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Jan 31, 2018
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

We all are looking for excuses, some of us just from time to time, and some of us more often than others. Recruitment is full of excuses even if we are not ready to admit it publicly.

Many recruiters in the industry today get a bad rap. And most of the time these issues, which give them a bad name, are self-inflicted. Instead of finding improvements to overcome these problems, they bring up excuses, as a more comfortable escape route. You might be thinking, “So what? Everybody gives excuses. That doesn’t make the next guy better than me. I am doing the best I can with the little I have.”

Of course, recruiters deal with a lot of data; every day, they interact with candidates, and they are trying to keep all their balls in the air (do several different things at once). Average recruiters do their best in the real sense. Unfortunately, the recruitment process, even in today’s digital age, is still weighed down by a myriad of humanmade shortcomings.

When recruiters result to excuses as escape routes, they undermine the need for improvement, thereby letting clients and candidates down and starting on a slippery slope towards mediocrity.

This is by no means an indictment on the state of recruitment, but there is always room for innovation and change.


Here are some recruitment tips to overcome the stagnancy of excuses:

Application Process
One of the common excuses is, “We need to know more about candidates, that’s why we need to have five pages of registration.” But do we need to know what grades they got in high school or need a cover letter in which they describe what they did twenty years ago?

A lack of satisfaction, arising from a cumbersome applications process, has made many talented candidates give up midway when applying. Hence, the need for gamification: introduce elements that will make the application process more enjoyable and less of a strain.

Recruiting is so much more than just matching candidates with job descriptions. This is part of the job. There is no justifiable reason to hide behind emails and not reach out to candidates and communicate with them. The best recruiters take time to find out what makes their candidates tick; they earn what they are looking for. With candidates churning in and out of the system, understanding candidates’ core depths is of the utmost necessity.

Communication is also important when a candidate is rejected. You don’t have to become a ghost recruiter when you are trying to avoid or not answer candidates after you reject them. Even after rejection, the candidate is a vital source of potential candidates (referrals).

Don’t make excuses for why you can’t get it done. Focus on all the reasons why you must make it happen!

Give Feedback and Ask for Some
Why don’t recruiters always give feedback? Their excuse is usually the same: “Ah, I have thousands of candidates. I don’t have that much time on the clock,” or, “I don’t have time to give feedback to every candidate that applied.

If your ATS is not an Excel spreadsheet, then this is the lamest excuse there is. If this is your favorite excuse, you just don’t care about your company, or you don’t see that you are affecting your future pipeline. Every candidate today is potentially a customer or the next decision maker who will have the power to cooperate with your company.

Recruiters that are not giving feedback to every candidate very quickly start to wonder why their candidate experience keeps dropping. The answer is quite simple: if you’ve interviewed someone and you think they are not a fit, do them the courtesy of telling them that, even if you need to use an email template.

Even the negative news (rejection) is better than no news at all!

If you would like to improve the candidate experience, the best way is to ask for feedback from your candidates. They should also be given the opportunity to express and share their experiences with you. What you hear may not be entirely favorable, and perhaps that’s why it’s often avoided in the first place, but that’s precisely the point. You need feedback to patch your errors and make improvements.


You Don’t Have the Time for Building a Personal and Company Brand Online

Yes, you say social recruiting is too time-consuming. Furthermore, you know that posting regular, high-quality content on your social channels is not child’s play. It will require the right ideas, time and persistence. However, recruiters whose social recruiting is poor will count their losses every day.

Being active on social sites might not be recognized as work by your boss, and you may not get excited about it because you are not going to see any results quickly. But building an authentic brand and sharing information about the company culture where you are working will pay dividends in the long run

Finding some time every day for social sites could bring you inspiration from the leaders in your field and also could create the snowball effect that will bring you a bigger audience, more followers/connections and more candidates that will know your company and you. If candidates in your market know you and your organization this will significantly raise the chances of you getting an answer on your LinkedIn Inmail or email.



Every time I hear, “There is a problem,” my answer is always the same: “There are no problems, only opportunities.

Making excuses may cause a fantastic candidate to slip through your fingers and negatively affect your brand and candidate experience; however, making no improvements will let the wrong candidate through, which is even worse.

In recruitment, excuses are killers of trust and business. Whether you give them or are receiving them, they make it clear that a promise, an agreed obligation, your recruitment credibility, has not been delivered upon.

Rise above excuses today. If a shark stops swimming it will die. Constant improvement is the only way to become a better recruiter who minimizes excuses.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.