• Vasant Soman

Why Recruiters are their own worst enemy !!

Let me give you three reasons

They overlook a majority of the suitable candidates

They turn away many candidates by failing to give a proper response.

They tend to focus too much on the resume and fail to see the candidate as a human being.

Each of these, if done well, would not only help the recruiter find more suitable candidates, but would also make the job hunt a much more pleasant experience for the candidates. Yet, it is hardly done well !!

Why is it so? Are the recruiters paid their salary to push away potential superstars or make job-seekers’ life hell? That too, after all this process, a considerable percentage of new hires fail anyway!!

Not really, their aim isn’t much different from that of the candidate’s. A recruiter would want the best suitable candidate to fill the job; a job-seeker, on the other hand, would want to land the best suitable job. Not much of a conflict of interest here.

I have been recruiting candidates from multiple geographies for more than a decade now and have seen these mistakes happening multiple times, irrespective of the country. And yes, I have committed at least some of these mistakes too. Not that I’ve been repeating them, but yes, I’m guilty too.

Below are 4 steps that a recruiter could take to minimize these mistakes.

Understand the real requirement very well; if the job description provided doesn’t reflect the actual need, change the JD. I do not mean “education qualification” or “years of experience” here, those are mere filters and many times irrelevant; understand what the new hire would be expected to accomplish and what skills are required to perform well.

  • Understand the different combinations of skills/experience that are suitable; trust me, there is always more than one. Move beyond the typical “keyword” based approach; majority of the suitable candidates would not have explicitly listed out those keyword in their resumes.

  • Add some filtering questions, if you choose to post your job in a portal. Don’t make the questions extensive; 4-5 questions relevant to the skills you are seeking are enough. Job seekers would need to answer these to complete the application process; this would decrease the number of applications, but would increase the relevance. Don’t overdo this, I’ve seen companies asking job seekers to fill out pages of info and it’s just plain insane.

  • Remember, every candidate is a human being; it’s not only the technical skills that you are looking for, but the personality too. Majority of new hires fail not due to lack of technical skills, but their lack of interpersonal and motivational skills. A candidate with the best suited personality and somewhat lesser skills could many times do better than someone with excellent technical skills, but bad interpersonal skills.

I would be delighted to hear your comments or suggestions on these; together we could make it a win-win for everyone.

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