THE BLOG

Recruiters, Do You Commit These Seven Deadly Sins?

01/04/2014 14:42 BST | Updated 31/05/2014 10:59 BST

This week I had a meeting a senior manager who has recently joined his organisation. I asked him what his niggles had been whilst he was searching for a new role. His response was eye opening for me as a recruitment consultancy director.

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Do you, whether you are a recruitment consultant, or a line manager recruiting, commit any of these turn-offs?

1. The same, perfectly decent, job advert is still on a recruitment website, and therefore being mailed out daily, after four months. So what? If you still haven't got a shortlist after four months you must be pretty bad as an employer.

2. a) A jobseeker has seen an advert, amended his CV, written a covering letter, and sent it off to you. A month later you send back a bland, stock note to say that the recruitment has been put on hold indefinitely. So what? You clearly can't plan; if you were competent, you would have been certain that the job existed/was needed/was authorised and was budgeted for before you advertised it.

b)....following 2a) above, even though you claim to have postponed the recruitment, you still have the job advert live online. So what? You are either compounding your incompetence (as mentioned above) or you are lying to applicants; neither looks good.

3. An applicant applies for an advertised vacancy and then all goes quiet. Then the applicant is told that the recruitment has been shelved as you "found an internal candidate". So what? Again you look incompetent; if you already had a suitable employee in-house, why did you not offer them the job before going public with your advert. This sounds as if you don't know the people you employ and you don't develop your staff as a matter of default.

4. An applicant applies for an advertised job and in acknowledgement gets a bland reply that tells them that 'if they haven't been called for interview within 2/3/4/6 weeks they should assume that they have been unsuccessful'. So what? Basic (un)common courtesy would be that the applicant at least gets "closure", with email capacity these days it is a job that barely takes a couple of minutes. You look callous and lazy.

5. Unsuccessful shortlist applicants get a badly worded "Dear John". The example the fellow gave read "We have been able to offer the post to an applicant who had relevant experience". The candidate I was speaking to is 52, professionally qualified and has been in the discipline for 27 years. So what? To have written what they wrote is both grossly insulting and suggestive of total lack of emotional intelligence.

6. An applicant attends an interview, for this they prepare and give a presentation which is, to all intents and purposes, management consultancy advice for your organisation. The candidate then hears nothing from you at all. Perhaps you have offered the job to another applicant, but in the absence of any confirmation, people will jump to conclusions. So what? You have just insulted and been rude to everyone who didn't get offered the job. You look as if you also ripped them off; the exercise was little more than a way to get consultancy advice for free.

7. With all the increases in automation some employers are now using online application forms. These can be appalling! One memorable example required the applicant to enter each of their GCSE equivalent qualifications one-at-a-time, inserting the subject, date achieved (complete: dd/mm/yyyy), awarding institution, grade obtained and place of study. 6 fields for each one. The candidate had nine. 54 separate entries for GCSEs. Next, it demanded the same level of detail for A levels, degree, professional qualifications. Then every job the candidate had ever had, complete with dd/mm/yyyy start and finish dates. Whilst you may argue that this weeds out the less committed, it can also be said to weed out the less desperate. So what? It makes you look like a nit-picking organisation, more interested in the minutiae of history than what a candidate could do for you in the future. Do you really need to know what grade your next FD got in his Religious Education O level in 1978?

The ultimate "So what?" is that each and every job seeker you annoy is a potential client, customer or competitor in the future. They do share information on blogs and forums. Your reputation suffers and potentially you lose good employees and executives.

The CIPD recently reported that something like 28% of people reported that they had turned down an offer of a job because of poor interviewing.....and we haven't even mentioned that one!

Thanks for reading, you will also see this blog on my official website.