Talent Acquisition

17+ Things Recruiters Must NOT Do

Regardless of who you are and what you do, there is always room for improvement. It’s safe to assume that all top-performing recruiters must continually strive for best practice and find ways to make their operations better, slicker, more efficient and strategic. However, honing good habits only works when there is synonymous attention on breaking bad tendencies, too.

With the new year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start reflecting and taking action. To give you some pointers on where to start with your critical self-analysis, we called in our expert panel. Here’s what 13 recruitment leaders say recruiters simply MUST stop doing:

Billy Smith


Recruiters need to stop relying purely on job boards. Candidates are more savvy and know how to market themselves with less and less good people using a job board to search for a new role. Good quality job seekers will go out to their network first and will prefer to apply for a job via recommendation before trying other methods. Recruiters need to also work on headhunting passive candidates with the majority of jobseekers open to new opportunities not on the open market.

Billy Smith is Managing Director at FGS Recruitment

Iain Hamilton


“The rhetoric of passive and active candidates is old news, in fact, it is bad news. I still hear agencies saying “we are so niche we don’t advertise or post on social” and this, in my view, means they potentially miss a huge market of candidates. I am not saying advertising on social is right for every profession, but making the decision because you are niche, is wrong. The way forward is to take a total addressable market approach and then to understand exactly what influences people to join you, or your clients’ company.”

Iain Hamilton is Founder of People Traction

Adam Glassman


What do they need to stop? Ironically, they need to stop moving so fast! In so many of our businesses, we are challenged with meeting high volume recruitment needs or finding a needle in a haystack. Which means we push, we push and we push … so much so that we’re buried in the weeds and can’t even remember what we’re looking for. In 2017, let’s commit to slowing down a tad and thinking through our strategies more clearly. Let’s connect with candidates personally, one on one where possible, and being proactive instead of reactive.”

Adam Glassman is Recruitment Strategies Manager at Alorica

Lysha Holmes


“Spamming people on LinkedIn with Inmails which are clearly copy and paste with their contrived “personalised” email. Cold calling clients and candidates- this is not a 1990s movie- be authentic. And STOP mistreating other people. Call people back. Give timely feedback. Stop messing peoples lives around by focusing on your commission cheque. In such a congested market it is time recruiters focused on what their unique approach is and be true to their values.”

Lysha Holmes is Founder of Qui Recruitment

Gill Buchanan


Stop relying on emails and look for more opportunities to talk to people on the phone or face-to-face. Email is an everyday fixture in everyone’s lives and it can be easier, and more practical, for both candidates and clients to communicate in this way. However, recruiters are far more likely to have a successful outcome if they can also speak direct to people. Only communicating via email can limit the opportunities to really get to know the candidate or client, and to find out the information which will lead to a successful, long-term placement.

Gill Buchanan is Director at Pure Resourcing Solutions

Chad MacRae


“Stop treating your projects like transactions. Recruitment is about people. The people who hired you, the people you’re working with to complete the project, the people you’re recruiting a new teammate for, the people you’re recruiting. How do *you* want to be treated by the companies you pay money to? The companies you interact with in your business life? Like a human being, not a number – and *definitely* not like a cash cow.”

Chad MacRae is Founder of Recruiting Social

David Morel


1 – Being too salesy – the market has moved on from hard core sales calls and the reaction generally will be negative.

2 – “Spraying and praying” – for the same reason as above. Hirers want a discerning service and candidate profiles tailored towards the vacancies they are recruiting for.

3 – Trying to be “all things for all people”. I believe hirers are more interested in recruiters that are experts in one or two verticals only..”

David Morel is CEO & Founder of Tiger Recruitment

Lisa Jones


I have real “thing” about what to stop in 2017… Writing poor adverts and justifying this with the “it’s admin” statement, blogging and tweeting without having anything innovative or interesting to say, leaving marketing only to marketers, enter awards like you mean to win, telling me you are sick of distraction and disruption, then using too much kit to source / place, too many systems and not enough process. Stop measuring ROI incorrectly – cash and placements are not the only way to measure success, even though they are clearly critical. And stop assuming that younger recruiters have a handle on tech – they may do, but do they have a handle on recruiting and selling with it?”

Lisa Jones is Director at Barclay Jones


Bronwen Hann

bronwen-hann“Recruiters need to stop feeding candidates lines. They need to stop ignoring candidates who aren’t right for their jobs and start responding, even to say they won’t be able to help them. They need to stop sending resumes to clients without the candidate’s permission, and breaching candidates’ privacy in other ways. They need to stop thinking in terms of databases and start thinking in terms of relationships. Recruiters also need to stop being completely submissive to their clients. They need to work so that clients see them as consultants and partners in the hiring process. They need to give clients market intelligence, and demonstrate that they’re experts. They need to make sure that clients give detailed feedback on candidates, because they owe it to those candidates to give them feedback.”

Bronwen Hann is President & Senior Partner at Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting

James Nathan


“Please, please, please put down the keyboards and start picking up the phones. Relationships cannot be built using words on a screen, you must interact with people directly, first on the telephone, and then in person. Stop hoping that a load of emails sent to potential candidates will attract them onto the market. Stop trying to persuade and influence by email, negotiate by email, and offer manage by email. It won’t work, you will lose control and you will become an order taker. As one of my first managers told me “you pick up the phone and money comes out of it” – was there ever a truer statement made?”

James Nathan is Founder of The James Nathan Experience

Dualta Doherty


Stop sending generic inmails – As found in my article Why Developers Hate Recruiters – Recruiters need to invest in learning how to specifically tailor their approach on line to niche skill types such as developers.

Dualta Doherty is Founder of Pro Recruitment Solutions

Angela Bortolussi


“Assuming – assumptions can be flawed – and for us (recruiters) – it’s hard not to assume that someone:

      • Doesn’t want to leave their job because they’ve been there for 6 months.
      • Doesn’t want to leave their job because they’ve been there for 10 years.
      • A candidate wouldn’t be interested in networking because he/she declined your career opportunity.

Why should we (recruiters) stop assuming? Well for starters, I think in 2017 we are going to be seeing the ‘boomerang’ effect make more of an appearance (i.e. employees going back to past employers (after a 2 year hiatus); in addition, there may be a lot more movement happening within the workforce – employees wanting to get into management or decide to take the entrepreneurship path and switch to consulting. Whatever the case may be – keeping the door open for conversation with candidates will always be an important aspect to recruiting. “

Angela Bortolussi is Partner at Recruiting Social

Caroline Stokes


“Hustle without understanding hurts everyone. Recruiters are renowned for this, and it’s rare for talent, HR and hiring managers to report of a ‘great recruiter experience’. I’d like recruiters to stop trying to recruit on the fly, and to really and truly understand the environment, the people, the motivations and the vision of every person that is connected to the vision. My recruitment philosophy ‘from understanding comes growth’.”

Caroline Stokes is Founder of FORWARD

By Phoebe Spinks

Account Executive at Link Humans, download our 12 Essentials of Employer Branding eBook now.