Avoid These Recruiting Behaviors

In yesterday’s Advisor, we outlined the fact that there are plenty of recruiting behaviors that can sabotage your efforts. We started a list of recruiting “don’ts”—bad behaviors to avoid. Let’s continue that list now.

Here are even more recruiting don’ts:

  • Don’t badger candidates if they’re not interested. Many recruiters are under pressure to quickly find a candidate to fill a role, but that doesn’t justify being pushy with a candidate who has indicated he or she does not want to apply. (This is especially relevant for passive candidates or for individuals who are working with a recruiting organization.) Pushing someone will only sour your reputation and possibly the reputation of the hiring organization as well.
  • Don’t make too many assumptions about candidate wants and needs. To find out what the candidate values, ask! To find out the candidate’s expectations for a role, ask! It never pays to assume you know what the person will want or need when it comes to career choices. For example, don’t assume you already know what a person will or will not be looking for in terms of benefits, travel requirements, etc.
  • Don’t pressure a potential candidate to give salary history too soon. This is a contentious issue. Some states are even making salary history questions illegal, but if it is something you usually ask, and it’s still legal in your area, be careful not to ask too soon. Ideally, instead of asking for salary history, if you’re looking to see if the candidate would be willing to work within the salary range you can offer, tell them that range and get their reaction from there. You get the same outcome without the awkwardness, and you avoid the potential for unintentional discrimination that may come from asking (and utilizing) salary history when making offer decisions. (Unintentional discrimination can come into play because historically those in some protected classes may have been paid less, and the employer risks perpetuating this disparate impact.)
  • Don’t misrepresent yourself or the job on offer. Don’t make inflated claims about the job, the pay, the organization, or any other aspect that may mislead the candidate in any way. It may be tempting to exaggerate things about the role to entice more people to apply, but it’s almost sure to backfire—even if all you’re doing is trying to gain a contact list for future positions to be filled.
  • Don’t wait too long to make an offer. Candidates today are more likely to have job options since the unemployment rate has dipped. If you wait too long to make an offer, it’s possible that the candidate will have already found something else—which means you’ll have to start over with the offer process with someone who was not your first choice.
  • Don’t forget that candidates have resources to find information about you. This means they can do research to see what other candidates have said about the hiring process. They may even be able to get insight into the salaries on offer to know in advance if the organization pays at levels that meet employee expectations.

What other lessons have you learned along the way? What recruiting “don’ts” have you seen on the front lines?