11 Things Recruiters Do That Scare off Candidates

By Sarah Landrum

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When thinking about the recruitment process, the candidate's behaviour is often considered more important than the recruiter's. The candidate may want the job, but the recruiter wants someone to fill the position just as badly. If the recruiter doesn't pay attention to her own behaviour, she risks giving the wrong impression of the company, or even scaring the candidate off entirely. By avoiding the following behaviours, you can attract candidates and give the best impression of yourself and your business.

 

Not Arriving on Time or Being Rushed

It's important for the candidate to show they're serious about the role by arriving for an interview on time, but this also goes for the recruiter. Remember, an interview is an opportunity for your candidate to decide whether they want to work for your company. First impressions count both ways.

 

Not Being Prepared

Speaking of impressions, it bodes badly if recruiters aren’t prepared for the interview. If they spend the first few minutes of the interview reading over a resume, it shows that they aren't taking the hiring process seriously. Make the time and do your homework on your candidates, and show them that you're serious about considering them for the job.

 

Being Inappropriate

The culture in your workplace may be informal, but don't let it bleed into your interview. You may think that casually cursing or oversharing with your candidate shows that your company is an easygoing and friendly place to work, but it can actually send the message that you don't take your work seriously. It can also make your candidate wonder what it's like to actually work with you. You can make the candidate aware of the office culture, but don't overdo it.

 

Not Knowing Enough About the Position

If you're going to decide whether the candidate is the right fit for the role offered, you're going to need to know exactly what that role is. Merely skimming the job description before entering the interview won't be enough. Not having this knowledge shows disrespect to candidates too, as they've put in the time and effort to prepare for the interview, and their time is just as precious as the recruiter's. Make sure you know exactly what you need from candidates before you meet them.

 

Not Taking Notes

You may feel that you can conduct the interview without jotting down any notes, but your candidate may think differently. Not taking notes shows that you can either remember everything perfectly, or that you aren't interested, and no one will think it's the former. The candidate may draw the conclusion that you don't care about the people they're interviewing that day, and that the job's not important. Do yourself a favor and grab a notepad and pen before entering the interview room.

 

Dragging Out the Interview Process

Depending on the role on offer, there may be several checks and interviews you have to do before you can offer a candidate a job. However, if they're already experienced and you're putting them through multiple tests, they could well be turned off by your company. They've already proven their worth and gained their experience elsewhere. Avoid dragging out the process and potentially frustrating an excellent candidate.

 

Not Listening to What They Have to Say

To decide whether you want a candidate, you need to let her tell her story and demonstrate just why you should hire her. However, many recruiters make the mistake of taking over the conversation and making it about themselves. Make sure the conversation is actually a two-way dialogue, and allow candidates to sell themselves.

 

Not Advertising the Role Properly

Attracting the best candidates means writing the best ad you possibly can. If your ad is poorly worded, too vague or full of meaningless buzz words, then many candidates will stay away. Give enough information to entice candidates to apply, and make it precise enough to attract the right people for the role. Take APG Exhibit’s employment page, for example. It lists quantifiable, minumum requirements while also sharing the benefits, including the opportunity to work from home. It also has a very visible “Apply Now” button that clearly directs visitors to the next step.

 

Listing Too Many Requirements

On the other hand, it's tempting to write a detailed, exhaustive list of all the qualifications your candidates should have. Resist this temptation, as being too specific in what you want can turn candidates away. People won't apply for the role if they feel they can't fit a precise specification of a dream candidate that could only exist in a fairy tale. Keep your expectations realistic and list only the essential requirements.

 

Not Keeping an Open Mind

You may get applications from candidates that may not entirely match your specifications, but don't dismiss them out of hand. Sticking rigidly to a defined set of rules can mean that you'll let fantastic candidates slip through your fingers. Remember, the experience an applicant has may translate well into a different role. Keep an open mind and you'll find you'll have a much wider pool to work with.

 

Not Keeping in Touch

Anyone who's ever interviewed for a job knows how awful it is waiting for a response. If you neglect to keep your candidates in the loop, they may well go looking for better offers by the time you get around to them. Conversely, make offers of work too soon and it can seem that you're looking for any warm body to fill the role. Keep them informed of your process, and they're more likely to keep you in mind as a potential employer.

Most of the above is common sense, but it can lost in the chaos that is hiring a new employee. Remember that your candidates are human, and they're sizing you up just as much as you them, and you'll be able to attract the best people for the job.

 

 

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