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4 Common Misconceptions Recruiters Have About Job Candidates

Posted by Jessica Miller-Merrell

recruiters common misconceptions

Recruiting is a field where “gut instinct” and keen intuition are important to help you know at first glance what people are made of. However, recruiters should be careful not to jump to irrevocable conclusions. When it comes to assessing talent and hiring, doing your due diligence is critical, no matter how intuitive you are. Recruiters can too often hold some fairly misconceptions that can lead to missed opportunities.

“Workers with sweet gigs are un-recruitable”

That’s not necessarily so! Don’t assume that just because someone works for a company on everyone’s “top ten places to work” list that your potential recruit is happy. Sometimes what’s thought to be a “great job” is just a job. Unless that job represents that a particular employee’s concept of their ideal situation, they may very well be open to other opportunities. So, if you have your crosshairs focused on top talent, but you’re reluctant to ask because of who they work for, drop your preconceived notion and go for it!

  • Find out what they want and what they’re not getting in their current position
  • Tailor your approach to serve unmet needs, or provide new exciting challenges that appeal to the prospect
  • The worst that can happen is they can say no

“They haven’t replied to my email, they must not be interested”

This one is clearly misguided. Nearly all of us have had experience with crossed wires and missed communications, even among our closest friends. Perhaps your prospect didn’t see your message, or read it, but had other things to deal with.

  • Look through your own email and take note of interesting messages you haven’t returned. Now, try again.
  • Personalize the message and add value for the prospective recruit. They’re unlikely to be at their current job until retirement, so to build rapport, start a real conversation.
  • If you want to have a conversation, attempt to engage in more than one way. Send a hand-written note, a text message, find your target on social media, and/or arrange to deliver them some small item that will pique their interest.

“Direct contact is the only way to get a recruit’s attention”

No one likes cold calls. Every salesperson worth their salt knows that a well-qualified lead is worth dozens of cold calls. So, how do you got about helping prospective recruits find you, instead of the other way around? In today’s economy, the secret to success is building an audience, no matter what business you’re in.

  • Interact on social media to get your “brand” out there. Sites like LinkedIn offer many opportunities to rub shoulders with talent and let them know you’re actively interested in recruiting top people.
  • Make your presence felt on a regular basis. Start a blog about recruiting, or contribute regular guest posts on other blogs that have the readership you’re interested in.
  • Pave as many paths to your front door as possible. The more opportunities a candidate has to come across your information, the more likely they’ll be to find you. You will also train yourself to be open to opportunity in the process.

“They already said no once”

Lots of people like their jobs, but not so much that they wouldn’t jump at the chance to leave their current employment for the perfect opportunity, or even just for the “right” opportunity. Things change, and staying in touch with top talent is the best way to be their first call when they decide to make their next career move.

  • Don’t spam anyone. Make sure that a relationship with you offers something your prospects can use, even if they don’t take you up on your offer.
  • Keep it positive and supportive. People want to deal with people who make them feel good. Don’t ever stop to scare tactics or negative campaigns.
  • Create engagement by requesting a response. Use surveys and other interactive media to get feedback, even from “happy” employees, on what they’d look for in their next opportunity.

Avoiding those erroneous bits of “common wisdom” and thinking about recruiting in new ways will ultimately be of great help both to you and your candidates.

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About Jessica Miller-Merrell

Author

Jessica is listed as the 2nd most influential recruiter online and as the 8th most powerful woman on Twitter. She is the author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, a how-to business guide for Twitter users. She also writes for a number of leading publications, including Fortune, HR Magazine, SmartBrief, and HR Executive Magazine.

3 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Shelby A. December, 01, 2015

    Social media usage is a trend recruiters need to adapt to and embrace. An online presence has to be built. This, combined with a human touch to your approach when contacting possible candidates, will improve your success.

  • Alondra K. December, 03, 2015

    When hiring for big organizations, there is the risk of spamming people in your effort to get new employees on board as soon as possible, and spamming creates reticence in candidates’ minds. We sometimes turn into salespeople, and we have to be better at that too. We have to improve our approach and build an online presence that will convince the candidates to want to know more about our company. 

  • Rylee D. December, 08, 2015

    We have all tried and failed at some point in getting the person we wanted for a certain job, but maybe the approach was not the best one. Your suggestions are very good and welcomed in creating a strategy for recruiters, one that would make them successful. 

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Guest December, 08, 2015