Are Your Recruiters Lying to Job Candidates?

Candidates pay attention to the entire recruiting experience, regardless of whether they end up working for your organization.


Source: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

If they’re not selected, their experience with the organization will determine whether they reapply and whether they share that experience via online feedback (which can also impact how others perceive the organization). Even if they are selected, their experience impacts their initial impression of working for the organization.

Many jobseekers are frustrated with being lied to during the recruiting process. They feel, for example, that jobs are not accurately represented. Let’s look at what a recruiter or hiring manager may—either intentionally or unintentionally—lie about.

What Might a Recruiter or a Hiring Manager Lie About?

Here are some ways a recruiter may lie to job candidates, either directly or via omission of information:

  • Recruiters may not provide information that truly explains what the work environment is like. Although some may not consider omitting information a lie, it can negatively impact an employer if a new hire leaves because he or she didn’t know what he or she was really getting into.
  • Recruiters and hiring managers often refuse to divulge the salary range up front. Candidates may be told the salary range is not set, which is usually a lie, or they may be redirected when this question comes up, which may not be a lie so much as an omission of information. Either way, keeping pay info a secret means someone may turn down the job offer at the end of the process because the pay didn’t meet his or her expectations. If the pay range is provided up front, this is less likely to occur.
  • The recruiter may tell the candidate he or she will not receive feedback after the application or interview, which may or may not be true—it may just be easier than giving the real, negative feedback after someone was not selected. Alternatively, this lie may simply be an omission—a recruiter or hiring manager may not reply to a candidate who asks for feedback because the candidate did not progress in the recruiting process. Often, the reason a candidate was not selected is something that is difficult to relay, so it gets either omitted or smoothed over.
  • Recruiters may tell candidates they have many other interviews to complete. This may or may not be true—it may simply be a white lie to buy time in the decision-making process without the candidate fearing he or she has been overlooked, especially if the process is taking longer than expected.

What has your experience been in recruiting new candidates? Have you ever felt that lying or omitting information was the best course of action in the process? What actions has the organization taken to be more transparent with job candidates?

The candidate experience is so vital these days! To succeed at recruiting, it’s important to pay close attention to how candidates perceive your organization and what their experience is throughout the process. Learn the latest—and greatest—ways to create a candidate attraction strategy that’s engaging, easy to use, and stands out to candidates, when you join Kristy Nittskoff for the RecruitCon session: Getting Candidate Experience Right: Find and Fix Mistakes That Could Be Sabotaging Your Recruiting Efforts. RecruitCon will take place during the larger HR World Conference in Nashville, Tennessee on November 14-15, 2019. Click here to learn more, or to register today!

Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges. She’s been working in the corporate world for over 15 years, with experience across multiple diverse departments including HR, sales, marketing, IT, commercial development, and training.

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