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Oh, recruiting…how business owners wish they could echo Kat Stratford’s sentiments in “10 Things I Hate About You” and say, “…mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all!”

Okay, maybe “hate” is a strong word – but, when it comes to recruiting, there are quite a few things that tend to get on the business owner and recruiter’s nerves.

Despite all the teenage-like angst we all experience, the thing that we can’t help but love most about recruiting is turning these challenges into successes for our clients!

Below you’ll find a list of the 10 Things We Hate About Recruiting with a few tips for conquering this tedious and crucial process.

Do you need a team of experts to help you with recruiting? Give us a call at 877-753-0970 or check out our website to learn more about Integrity HR’s Recruiting Services or recruiting tools like our Applicant Tracking System or Behavioral and Skills Assessments.

10 Things We Hate About Recruiting

1. Endless Time Demands

Resumes, phone screens, interviews – there’s no way around it, recruiting takes a lot of time. So, what can you do cut down the waste of this precious resource?

  • Divide your work into manageable goals.
  • Set up a plan and give those goals deadlines – and then stick with them!
  • Conquer! Commit to your plan, adjusting as needed.

2. Repetitive Resumes

Resume’s aren’t known for their beauty, and reviewing these info-laden documents can get pretty monotonous. To make this process a little more enjoyable…

  • Narrow down the pool of resumes – filter out those formatting nightmares!
  • Conduct a quick skim of the survivors and pull the top 10.
  • Dig into those 10 to understand the candidate’s backgrounds.
  • Remember – less is more!

3. Droning Phone Interviews

How many times can you listen to a stranger answer, “How did you hear about this position” before they start sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher? “Oh, I heard about it through wah wah wah wah wah waaah.”

To keep your phone interviews interesting, try asking creative, behavioral questions to yield some more intriguing answers. For example:

  • How do you prioritize multiple projects with the same deadline?
  • Tell me about a time when you navigated a difficult situation.
  • What hobbies are you most passionate about?

4. Unabashedly Unqualified Applicants

Reading through applications can take a lot of time and effort, and it gets pretty frustrating when you realize they don’t even meet the basic requirements of the position. Try the tips above for reviewing resumes, and also try to:

  • Set up screening questions and disqualifiers on your Applicant Tracking System.
  • Skim applications for basic requirements prior to reviewing in-depth.

5. Cold Candidates

In recruiting, there are few things as bad as pursuing a passive candidate, whether through cold calls or application mining.

There’s no real way to get around this one, except to recognize and respond to passivity early on.

  • Don’t be afraid to identify passivity for what it is and move on! Your sanity and your watch will thank you.

6. Two-Timing Twists

When a candidate accepts another offer before you can reconnect with them, it can feel discouraging and sometimes a little sneaky. It’s like we’re all back in elementary school getting picked last for recess again!

Avoid the twinges of rejection and…

  • Share your communication plan with the candidates – then stick to those deadlines!
  • Ask the candidate if they are considering other offers and what sort of time table they are working with.
  • If a candidate is a great fit but has a tight time table, prioritize them and try to reconnect sooner if possible.

7. Silent Treatments

Sometimes when candidates aren’t responding to emails, phone calls, or even interviews you can feel more like a babysitter than a recruiter. Remember, non-responsiveness can often be interpreted as lack of interest. Don’t waste your time and…

  • Always send an email with the interview information including date, time, location, contact name, etc. so there is no excuse for the candidate’s silence.
  • Move-on if you are not receiving reciprocated interest from the candidate within three attempted contacts. 3 strikes, you’re out!

8. Awkward Salary Discussions

You’re uncomfortable asking, they’re uncomfortable answering! It’s never easy to talk about money, especially not with someone you’ve just met. To help ease your discomfort…

  • Ask for a salary range, rather than a specific number.
  • Let the candidate know you are asking simply to ensure you are in the same ballpark so as not to waste your time or their time.

9. Delivering Rejection News

In recruiting, there’s nothing quite as difficult as telling someone they didn’t get the job, especially when you personally liked the candidate. Remember that it can be just as hard for them to hear the news as it can be for you to share it. Make it easier for both of you and…

  • Send an email notification through your ATS to applicants you didn’t interview.
  • For those candidates you interviewed, prepare to have a brief, respectful phone call.
  • Create (and practice!) a script before the phone call to let them know how much you appreciate their time and interest.
  • Remember to treat the person the way you would want to be treated – be kind and respectful, and you’ll be doing the right thing!

10. Last Minute Failures

After pursuing and discovering the “perfect” candidate – they rescind or fail the pre-employment screening. You can’t ensure that losing a candidate at the very end will never happen, but you can…

  • Make sure you ask the right questions during the interview process to really gauge if the candidate is all in, or just trying to get an offer.
  • Let the candidate know your level of high interest before making an offer and determine if they are equally interested.
  • Remember, not passing pre-employment screenings means that at least an issue was caught before the hiring process began!

Recruiting can be a challenge, and there’s probably more than 10 things about the process that can be frustrating to navigate.

But, even our top 10 Things We Hate About Recruiting can be successfully conquered with the right HR Team!

Do you need a team of experts to help you with recruiting? Give us a call at 877-753-0970 or check out our website to learn more about Integrity HR’s Recruiting Services or recruiting tools like our Applicant Tracking System or Behavioral and Skills Assessments.

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about the author: Lauren Cherry

Lauren Cherry, PHR, SHRM-CP is a Human Resources Consultant for Integrity HR, Inc. In her role, Lauren is responsible for providing human resources support to clients and senior consultants. She works on a variety of projects including recruiting and writing employee handbook with the team, specializing to the needs of the client.

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  • Jonathan P

    commented on July 31, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Nice article!!!! This is very informative. Yeah at times it do gets irritating on some points. As you said the salary asking part that definitely gets awkward for both the HR as well as the person who is giving the interview.