Recruiting, Startup HR

Three Key Hiring Mistakes Recruiters Can No Longer Afford

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, recruiters had it pretty good. With widespread unemployment, millions of Americans were looking for work, often desperately. Recruiters not only had more applicants than they knew what to do with; they also had all the leverage in the recruitment and hiring process.

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My, how times have changed. In the current labor market, companies across the country are struggling to find enough help just to maintain their basic operations. In this new reality, it’s crucial for recruiters to unlearn some of the bad habits they may have picked up when the shoe was on the other foot.

Cumbersome Resume Entry Process

Sometimes a job applicant might be relatively happily employed at their current job and only decide to apply to a one-off opportunity that piques their interest.

More often, an employee is looking at multiple opportunities at once. And submitting a LOT of applications. Few aspects of that application process generate more sighs and eyerolls than uploading a resume to a company website and then being asked to manually enter all that same information again in a company-specific resume entry page.

With the ratio of open jobs to interested candidates where it currently stands, frustrated applicants may simply skip applying to companies with cumbersome resume entry processes.

Ghosting Applicants

As hard as it is to believe, it’s a fairly common practice for recruiters to simply stop talking to candidates once those candidates are no longer in consideration for a role. No phone call breaking the news. No “at this point, we’ve decided to move forward with another applicant” email. Nothing at all. Recruiters might say that they get a lot of applications and that they just don’t have time to follow up with all the ones that don’t make the cut.

However, recruiters should know that applicants remember getting ghosted by recruiters, especially after they’ve made it as far as the interview process. It’s entirely possible that those same applicants might be a good fit or another role with the company in the future, or that the preferred candidate doesn’t work out, and the recruitment process needs to pick up where it left off. Recruiters can avoid burning bridges by doing something as simple as sending an email update to keep candidates informed and in the loop.

Endless, Poorly Planned Interviews

Some companies throw together an interview schedule as if it’s the last thing they thought of that morning. Anyone who might tangentially interact with the applicant in the open job role is given a chance to ask a few questions. Often the schedule and duration of the interview process isn’t well-communicated to the interviewee. Today, applicants often have many suiters, and their patience and attention span often won’t tolerate a rambling interview process.

Less than 15 years ago, employers had all the leverage in the labor market. That dynamic has been flipped on its head, and recruiters now find themselves competing hard for any available workers. In this environment, recruiters can’t afford to shoot themselves in the foot by making the big recruitment mistakes they used to be able to get away with.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Guest Contributor at HR Daily Advisor.