Recruiters: You can do better. Job seekers: You can, too. A reprimand for both sides. Do you agree?

Dear recruiters,
applying for jobs, applying online, waiting for recruiters to respond,
Recruiters can do better, but so
can job seekers.
Job seekers know that you are overwhelmed, but they also believe (in many cases) you can do better.

Here are ways they want you to improve:


Job seekers: You aren’t off the hook, scroll to see how you can do better.

1) Fix your online application process!


  • Make sure your job postings are clear and understandable. Don’t use company acronyms or jargon.
  • State the salary range so applicants can weed themselves out.
  • Ensure your online application process works properly. Many job sites don’t! Make sure links are live, information is updated and drop-down menus have all relevant options, plus an “other” option for options you didn’t think of.
  • Include a way job seekers can notify you of system problems.
  • Don’t use a box that forces job seekers to put in one monetary amount for a salary requirement. That’s cruel. Let them at least put in a range, with an option to explain their salary expectations/history.
  • When the job has been filled, remove the listing from your site and all job boards.
  • Ask rogue job boards to pull your jobs from their board. If they keep jobs up after the positions have been filled, make sure your site (that their site routes visitors to) notifies them that the position has been filled.
  • Let job seekers know which job boards you authorize to post your positions so they which ones they can trust.
  • Tell people up front approximately how long your application process will take so they can decide if they have enough time to apply properly.
  • Don’t set an unrealistically short time frame for people to complete your online application process before it times out.


2) Keep job seekers informed!


  • Don’t keep candidates waiting needlessly. Keep them informed even if it is just to tell them that a decision has not yet been made.
  • Return your phone calls and e-mails. Or, perhaps better for you, set up an automated process to keep candidates informed so they don’t contact you.
  • If you reject candidates, tell them! Be especially careful to inform internal candidates and explain to them why they were rejected.
  • Create a streamlined process where you can tell people why they were rejected, particularly those who made it to the interview stage. This can help them improve their chances of being hired elsewhere.


3) Be respectful!


  • If you know you are hiring a qualified internal candidate, save everyone time and anguish and the company money. Hire the internal person and be done with it.


Myth Bust 1: There is no law that requires employers to interview external candidates. Rather, many companies have a policy to do so, while others interview external candidates only after exhausting any internal candidates.

Myth Bust 2: There is no law requiring employers to post a job internally before hiring or promoting who they believe is the most qualified, although company policy may dictate that they do so.


  • Do not overstate to candidates how perfect they are during an interview if you are not sure you will hire them. They get their hopes up, which makes your rejection later all the more painful.
  • Ask for job seekers’ opinions about your recruitment process. You might learn valuable information.
  • Let candidates know your time frame for hiring a position and how they will be informed throughout the process.


Job seekers: You can do better, too!

Dear Job Seeker,
You may very well be driving recruiters bonkers. Recruiters know you want to be hired, but you may be going about it all wrong. Here are ways you can improve your chances.


  • Apply only for jobs for which you are qualified (or mostly qualified). Otherwise, you are flooding the system, making recruiters’ job unnecessarily difficult, and hurting your chances for positions for which you are qualified (companies will get used to rejecting you!)
  • Make sure your resume includes relevant proof that you are qualified for the position. Change your resume for every position.
  • Apply directly through the company’s site. Some rogue job sites keep old openings up long past when they are filled.
  • Try to get the last interview so you are freshest in the interviewer’s mind.
  • Ask if it would be all right for you to check in by phone or e-mail.
  • Learn the difference between being persistent and being a pest. Listen and abide by how often the recruiter says you may call or e-mail him/her to check on your status.
  • Consider other ways to remind companies that you are the most qualified:

o Connect with people within the company through LinkedIn
o Have internal acquaintances vouch for your abilities
o Have respected community or business leaders contact the hiring manager or company executive on your behalf
o Follow the company on LinkedIn
o Join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to the position and company you seek. Participate in group discussions to show that you are leader in your field.


  • Keep pursuing other opportunities even if you had a great interview. Never stop looking until you have landed a position.
  • If a recruiter contacts you to let you know you have been rejected, be gracious and professional. Let the recruiter know you are interested in other open positions within the company.


Job seekers – Become a model candidate to make it easy for hiring companies to chose you!

Job seekers: What do you wish recruiters would do better? Recruiters: What do you want job seekers to do better? Share your comments. I will compile your answers in a future Get a Job! blog post.
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2 comments :

  1. Maybe if recruiters change more people will be hired!

    ReplyDelete
  2. They also might change for the worse.

    ReplyDelete

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