What Do You Wish That Job Recruiters Or Interviewers Did Better/Differently?
1) Mandie Kelleher
I get lots of outreach from job recruiters on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, most communications leave a lot to be desired, and the feeling I get is that recruiters do not respect job candidates as professionals and people–instead, we are just a number on the list.
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Here’s what I wish recruiters did better:
A) Review job candidate portfolios/experience before reaching out.
I have had a handful of job recruiters tell me they have reviewed my samples (all accessible through LinkedIn and on my website) and I seem like a perfect fit, only to tell me they need someone with more experience after a phone discussion and requesting supplemental information. This tells me they did not do their homework on me.
B) Be transparent when it is not a good fit:
In the last month, I’ve had three job recruiters assure me they would let me know either way about a position, and yet weeks later a simple follow-up email goes unanswered. After a job candidate takes the time to prepare for a call, speak with you, and send additional information, a simple sorry, we went another direction goes a long way.
C) Be clear in initial communications. What is the salary? What are the job requirements? Is it a full-time temp to hire, or a part-time contract with an end date? Especially as a freelancer, I don’t want to wait until I get a phone call to find out.
2) Scot J Chrisman
I have had my fair share of job hunting stories and I must say, as a business owner now, I am trying to ditch the usual way of recruiting and interviewing people, which I believe does not work and only annoy candidates.
Here are 3 things I wish job recruiters or interviewers did differently.
A) Make emails more personalized. I know that job recruiters and interviewers are also like salespeople who are often trying to reach a target, but they have to let go of the templated responses and try to make their emails more personal and fit to the candidate’s applied position.
B) Never ask job candidates for a referral to other people. It is hard to accept that you do not get the position, and it’s even harder if the recruiters and interviewers would ask you if you have a friend that might also be interested to apply. It’s like adding insult to the injury, so you must avoid it.
C) If they don’t fit in, let them know right away. Have you heard of the “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” phrase and made you wait forever? Don’t let job applicants wait in vain for your call. If you think they don’t meet the required skills for the position let them know right away.
And by the way, this is an interesting video showing a job recruiter explaining the reason for not communicating back to job candidates on the status of their interview…Wow!
3) James Jason
Now, some of the worrisome concerns that I have regarding job recruiters and/or interviewers are:
A) Not Giving Feedback
Gone are the days when job recruiters threw the, “only successful candidates will be contacted” line. Human resources (HR) has evolved and is working towards being a unified industry where qualifying candidates are hired and the unqualified are helped to be qualified for the next opportunity that presents itself.
That said, it is a concern that job recruiters are still picking who they want and ignoring the rest. This not only heightens job candidates’ anxiety such that they jump when an email or their phone rings hoping is the recruiter; they also fail to know why they were not hired.
In short, the HR industry should encourage recruiters to give reasons why they turn down an application so that the candidate can correct it. In this way, they would be much prepared when the next opportunity presents itself.
B) Discouraging Diversity
The second concern that ails the recruitment sector is that it unknowingly discourages diversity. This is caused by many factors including the use of demands that lockout some people. For instance, if an organization only targets a certain region with their job adverts, they lock out people from other regions. Similarly, when they use discriminatory terms such as, “native speakers only”, “We’re a Muslim organization”, “Men are preferred”, and the likes, a large section of the population is locked out.
To solve this issue, job recruiters should apply a “blind recruitment” technique where people are hired depending on their qualifications and not suitability. If a lady can perform a certain task commonly stereotyped as male, there is no need of discouraging the women since some of them might be up to the task.
4) Michael Brown
One mistake I see job recruiters and hiring managers make regularly is posting gender-biased job ads. It is easy to tell if a working environment promotes diversity from just the job description.
When the job description is reeking of masculinity, it is sure to turn off qualified women from applying. I have seen several cases where potentially wonderful job candidates were discouraged from applying for a job because of the macho-leaning terms in the job description.
Now, how can hiring managers remove gender bias from their job ads?
A) First, you have to keep your job titles gender-neutral It is easy to sense job titles that favor men more. When you start seeing terms like “ninja”, “guru”, “fanatic”, “rockstar”, “relentless”, they intuitively suggest that a man is best fitted for these roles.
Instead, you should strive to keep the gender title neutrals. Your best shot to achieving this is going for gender-neutral titles. Rather than say you are looking for a “superhero”, simply say you are looking for a “project manager” (as determined by the role you are advertising). Such gender-neutral titles make the job appear as a free-for-all so that women don’t feel discouraged from applying.
B) Be mindful of your pronouns
Have you seen a job ad where the respective candidate is thoroughly referred to throughout the job description as “he”? Yes, and that is a screaming affirmation that a bunch of muscles is needed for the role – hence women are a no-no.
