Three Mistakes Recruiters Make (As Told By Job-Seekers and Recruiters)

Matt LeBlanc

Over the last several months I have been trying to figure out where two lines meet – what job-seekers (especially passive ones) want and what recruiters are doing to intentionally be there to meet them. To try to get my mind around it I decided to do what any good recruiter would do – survey both sides (546 job-seekers and 159 recruiters).

What I came up looking at the results were three key mistakes recruiters are making over and over. While I do hope you all (the recruiters who read this) continue to make these mistakes (it makes my job easier - very selfish, no) I hope it at least gives you something to think about.

As a side note I will be the first to say that I am a firm believer that the results from about 90 percent of all surveys are made up (as I am sure you are as well) but I can promise you, no wait strike that, pinky promise you, that the results from the surveys discussed below are accurate and authentic.

1. Recruiters are not making it easy enough for job-seekers to get their information to them

The first survey conducted was an easy and painless one question softball aimed at job-seekers that asked, "Are you more likely to submit your information to a job if all you have to do is email a resume vs. fill out an application?"

I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out that the result was an astounding ‘YES’ – more than 82 percent said that they are more likely to apply if all they have to do is click send.

The one thing that really did catch my attention was one of the comments left by a survey taker. It said, "Excellent question!! Those applications take a long time to fill out. If a person has a full-time job (usually more than 40 hours per week) and family responsibilities spare time is precious. A person has to be highly motivated to find and take the time to fill out the application."

So as a recruiting professional, it makes sense that if we want passive job-seekers (and in many cases active job-seekers) to come to us we need to make it as easy as we can, put ourselves out there a bit, and give them an avenue other than filling out a 30 minute long application to throw their name in the ring.

Seems easy enough doesn’t it?

(insert the VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ narrator saying "…but offstage things were falling apart...")

The problem is that as recruiters we are just like everyone else (lazy) and many of us do not want to stick our necks out there for fear of being bombarded with resumes.

2. Recruiters are all trying to drink from the same fountain.

In a separate survey we asked recruiters if they could source from only ONE place for the next six months, what would it be (i.e. what is their go to source). The results are pretty staggering (and sad) – nearly half said LinkedIn.

While LinkedIn is a great resource it is no wonder that top potential talent is abandoning it left and right – they can’t get any peace there. In all reality, the selfish side of me is rooting for you to keep on doing what you are doing and let me and a few others pick ‘A’ players up on the other sources.

3. Recruiter are all hoping and praying in the same places

I am not a huge fan of posting jobs (if that is all you like to do then you are really not a recruiter – you are more of an administrative assistant) BUT a strategic posting every now and then does have its place.

We asked if recruiters were only allowed to post their jobs in ONE place for six months where would it be (i.e. what is your go to posting resource).

SURPRISE – LinkedIn (between actual postings, groups, and network updates) trounced every other source and received twice as many responses as the next choice (CareerBuilder).

Deep down inside I was hoping that as a group we would say, no I never post jobs – I go out and hunt but alas, it wasn’t to be.

So there you have it – at the end of the day I guess no big surprises – recruiters all drink (and post) at the same well and we don’t really get that a personal connection to a job is going to give us better results.

What say you? Agree? Disagree? Indifferent?

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!