Five common recruitment mistakes that lose candidates – and how to avoid them

In such a competitive recruitment market, HR teams and hiring managers can’t afford to put a foot wrong when looking for their next hire. However, employers make some common mistakes that lose candidates, and the stakes are high. Wrong moves can cost considerable time and money, and leave your vacancy unfilled for longer.

So today, I want to talk about the pitfalls and how you can avoid them.

#1 Inaccurate, ambiguous or monotonous job advertisement

In today’s on-demand world, you have just a few seconds to grab a job seeker’s attention with your advert, so use it wisely. 

Start with an engaging headline and then a sharp, short elevator pitch for the role. You can then move on to a more detailed description. You only have a small amount of real estate, so use it well:

  • DO keep it straightforward
  • DO use plain language and avoid industry jargon 
  • DO highlight any flexibility you offer as this is important to job seekers right now
  • DO ask someone outside of HR to read the advert and make sure they understand what’s on offer
  • DO make it about the candidate, not about you
  • DON’T state the obvious (e.g., Every office worker should have MS Office skills, so you probably don’t need it unless it’s an entry-level role)
  • DON’T oversell the role (This is a pitch, but it should be an accurate one)
  • DON’T confuse your ad with the job description. It shouldn’t be a laundry list of tasks

#2 Poor online application experiences

Despite the wide range of technologies out there today, many employers are still using application systems that simply aren’t user friendly. And as a result, they’re losing candidates. Some common pitfalls are:

  • Clunky, slow and dated technology
  • Multiple logins and passwords
  • Asking candidates to manually enter information that is readily available on their uploaded CV
  • Not confirming receipt of applications

#3 Lack of communication 

Not knowing where they stand is one of, if not the most common candidate complaints. And in a world where most of these communications can be automated, it doesn’t make sense. Letting all applicants know where they stand is essential. It keeps your top candidates engaged, and it lets unsuccessful ones move on. This ensures you leave things on a positive note, which should be important to your brand and reputation. In addition, you never know when today’s unsuccessful candidate will become tomorrow’s top talent.

#4 Confusing qualifications with skills 

While formal qualifications are a must-have in some industries, for others, the focus can be solely on skills. Can the candidate actually do the job?

A degree doesn’t guarantee that the candidate can perform the role. Requiring one will reduce your candidate pool and may rule out a candidate who has invested in skill-building over formal education. In addition, for more experienced roles, the candidate likely graduated some time ago, maybe even decades, so how relevant is their undergraduate degree today?

The key here is to consider whether formal qualifications are essential or just a nice-to-have.

#5 Not planning ahead for your talent needs

While planning ahead can seem like it’s only for your internal benefit, it can also help engage candidates. If you know what you are likely to be looking for over the next 12 months, you can proactively look for potential candidates and nurture relationships to create a talent pipeline ready for when vacancies arise.

At Lloyd Connect, our innovative Talent as a Service offering helps you plan for your talent needs and access recruitment expertise and engaged talent pools whenever a vacancy arises, all for a simple monthly subscription fee. Check it out here.

About the Author
Picture of Jenny Lloyd

Jenny Lloyd

Founder/Director of Connections
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