Recruiters, whether in-house, contingency, or retained are facing a changing landscape. No longer in the driver’s seat, this top bad recruiting practice can hurt them and their clients. Today’s hiring environment has far more open positions than candidates. Gone are the days of candidates lining up for a posted position.
This change has put a spotlight on recruiters and recruiting practices that have long bothered candidates but were not an issue for recruiters since there have historically been more candidates than open positions. Now that the roles have reversed, recruiters need to address the following top bad recruiting practice if they want to be successful.
The top issue to address is communication. One aspect that is mentioned often is that recruiters stop communicating with a candidate with no warning. While this practice has gone on for years, it has a new term applied to it, ghosting. In a surprise turn, candidates are starting to ghost companies and recruiters now, even after accepting an offer. This is not something we endorse, but we understand their frustration.
Management professor and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources, Peter Cappelli, stated, “I think they have learned it from the employers. Employers were notorious for never getting back to people, and only letting them know what was going on if it turned out they wanted them to go to the next step.” Adding, “The employers have been far worse about this than any of the job seekers.”
One way to avoid this new trend from happening is to communicate meaningfully from the very first interaction with each candidate. Yes, it requires a recruiter’s full attention and focus, but the result of not connecting early with candidates means risking they select another position.
Authenticity is a critical communication element for recruiters. If candidates don’t trust you, they won’t work with you. Recruiters need to be honest and transparent with candidates. If they are not a fit, let them know early and tell them why. This builds credibility. It’s human nature to avoid conflict or not want to disappoint people, but it’s part of the job and candidates are appreciative of knowing where they stand. Treating candidates like people and not transactions is a paradigm shift for many recruiters.
Our advice is for recruiters to take the same relationship approach with candidates that they take with clients. Top recruiters are able to develop meaningful relationships with both sides. This skill set requires an investment of time and energy and can result in top assignments for executive searches. Candidates are all about networking and even if a role doesn’t work out, providing feedback in a timely manner can set the stage for future opportunities.
A final note on communications is to pick up the phone and meet with people in person. Too often recruiters rely on email for communication. It’s efficient but impersonal. To get to know candidates, recruiters need to speak with them and optimally, meet them. The best way to promote an open position is to have a discussion about the culture, benefits, and responsibilities with the candidate. It’s far easier to determine if they are a good fit when you know who they really are. And even when they don’t get the offer, recruiters owe it to the candidates they worked with to let them know personally, not via email.
If you are looking for executive search support, send us a note. The philosophy at Sheer Velocity is open, honest, and timely communication with our clients and our candidates. Our recruiters focus on building relationships that stand the test of time.