The Biggest Mistake Candidates Make on their LinkedIn Profile
February 20, 2016

4 Mistakes Recruiters Keep Making

As today’s recruiters face increasing stress due to the need to fill challenging positions amid a talent shortage, many find themselves discouraged with today’s hiring process. Many of these frustrations, however, are tied to broken recruiting strategies that can be streamlined using effective communication and more realistic techniques.

In order to avoid stress and frustration, recruiters should recognize the top four recruiting mistakes and replace them with more proactive approaches.

Mistake #1:
Misunderstanding Expectations

Many recruiters begin their hunt without fully comprehending the hiring manager’s requirements of the role. Such recruiters continue the process with a “check the box attitude,” according to Forbes. This often leads to low candidate quality and wasted time on the part of both recruiter and hiring manager.

Mistakes usually begin when a hiring manager expects the “perfect” candidate – someone who can take on more responsibilities than are within a typical person’s capabilities. Recruiters do not question such expectations and move forward with the recruiting process. This leads to the turning away of high-quality candidates that do not exactly match the specifications, empty roles, disappointed hiring managers, and frustrated recruiters.

Solution: Establish Clear Candidate Expectations with the Hiring Manager
Establishing expectations about the role and candidate qualifications can save time and resources for both the recruiter and hiring manager. Work to establish priorities and be on the same page prior to sourcing and recruiting so that expectations align throughout the process.

  • Establish ‘Must Have’ vs. ‘Like to Have’ candidate attributes with the hiring manager when evaluating requirements for a position (keep it to top 3 per role).
  • Consider market comparisons for compensation and what it would take to find and retain the talent necessary for the role; discuss attainability of this talent with hiring manager.
  • Agree upon the level of communication with the hiring manager throughout the candidate assessment process – frequency of updates on candidates

Mistake #2: Overuse of the Internet
Although job seekers are likely to post their qualifications all over the Internet, more passive candidates aren’t so inclined. Sites such as LinkedIn, while no doubt useful, do not represent the entire candidate pool and thus narrow the chances of finding the most qualified candidate. Some recruiters would rather not pick up the phone and form relationships (the most effective recruiting method) and tend to hide behind their LinkedIn InMails. In this way, a highly useful tool leads to an abundance of frustration for the recruiter and candidates seeking a more personal approach.

Solution: Leverage a Variety of Sourcing Channels
While online sourcing tools such as LinkedIn are valuable resources for recruiting, they are far from the definitive solution. Tools such as LinkedIn are best utilized when leveraged with other candidate outreach methods that target the rest of the candidate population.

  • Try mixing online and offline outreach strategies
  • Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, says the phone remains the most effective sales tool available
  • Cater toward candidate demographics when deciding where to go online
  • Be engaging and interactive on social media – don’t just post job openings

iStock_000004460045_LargeMistake #3: Lack of Communication
One of the most common complaints candidates have about recruiters is their lack of communication throughout the hiring process. Recruiters are often guilty of selling a candidate on a position, having him or her go through the interview process, and then never speaking to the candidate again. Not only does this cause a dropoff of qualified candidates, it burns bridges for a pipeline of candidates that might fit future roles. According to, as much as 83% of today’s candidates are not notified when the position is filled or application was received, nor are they told how long the application process will take beyond the automated response message.

Solution: Avoid the Black Hole of Recruiting
Respond to each candidate – whether they are active or passive – in a timely matter as they go through the application process. An unacceptable level of communication costs the manager valuable talent for their team.

  • Establish and maintain a 48-hour response time with each candidate once the information is received from the initial assessment.
  • Work with the hiring manager to implement a communication strategy that encompasses feedback, dialogue, and follow-up throughout each step of the process to ensure that the candidate pipeline is maintained and engaged.
  • Determine who (recruiter, hiring manager, HR) will manage each step of communication in the hiring process.

Mistake #4:
Only Looking at What’s on Paper

While a resume is a useful tool for weeding out unqualified candidates, it is not as reliable as recruiters expect. The truth is that many candidates lie on their resume, embellish their skills, or simply don’t update their professional profiles. Too often it is assumed that what is on paper is all that a candidate has to offer. Today, more than half (52%) of candidates say they do not feel like they are treated as an individual during the hiring process due to hiring managers taking what is on the resume at face value.

Solution: Go Beyond the Resume
In reality, years of experience on a resume do not always equate to actual skills the candidate possesses; cultural fit, attitude, and competencies must also be assessed through a genuine conversation and establishing a professional relationship with each candidate. In order to find the most qualified candidates to present to the hiring managers, recruiters must form personal relationships with candidates that go beyond paper.

  • Work with the hiring manager to see beyond the resume and identify key candidate traits prior to and during candidate assessment by both parties.
  • Looking at what’s on paper only tells so much; work to treat each candidate as a human being by thinking outside of the box and identifying the right fit for the role through genuine conversation and exchange.

By avoiding these common mistakes, recruiters will begin to reduce stress and increase productivity. Making simple changes will also lead to happier hiring managers, long-term hires, and, most importantly, satisfied candidates.

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