When recruiters post job ads, keep the pronoun neutral. Instead of using he or him throughout, simply use s/he, him/her. This is to keep fair and open for both male and female candidates to come in and thrive.
C) Show an avid commit to diversity in your job description
Job descriptions that promote diversity and cultural tolerance are more likely to pull in candidates from both sides of the gender wall. Female candidates will like to know from the job ad if they would be treated fairly in proportion to their male colleagues.
You can show them in your job ad that you are thoroughly gender-unbiased by avowing to the Equal Pay Pledge. Also, promise left after-office hours activities, as these favor male candidates more than female candidates who would possibly have families to take care of.
5) Jane Kovalkova
I wish that job recruiters read the profiles of the people they reach out to. A lot of times, I get offered a job even though I am happily employed. But that’s not the biggest problem.
The thing I hate the most is when they reach out to offer a job which is completely unrelated to what I do. For example, doing product marketing when my entire career revolves around pay-per-click (PPC) and content marketing.
You can easily read this in my LinkedIn profile, but I guess that most job recruiters don’t do this because they rely on applications that look for keywords rather than going through someone’s profile, looking them up, and doing the hard work.
6) Michael Hamelburger
I would like to have job recruiters and interviewers look beyond the resume and degrees earned by a candidate. Today, what makes an employee indispensable is when he or she possesses cross-over skills.
If you suddenly find yourself out of work for some reason, the best way to get back on your feet is to learn how to tap into your other skills to impress future employers that you have done something worthwhile to survive in today’s challenging economy. This is what job recruiters should be more conscious of.
When job applicants adapt to the situation that we are currently in, there are plenty of opportunities that they can bring to the table for the company. Besides, those who take time to upskill, reflect how eager they are when it comes to lifelong learning.
7) Rory Devine
One thing I would like to see job interviewers do differently is to create an environment that is welcoming and less formal. Of course, hiring is an extremely important decision, and it is for this reason that recruiters/interviewers should be making these interview situations as welcoming as possible, giving the prospective employee the best chance to show their best side.
Uncomfortable questions that are there to trip job candidates up, do nothing but show that somebody might be nervous. And why would they not be, as this job could make the difference for them paying their next month’s rent. And, besides, they were not expecting/prepared for the question, which does not mean that they do not have the required skills for the job.
Creating a situation with more conversation and less static questions and answers will much more likely to bring out the information you want to know.
Another problem that I have with job recruiters is that I wish they wouldn’t call employers within the first day of an employer putting an ad on a job site. It’s just too soon and too annoying. I don’t know if I need a job recruiter yet, if at all because the listing hasn’t had enough time to bring enough applicants in.
We only use recruitment companies once we have exhausted our recruitment methods, so these agencies would be better placed to call us 2-3 weeks after the advert has been posted, as we will have a better idea or not if we need them then.
When we do need a recruitment agency, guess which ones we don’t call. Yes, the ones that called us in the first week. The early bird doesn’t catch the worm, it loses respect and a potential sale.
8) Amanda Leat
I wish that job recruiters would step outside of the myopia of their practice long enough to rethink the way that they approach recruiting – the vetting process, the candidate-employer match-making process, and the fee structure.
What do recruiters get wrong?
Too often they don’t take the time to know the industry and to understand the nuances of the individual candidate’s skills and abilities. If they are meant to be reducing my time in vetting candidates, they out to be excellent at vetting candidates themselves. I shouldn’t see a single candidate who isn’t viable, and yet I get through many who are off the mark.
Many job recruiters don’t take their role as match-maker seriously. Too often they don’t listen to feedback, or worse take it badly or argue against it.
I accept that it’s the employer’s responsibility to be clear in the brief and the specific qualities of the ideal candidate, and I am willing to spend time conveying these qualifications with examples.
When I do so, however, I do expect it to be taken on board. When it isn’t, I am left disappointed. On the occasions when a job recruiter argues with me and tells me my assessment is not correct or not valid, I have no time for that recruiter any longer.
The industry itself is malaligned, in that the job recruiter’s incentive is skewed towards assisting the candidates over the employers via the fee structure which is based on the agreed hiring wage. A typical recruiter charges around 20% of a candidate’s first annual salary in most countries.
This means that it is in the job recruiter’s interest to raise the salary offer, often beyond what the employer has budgeted. It also means that candidates who might rightly earn a lower salary (and still be successful junior-level hires) are forgotten and left to fend for themselves without a champion. A flat fee or a tiered-fee for seniority would eliminate this distraction from the intended function of the recruiter’s role.
