and highly skilled candidate in the pipeline. The reality is that these candidates are hard to find and have a myriad of employers to choose from. So, what happens when these candidates are ignored, kept waiting, and pushed aside with automated emails? They leave to pursue another opportunity. 


As a recruiter, it is essential to ensure a high-quality candidate experience for all applicants. Especially as studies have shown that 72% of candidates that experienced a negative interview will share their experiences with their colleagues, harming your recruiting efforts. This makes it essential for recruiters to provide their candidates with timely feedback throughout the hiring process. Because who knows, a candidate that is not suitable now may become the perfect hire down the road.

Mistake #9: When the interviewer shows up unprepared for the interview


A candidate invests a significant portion of their valuable time into the preparation for an interview. This allows them to present themselves in an advantageous light and show that they are suitable for the role. Nothing is more demoralizing for a candidate than to notice that your interviewer has no idea who they are or why they are here. Not only does this almost certainly mean the candidate will not accept your offer, it also sheds a terrible light on the work culture and people of the company.


An interview is an opportunity to get to know each other, which means both parties are obliged to portray themselves as best as they can. A recruiter preparing for an interview is essential in being able to ask poised questions and accurately determine if a candidate is a good fit for the role or not.

Mistake #10: Recruiters spam candidates with positions that don't suit them


Nothing shows ignorance as blindly approaching candidates for jobs they are not even suited for. It is also a sure way to cast a negative image of yourself and your company. Yet, it sadly is still common practice to follow the strategy of post and pray when looking for candidates.  


Instead, recruiters should be following the best practices of active recruiting. This means personalised approaches to candidates and long-term talent pool building. Not only does this increase the conversion rate x6 during hiring, but it also provides candidates with an improved experience.

In conclusion, it can be said that in order to be a good recruiter, you need to show compassion for your candidates. A great strategy that can help you become a great recruiter is to always put yourself in the candidate's shoes. Think; what would I want from a company that I am applying for. Now, if you would excuse me, I need to start my Lord of the Rings Directors cut marathon. See you in 11 hours and 55 min.

Nov 2022 - 5 min read

Dominik Machate

Dominik Machate

Business Development Manager

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