5 Outdated Recruiter Habits (and What to Focus on Instead)

December 16th, 2016

The employer/job seeker relationship today is vastly different than 15, 10 or even five years ago. Today’s candidates expect more from employers after they hit “send” on their resumes. Those organizations whose recruiters understand and embrace the new recruiting reality are winning the battles for top talent. Those who are standing by their outdated recruiter habits are struggling. recruiter habits

Are you winning great talent or struggling to find them due to outdated recruiter habits?

It’s time to look honestly at your recruiter habits to determine whether they are helping or hindering your recruiting efforts. Here are five outdated recruiter habits that make the biggest negative impact:

  1. Form, template or mass messages. Today’s job seekers are more savvy and discerning than ever. They want to be “wooed” by employers. At a minimum, they want to be treated like an individual instead of a number. With the number of tools and technologies available to reach candidates quickly and easily, it can be tempting to continue “following a script” in your communications.

    This is one of the fastest ways to burn bridges and turn candidates OFF of your organization.

    It’s fine to start off with a general message you use for a certain role or specialty, but take the time to customize it for specific candidates (just as you expect them to customize their resumes for your job openings!). Review their LinkedIn profiles and look for commonalities or information you can include that shows you are truly sending a one-on-one message. You’ll stand out to candidates for the right reason.

  2. Sticking to an interview script. Ten or twenty years ago, many recruiters and interviewers would print out a sheet of questions and diligently work their way down the list during each interview. Providing a neat and tidy recap of the conversation, it was often the “go to” resource during job interviews.

    Both employers and candidates today are much more savvy than 20 or even 10 years ago. Candidates expect to have conversations instead of rigid interviews – and the strongest candidates are ones who navigate those conversations with ease. Successful employers understand that top talent can address expectations and requirements during an interview without having to fit into a “mold.”

    If you’re still sticking to a script, you’re not only behind the times, you’re potentially hurting your organization. Asking every candidate the same questions almost completely ensures you’re hiring “the same person” for every role. For innovative, growing companies, this mistake could literally kill their businesses.

    Using an interview script also sends a message to candidates that your organization is outdated. Today’s top talent is looking for the cream of the crop among employers. They want employers who are innovative, looking ahead and who are invested in the right technology and tools to help them do their jobs effectively. If your recruiters aren’t using the best tools to do their jobs, why would candidates expect the best tools to do theirs?

  3. Taking their time to make a hiring decision. Strong hiring decisions are critical to the short- and long-term success of your organization. But, if your hiring process takes a long time, requires multiple visits and interviews and generally is, well, bloated, your organization needs to catch up.

    Top talent today is often contacted by recruiters within days of posting their resumes. Many don’t post their resumes at all! Finding and reaching passive candidates is essential to landing top talent for your organization. When talent is already employed and not actively seeking a job, do you really think they are going to welcome a weeks-long hiring process? Or multiple visits and interviews?

    We recently shared tips for speeding up your hiring process. Implement this advice to speed up your hiring process and move past one of the most outdated recruiter habits.

  4. Posting the same generic job descriptions. We’ve been discussing job descriptions here on the Helpmates blog quite a bit lately, and with good reason. Strong job descriptions can help you land better talent that is enthusiastic for your jobs. They can also save you time and money.

    Yet some recruiters are still using the same, generic job descriptions their organization has posted for years. If your organization is often hiring for the same positions, it’s acceptable to post the same description.

    Cutting and pasting a job description from five or two years ago is not acceptable and is one of the most outdated recruiter habits.

    Your organization is constantly changing. Chances are your roles are evolving too. Your job descriptions should be evolving with them. Instead of using your descriptions as a checklist of requirements, use them to inform candidates about the role and your company. Your job descriptions should be selling your company!

    Check out these quick tips for job descriptions that deliver – toss out your old descriptions and start using this critical tool to attract top talent.

  5. Disregarding overqualified candidates. Today’s professionals may have two or even three different careers by the time they hit 40. That’s a lot of skills and experience! But along with those skills and experience can come the stereotype that overqualified candidates are a poor choice.

    What a mistake!

    Candidates whose skills exceed the requirements of the position are often leaders who can help mentor younger employees. They bring enthusiasm and skills that can add dimension and productivity to the role that you never imagined. Although a strong resume can help top talent stand apart, candidates are often much more than you see on paper. Discounting candidates simply because they appear overqualified could mean losing out on significant opportunity for your organization – both immediately and down the road.

Here at Helpmates, our team is at the forefront of the latest recruiting trends, tools and technologies. We’ve built strong relationships with an extensive network of talent across Southern California, and we can find the best talent for your organization and needs. Contact your nearest Helpmates office today to learn more.

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