As an employer, I avoid using recruiters wherever possible as I find that too often they are an expensive waste of effort. As I result, with a handful of exceptions, I avoid them at all costs and only use them as a last resort.
9) Willie Greer
I always hoped, back when I was applying for a job, that job recruiters will stop being so uptight during interviews so that applicants will be able to answer their questions efficiently without feeling pressured. And applicants can also be their best selves.
See, some people are not good communicators, which could add to their anxiety, in addition to the pressure associated with interviews. This instance prevents them from expressing themselves effectively and laying what they have to offer on the table as the best candidate for a job.
People, especially those with an inferiority complex, are often distressed when they are under this type of overwhelming pressure.
10) Terry McDougall
I work with a lot of professionals on career transition. I wish that more recruiters would provide updates to the candidates on where they are in the process and let them know when they are no longer being considered.
Often there’s a big rush at the start of an engagement and candidates are expected to get their resume in and quickly schedule a call with the job recruiter to be considered then they are often left hanging, not knowing if they are still in the consideration set. Way too often the loop is never closed and the candidate just has to assume they didn’t advance.
As a coach, I see the emotional energy that is used when they continue to ponder or leave messages without receiving a callback. As a career professional, I try to explain to my clients that to a recruiter time is money and that if they were in consideration they’d hear back, but it would do the recruiting profession a world of good if there was more consistent follow up even with prospects who don’t progress in the hiring process.
As for interviewers, again, follow up is the biggest issue I hear from my clients. I try to help the job candidates see it from the hiring company’s standpoint — they want to fill the role quickly, but hiring is an additional burden on top of their day job. Often they intend to be able to gather feedback from interviewers, make a decision on the next steps and get back to the candidate within a week or so, but things never seem to go according to plan.
Someone is always on vacation or there’s a hiring freeze, etc. But it would still be nice to have someone call and provide the job candidate an update because they are watching the clock expecting to hear back within the stated week. When that week comes and goes they wonder– Have I been eliminated from consideration? Should I call and check-in? Will they think I’m a pest or I’m desperate?
The bottom line to job recruiters and interviewers: provide more transparency into the process and follow up with candidates!
11) Joe Wilson
One common concern with job recruiters or interviewers is their depth of knowledge in your field. For example; if you are a qualified Accountant, how can someone from HR accurately assess your technical capability in an interview? If you are a Mechanical Engineer would a Recruiter know if your skills and experience could be transferable from one project to another?
Avoid these issues by carefully reading the job description and highlighting your relevant skills and experience on your resume and cover letter. Use their terminology on your application to ensure that your resume is picked up by anyone screening for keywords. Do not be afraid, after submitting your application, to ask the recruiter if they have any questions about your resume.
12) Carol Tompkins
One thing job recruiters/interviewers need to start doing differently is researching and understanding the candidate’s background before the actual interview. This is key to understanding job candidates’ aspirations, whether they would be a good fit for the company’s culture, and it also helps the interviewer ask the right questions to make the best use of the time available.
Bottom Line: Interviewers need to take candidates seriously by researching the candidate’s background extensively before the actual interview
13) Michael Lowe
The job recruitment process could be improved if many recruiting companies become less aggressive and long-winded with their hiring process.
People, looking for new job opportunities, want to put their best foot forward with their resume, but the trend of companies asking for 40-page questionnaires to be filled is demoralizing and stressful while taking away all the important aspect of the interview process. And yet, they still expect you to interview.
These new style questionnaires can take 2-3 hours to complete, and if you are desperately seeking a job, you might be doing this for a month straight, and if you probably get back 50 rejections, this implies that you could have spent over 100 hours of repetitive form filling just to be turned down.
Instead, we should trust in the resume and interview process to help companies find the right client while allowing jobseekers some breathing space to think and search for other opportunities
14) Jacqueline Loeb
We’re a startup job-matching platform that specializes in matching early-mid career job seekers with high-caliber companies.
The biggest issue is not treating the candidate like a human – someone with their worries, insecurities, strengths, and weaknesses who deserves common courtesy such as being informed of where they are in the application process promptly.
And so here is my most important professional tip to job recruiters:
Don’t go more than one week (max two) without being in touch with a job candidate who is in the process for one of your open positions.
Send a quick email even if it’s just to say, ‘I want you to know I haven’t forgotten about you. Things are crazy on our end, but I will get back to you as soon as I can.’
15) Dr. Vikram Tarugu
Job recruiters often lack the professional know-how they need to address queries from applicants. It’s a struggle to grasp the technological work requirements and clarify it to the passive applicants.
