Just Say No! 6 Recruiting Practices To Avoid

By Raj Sheth, Co-Founder, Recruiterbox

Recruiting has never been more exciting or more complex. Innovation continues to redefine recruitment, as new technology emerges and larger, deeper pools of candidates become available.

SoMoClo” (or Social/Mobile/Cloud), a term heard often at the recent Wisdom Conference, is enabling business to automate many processes, while simultaneously adding value to a job that is, and always has been, all about people.

Think These “People” Practices Make Sense? Think Again

However, as recruiting evolves, we need to recognize that some “best practices” are just plain hogwash. Recruiters don’t like them, hiring managers don’t have time for them, and candidates actually hate them. If you’re like many companies, nixing these six “worst practices” can actually accelerate your hiring cycle AND your candidate experience.

1) Hire Slow, Fire Fast
While there is something to be said for this particular platitude, I think many have taken it out of context. Perhaps a better phrase would be “Measure Twice, Cut Once.” The goal is for hiring teams to think through decisions, not to put applicants on some eternal carousel of meetings, assessments and group interviews. If you’re hiring for anything other than an executive position, and you cannot make a decision on a candidate in within three interviews, you’re probably guilty of this worst practice.

2) Candidate Pause Patrol
Did someone make it to the final round, but you want everything “just so” before extending the final offer? Big mistake to wait. Waiting discourages candidates, as well as the team that’s anxious for their arrival. It also leaves a bad impression in a job seeker’s mind about how agile your company may really be. What’s more, if they recognize that they’re attractive to you, but you don’t seal the deal, they’re likely to pursue greener pastures while you’re passing around paperwork.

3) Miss America Syndrome
Trying to find the perfect candidate who will blend seamlessly into your organization is like an average-looking guy on who is holding out for Miss America to appear. It’s not going to happen. (And by the way, your organization isn’t perfect, either!) Instead, consider candidates who have potential to grow into the role. By demanding a 100% fit, you might bypass many 80-90% candidates who could be ideal with the right team and some training. Even worse, if you wait around to find your unicorn, desperation may eventually force you to hire an even less desirable candidate.

4) Lowballing
This practice doesn’t make you look smart. It makes you look cheap. The logic is plain and simple. When you consistently offer low salaries and haggle with new employees to the lowest common denominator, they will resent you, and your employer brand will suffer. No one needs statistics or industry surveys to understand this point. The miniscule amount of money you may save through killer negotiations will be overridden by the fact that you’ve destroyed priceless goodwill — even before a new hire steps foot in the office.

5) Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease
This one confounds me. It seems that we all like to post articles on Facebook that remind us, “If you have to tell people you’re powerful, you’re really not.” However, all too often, we choose to hire the first candidate that walks through our door singing his or her own praises. What could that mean in the future? The braggart, the credit stealer, the one-upper, the complainer. No one wants to work with these personalities, yet many hiring managers and HR pros react positively to this kind of behavior in interviews. Stop. Check yourself. You can do better. Unless you’re hiring for sales positions, consider the unassuming, the humble, the team player who easily shares credit with others.

6) Show Me, Don’t Tell Me
Well…sort of. This practice is hard to follow. It’s about showing up in the right place with a compelling value proposition. If you can’t make the job attractive to the right kind of candidates on their preferred channels (blog, job ad, video, in person), you’ll find yourself considering only applicants who are desperate for anything. While letting candidates opt themselves out of the selection process is a smart way to whittle the pool to a manageable size, don’t forget to emphasize reasons why qualified individuals should WANT to take on this position at your company.

What Hiring Practices Make Sense?

In nearly every facet of business, crowdsourcing, collaboration and best practices are a good thing — until they’re not. Innovation is rare to come by, so it’s a better bet to formulate your own candidate profile by studying successful workers within your organization. Create a hiring plan with a reasonable timeline. Then build appropriate candidate evaluation criteria, and share that information with the rest of the hiring team. This approach will allow you to let go of the nefarious 6 “worst practices” and it will create a solid blueprint for managing candidate expectations. Boom! Done.

Do you agree with these recommendations? Share your opinions and ideas in the comments below.

raj(Editor’s Note:  Raj Sheth is the Co-Founder of Recruiterbox, an online recruitment software & applicant tracking system designed especially for small businesses. Prior to Recruiterbox, Raj founded two other web startups, namely a classifieds portal and an e-commerce site. He is a graduate of Babson College, MA and spent the first three years of his career as a financial analyst with EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) in Boston. Raj is a Red Sox fan who also enjoys sharing his experiences through writing. You can find some of his brief rants on the Recruiterbox blog. Because Raj is passionate about growing small businesses, everything he writes is based on what he has experienced in his ventures.)

Image Credit: r/dv/rs via Flickr