10 Things Recruiters Must Avoid To Get The Best Employees


Posted On May 10, 2021

Some of the wrong things recruiters do have come to me as a first-hand experience in the course of being interviewed or as part of an interview panel. As a Human Resources professional, I have the mindset that no job prospect or candidate should be made to look inadequate or disadvantaged whether or not they make it through the recruitment process.

The presentation below is not made in any specific order of importance so none should be taken as more grave than the other because each one in its various ways is wrong and bad enough to put a job prospect in a position of disadvantage which completely erodes the essence of the recruitment process:

1. Placing job advert without job specifications

A job specification details specifically the qualities needed in a prospective candidate so it is a basic requirement to avoid flooding your system with people you don’t need and wasting the time of the applicants.

2. Talking down on interviewees

Interviewees are not always jobless, some just want a career shift while others want to work nearer home or in a particular industry so talking to them as “hopeless jobless people” is not good. They deserve to be accorded the highest respect possible first as human beings even if they are out of work at the moment. Note! The person you recruit today might become your boss or contacted to write a professional reference letter about you in the near future.

Human resource professionals are supposed to be strategic leaders. Like I wrote in a previous article – 7 Critical Functions Of A Strategic Leader,

Strategic Leadership is the ability of a leader to influence others to voluntarily make decisions that enhance the prospects for accomplishing the team’s vision. Leading people and groups in this constantly changing and ambiguous world requires strategic leaders who not only provide a sense of direction but who can also instill stakeholder mentality and alignment within their teams to achieve expected outputs.

3. Giving short notices

A recruitment process involves a long range of activities that have a time sequence to it so I wonder why a recruiter would send a notice of interview less than 24 hours when you know a candidate needs to officially take time off work and possibly transit time to attend an interview. It doesn’t show proper planning on your part as a recruiter. Why not try giving 48 hours to a week’s notice for a change? You may be missing lots of quality candidates because of short notices.

4. Misleading advert placements

Vacancy notices or adverts have to be clear and genuine from the start, especially about the recruiting firm, what they do and the benefits attached to the position. Why wait till the candidate scales the interview hurdles before telling them the position is on a voluntary or commission basis? Salary is a right, not a privilege and so people should not be allowed to spend their resources to pass an interview only to be told that the position does not come with a salary. So deflating!!

5. Not adhering to recruitment procedures

A recruitment exercise is characterized by several distinct stages beginning from job assessment to ascertain the possibility of a vacancy, job description, job specifications, advert placement, etc to onboarding and placement which will likely be followed by a customized induction program to help the new recruit fit into the system (after a negotiated offer has been accepted). But it is shocking to see some recruiters bill a candidate for ‘training’ before an offer of employment is made. So what are you training them for since they have not accepted to work for your organization yet? 

6. Wasting the time of prospects

If the official time for an interview is say 12 noon, it would be ideal to communicate the exact time to the candidates instead of making them come by 10 am to wait till noon or tell them to come by noon only to start the interview by 4 pm. Time is money and every moment a candidate loses waiting for you to get set for the interview represents a loss of trust and confidence. 

However, in the event, a reason that warrants a postponement crops up, be kind enough to let the candidates know so they can voluntarily choose to wait or return at the rescheduled time. It also makes you look responsible.

7. Not allowing interviewees to ask questions

An interview is not a grilling session or an appearance before a judge. It is actually meant to be a “getting to know you more” period that will allow the recruiter to discover more about the candidate and in like manner, time for the candidate to know more about the recruiting firm. Therefore, it will be good to create that avenue for the candidate to ask specific questions that can also help you know more about their level of articulation and how they express their emotions when placed in charge (though momentarily).

8. The recruiter concealing information about their organization/role

A candidate is supposed to know basic things about the organization he/she is about to join so they can aptly make up their minds to join or not therefore, during interviews, such information should be clear and better still an active website can help do most of the talking. Unfortunately, I have seen job adverts where the name of the recruiting firm is anonymous and worst still kept in the wraps even during the interview. Why the secrecy? Is the firm a cult or is the aim just to create suspense? To my mind, it doesn’t really add up. However, if the essence is to cut down on the number of applicants, then you can make use of an appropriate app that filters CVs received or better still, make your job specifications and descriptions detailed enough to keep away unwanted applicants

9. Recruiters lack of preparation before the interview

Is it not challenging to meet an interviewer that did not go through your CV before organizing an interview? I have met one before and I had to remain calm enough to bear with their unpreparedness. As a rule, go through the CVs received ahead of the interview so you would be better prepared to scrutinize the document and the owner of it; that makes you look professional and ready. 

10. Asking unnecessary questions by recruiters

In every way possible, stick to the subject of the interview so that you can get the expected substance from the candidate. Bearing this in mind, there is no need to ask unnecessary questions such as divorce status or late marriage. Who says divorcees can’t make good employees? By all means, stick to the things that matter.

So what are your thoughts on these?


Written by Frank Uzo

Frank Uzo is a Leadership Strategist, Business Coach, Trainer, Speaker, and Award-Winning Writer. He helps individuals and organizations build their ability to find excellence in corporate or public service.

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