Failure to understand the job description
The job description serves as a guideline to the key skills required in the candidate of choice. Failure to understand the value of the job description means a possible wrong and expensive hire.
A recruiter is a talent broker. Therefore you act as a go-between for individuals looking to fill roles and others looking for a new opportunity. Business needs and people vary widely for both hence have the potential to change at any given time. Before you set out to advertise the job, ensure you understand what your client/manager needs, where possible have a discussion on the key skills that must stand out in the ideal candidate.
This way you stand a better chance of sourcing a great candidate.
Waiting for the perfect candidate
It is important to have the ideal candidate in mind, you probably already have one! Sadly this can compromise the productivity of the team because they have to pick up the extra workload as you wait for your “ideal candidate”. A number of start-up organizations have fallen victim to this and missed out on the possibility of securing good talent.
In the words of Wallace B. McClure, an experienced startup consultant, ( Startups will often recruit for a specific need. They need generalists. Startups try to act like they are big boys. No, they are little boys, don’t try to act like you are big. Maybe you don’t need to build things like google to get your idea off the ground. It sounds cool to say you are going to go do 5000 transactions per second. I bet that number is about 5000 transactions per second than you are doing today).
It is often advisable to hire someone who meets most of your key requirements, fits into your business culture and has outstanding soft skills. Focus on developing the remaining gaps once in the organization.
Relying too much on references
You cannot always rely 100% on the information provided in the CV. In most cases, there will be an exaggerated work experience if not a lie. While applicants have listed excellent experience and qualifications, you will likely need to check some of the details provided. Do not place too much weight on these references whether good or bad. It is common knowledge that some references usually not listed in the cv, but probably previous employers for personal reasons, will likely give a bad reference in the hope that the candidate does not secure the job. Additionally, a positive experience in one company does mean that the person will automatically shine at yours. And a negative reference from the previous employer does not mean that the person will not thrive on your team.
Interviewers bad behavior during the interview
Punctuality and professional etiquette are not just required from the interviewee’s side, but also from the interviewer’s.
Bad recruiter behaviour includes interrupting and rushing the candidate and not giving them the time to answer question, talking through the interview, not paying attention to the candidate been interviewed, answering phone calls and emails during the interview.
I once watched an expectant recruiter disrupt the rest of the panelists just to show them ” the baby kicking in her belly” needless to say my time there did not add much value. Such behaviour clearly displays a lack of etiquette and could greatly damage the company’s reputation. After all, if the interviewers themselves disregard professional etiquette, it’s not a big leap to consider that the business as a whole will behave in the same way. If a candidate gets through the interview and passes to the next level, there’s a good chance they will refuse the job anyway due to this kind of unprofessional behavior.
Rejecting an overqualified candidate.
It is tempting to reject an overqualified candidate because you worry that you may not be able to afford him or her, they may get bored and leave your company for a bigger challenge.
Look at it on the positive side by acknowledging that highly experienced candidates may possess the skills and abilities that could help you develop your team. Because of the possibility of a short stint, consider finding ways to keep them loyal. Such as opportunities for spearheading major projects that would add to their development, progression, and recognition.
Failure to understand candidates needs and motivation
If a prospective candidate is in a job they love, a great boss, good pay and have a great work-life balance, it is unlikely they would want to leave.
To succeed in getting a prospective candidate, as a recruiter you need to understand why that candidate may want to leave that job. The reasons could vary from looking for a wider scope of responsibility, honing specific skills and so on.
Making the interview process too long:
I once interviewed with a company that said it would take 90 days (3 months) for them to complete the process and decide if I was an ideal candidate. Right then, I lost interest to proceed to the next steps. Companies and recruiters who drag out the process decrease their attractiveness and lose the best people.
Playing the ” our Company is the best in the world” card
It is a great thing to believe in your company, but some recruiters tend to overplay this creating the impression that the candidate must feel the same way even when they have no experience with the company. Sometimes this leads to “overselling” a company that results to unrealistic expectations. The recruiter’s role is to ensure that every employee feels that way when exiting the business rather than before they arrive.
Do remember- Candidates’ perceptions vary widely. Recruiters need to keep this in mind as it is often forgotten. Always remember that you and your company are also being interviewed. Any mistake in recruiting can lead to a bad review in Glassdoor, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Make sure you cover the points above to hire your next candidate. People often remember how they were treated.