We don’t have solutions to all their questions as we want to market to passive job applicants for small software work. And it’s getting really difficult to keep them pumped more.
What you can do is to talk to anybody in the know. If you are a recruitment expert, you are unlikely to learn all for the job you’re interviewing for — however, this doesn’t imply that no one at the business has this information.
Try sitting down with the recruiting manager and having a training course on the subject at hand before you start interacting with applicants. Ask them what concerns applicants are likely to have about the position and explain any jargon you don’t know about.
When you’re describing how that can help you recruit applicants of better caliber, the recruiting manager may also be able to build a handy cheat sheet that you can refer to if you get confused.
16) Stacy Caprio
One thing I wish job recruiters/interviewers did differently was to incorporate more actual performance tests into interviews so they and the job candidates can better see if they are truly qualified and ready for the job.
Often these things will fall through the cracks in the traditional interview system, which can be bad for both employers and employees down the road if not caught.
17) Barbara Chancey
Maybe it’s because today’s job recruiters have little respect for the founders of great companies who made their jobs possible. Or maybe they have no desire to dig deep into history and ask questions that require research and curiosity.
As a global boutique fitness studio designer, I often work with recruiting agencies to secure talented instructors and studio managers. Regardless of the language or country, I’m always astonished by the shallow approach most take when interviewing candidates.
When questioning cycling instructors, few job recruiters know that Johnny Goldberg created this phenomenon in 1989 or understand the differences between Spinning (R) and indoor cycling. Recruiters themselves use incorrect terms during the interview which results in hiring poor candidates.
Hiring Tabata instructors for a bootcamp or HIIT studio? Few recruiters take the time to discover that Dr. Izumi Tabata created these high-intensity sprints as a training tool for the Japanese Olympic Speed Skaters. And they were originally performed on a stationary bike.
Forgetting the founders and the rich history of the position/company concerns me greatly and the trend is not getting better.
Suggestion: Find the people with the longest time at the company you’re representing and schedule a coffee meeting. Make it your mission to know the past –the rich history of those who left their legacy, then hire candidates that reflect their same values. Know the hopes and dreams of the early founders and never forget.
18) John Howard
It’s difficult to gauge applicants by their CV and appearance alone and that’s what most job recruiters and HR teams are faced with. As for my coupon company, I ask my HR managers to interview candidates in a more in-depth manner by interviewing them more than once.
So the concerns that I have for my HR team and job recruiters out there are that they might be biased in choosing the right candidates.
Here are two biases that I hope my HR team would avoid when screening applicants for a job opening at my company.
A) LGBTQ-related bias:
I want my HR team to gauge candidates by their skill and not by their sexual preference of gender. And a way to solve this bias is by putting in place guidelines that my HR team may adhere to when it comes to the hiring process of my company.
B) Racial bias:
I want my company to be a diverse and inclusive workplace. And so, I want to hire people, not based on their appearance, but based on talents and skills related to the job that they applied for.
And a way to stop racial bias is to provide seminars and pieces of training to my HR department about racial equality. And also to let them adhere to policies that stop racial bias.
19) Jacob J. Sapochnick
We have always heard of job seeker’s nightmares via their bad experiences with recruiters. Some job candidates say that the interviewers are intimidating and not approachable—it is as if they don’t want to do their job.
These are just some of the shortcomings that should be addressed. As an employer and a recruiter, I always make sure that our interviewers are the best and that they are fit to provide exceptional onboarding experience to our candidates.
That being said, here are 2 things that every recruiter or employer should avoid and address:
A) Bad Interviewer Behaviour.
Interviewers should possess a good and exceptional attitude towards their candidate. There are some interviewers that do not act professionally, which makes the candidate stressed and intimidated, limiting the job candidate from showing the best that s/he has to offer.
B) Not Updating Candidates.
The most common mistake that should be resolved is that recruiters don’t update their candidate about their hiring status. They just promised to contact their candidates, but most of the time, they don’t. Every recruiter or employer should update their candidates about their hiring status even if they are not chosen for the applied position.
20) Sonya Schwartz
A good job recruiter is a vital component of the hiring process. And I believe employers like me must be informed on how to conduct interviews effectively as job interviews are also a crucial part of the recruitment process.
Having said this, I have observed that most of the interviewing mistakes were made by the interviewer and not the interviewee. And one of the mistakes is to leave a job candidate with no understanding of when and what to expect during the stages of the interview processes. This is a poor practice as an interviewer, which could be a sign of an unhealthy work environment.
And to resolve the issue, which I encourage every interviewer to incorporate, I do inform the job seeker, immediately, of the updates and next step in the interview process so that they won’t hope aimlessly.