Talent Acquisition Timebound

5 Things Recruiters Should Stop Doing

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There’s no doubt that recruiters play an essential role in the hiring process. As the job market continues to improve, their expertise and service continue to become more important than ever.

While recruiters typically make life easier for hiring managers and candidates alike, there are quirks and habits of recruiting pros that we could do without. Here’s a top five list of what recruiters should stop doing in 2015:

1. Hiring only on skill, not potential:

There’s an old saying among college sports coaches who are recruiting – give me an athlete. Translation: I can teach the skills but can’t create talent or potential.

The same often goes for recruiting for the workplace. Certainly, when it comes to many positions — particularly those with a strong technical component — certain skills are a necessity. Yet, there are many jobs that require some fundamental skills and baseline knowledge, but not full-blown expertise in a specific skill.

For instance, passing over someone who is clearly tech-savvy and shows considerable potential just because they are not an expert at Excel is shortsighted. It also limits the quality candidates that may be the best fit for a role. As  the economy evolves, an increasing amount of employers will be looking for people who can think, learn and adapt as opposed to hiring candidates based primarily on their specific skills – some of which may be outdated in a short period of time.

2. Requiring X number of years experience:

Maybe back in the old days, having 5, 10 or some other arbitrary number of years experience proved to be a predictor of future success. Not so much in the new world of work in which employees move far more frequently and have a varied background, often increasing value.

Yes, experience matters, and depending on the industry or specific role it can be a crucial factor. However, requiring that a candidate for a marketing role have 8 years of experience in the banking sector makes little sense when skills and experience from other industries can quickly translate and even add new insight and perspective. Besides, who is to say an accountant with 10 years of experience will be a better employee than one with seven?

Here’s a better idea: widen the range of years of experience and consider candidates that show they can solve problems, come up with new ideas, and display awareness and curiosity about your business and industry.

3. Making snap judgments:

With the flood of information out there about different generations of workers and their unique characteristics, it’s little surprise that recruiters can sometimes draw quick conclusions about the potential viability of a candidate. Yet carrying generational or other stereotypes is not just risky from a legal and ethical standpoint, it can lead to missing out on a great candidate who is uniquely positioned to fill a role. If a candidate made a poor impression with a sloppy resume or other misstep, it could be a clear red flag to an experienced recruiter. However, if the only apparent downside to considering a candidate is their educational institute, age, or some aspect of their work experience, then it may be time to take a second look.

By keeping an open mind and taking a chance to learn more about a candidate, a good recruiter may find the perfect fit for the role.

4. Ignoring phone calls:

Yes, most recruiters are busy, and no, we don’t expect a recruiter to call or even email a response to every candidate who fires off a resume for a position. Nonetheless, it’s time to put an end to the silent treatment.

There is nothing more frustrating for a candidate than to participate in an interview and not get a response when the appropriate time comes to follow up on the process. Non-responsiveness not only runs the risk of losing out on potential hires, it can hurt a recruiter’s reputation. As a recruiter, if you know upfront that providing timely updates will be a challenge, then make it clear to the candidate at the time of the interview.

5. Spamming social media:

There are countless articles that highlight the ways employees and job candidates misuse social media to seek employment. Unfortunately, recruiters are guilty of social media slipups as well, with missteps like spamming, not specifying a target audience, and lacking a social media strategy altogether.

Establishing a social media strategy begins with defining a target audience, researching how frequently to reach out to them, then researching which platforms and tools are best to connect with them on.

Further, research has shown that most online users are not actively looking for a job, so recruiters should use the targeted approach to connect with future prospects through other channels. By cultivating ongoing online connections, recruiters will be better equipped to attract and hire the right candidates at the right time.

If recruiters this year vow to break these bad habits, or at least reduce them, then they are bound to be more successful. Not only that, the companies they work for will be getting the best prospects, and candidates themselves will enjoy a more streamlined, professional process.

Are you responsible for recruiting or hiring? Register now for Adecco’s upcoming webinar ‘Using social media as a recruiting tool’ and discover how your company can find talented job candidates by recruiting on social media sites. On January 28, two expert panelists will provide a foundation for using social media as a recruitment tool in 2015. You will also receive HRCI credit for attending. Register now!

Author: Scott Westcott is a freelance journalist who writes about business and workplace trends.

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