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Top Recruiting Nightmares (& How to Avoid Them)
Monday, Oct 24, 2016

If you’re a recruiter, you probably know all too well to “expect the unexpected”. Recruiters interact with a lot of people, and all of those interactions can yield some pretty interesting, and amusing, situations. But what happens when situations are less interesting and amusing and more annoying and absurd? In those instances, you might be dealing with recruiting nightmares

Here’s how to avoid some.

Nightmare #1: The Interview Didn’t Go as Expected

A candidate reading you their resume word for word? An amateur Jedi showing off their light saber skills? They’re real candidate interview experiences, but not the ones any recruiter wants. When candidates deliver an interview that’s totally off the mark, it can feel like you’ve wasted valuable recruiting time. Take this recruiter’s video interview experience: “Once I had a candidate play different characters. So she interviewed herself, in different outfits. It was extremely creative, but also very distracting, and really confused the hiring managers.” Talk about preparing for the wrong part.

What to Do About It:  Asking candidates to record a video cover letter, as was done above, is actually a great way to get a sense of a candidate’s communication skills before bringing them into the office. Here the employer was able to determine that the candidate wasn’t a good fit without investing time and energy into an onsite interview. To help video cover letters stay on track, remind candidates ahead of time that their recording is a key part of determining if they advance in the hiring process, and underscore the importance of answering the question at hand.

Nightmare #2: Your University Recruiting Results Fall Short

Universities are great places to scout fresh talent and get opportunities in front of a large number of applicants at once. But as one recruiter found out, plans don’t always go as anticipated.

“Planning on-campus events can be a complete nightmare. Most times, [the university’s] career services do the best they can to promote events, but can’t guarantee how many people will show up, or if they will at all! Last year, a recruiting event was held at a target school and no one came.”

What to Do About It: So how do you get students to show up at your recruiting events? Or at the very least, how do you get a better sense of what your turnout might be before arriving on campus? A candidate relationship management tool (CRM) can help out. Students can use university event career portals as an easy way to sign up for the event, and recruiters can use them to track and report on the attendance list. A CRM’s email automation also lets recruiters communicate with their invite list before the event to share reminders, as well as follow up after.  

Nightmare #3: You’re Stuck with an Inefficient Process

You became a recruiter to work with people, not manage files. But when you’re dealing with technology that’s difficult, or none at all, you might find yourself doing everything but connecting with the right people.

Take it from this recruiter’s experience earlier in her career, “There was no applicant tracking system in place; candidates were tracked on an Excel spreadsheet. This was used as a point of reference, but was not good for much else. If a recruiter left the company, all of their information was gone with them. I was thrilled when we finally made the move to an ATS, only to be highly disappointed when I found out all of the things it couldn’t do. The ATS was built from a payroll perspective, not a recruitment perspective. [For example], if a candidate wanted to connect with the company and didn’t apply to a specific role, they ended up in a ‘black hole’.”

What to Do About It: If you’re stuck with a manual process, get buy-in from key stakeholders to invest in an applicant tracking system. Just make sure that the ATS really does offer the functionality that would make your job easier. A good sign is that the vendor has a dedicated focus on recruiting, rather than all parts of HR. For some tips on how to get started, you can check out an ATS buyer’s guide.

 

For more on how technology can help tackle your recruiting challenges, stop by our other post, “How Resume Tracking Software Can Make Your Life Easier.”