4 Horrible Practices of Recruiters that Drive Top Candidates Away

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Recruitment Advice, Trends and Learning

Horrible Practices of Recruiters that Drive Top Candidates Away

There is a pressure to fill empty seats immediately for any HR professional or recruitment firm. Ignoring red flags in their hiring process has become for recruiters to save time and money. However, what was supposed to be merely a band-aid solution has slowly ingrained itself into your hiring system simply because the HR manager failed to call it out.

Little do they know that the very practices that supposedly allowed them to save on company resources are costing them more. What’s worse is that they’re driving candidates away.

A lot of employers and HR managers think that if talents really want the job, they should and would work for it. Then again, some recruitment firms and HR professionals fail to grasp that top candidates have other offers to consider, so they don’t have to put up with inefficient and obnoxious hiring practices.

Here are some of the horrible recruitment practices that drive top candidates away. Avoid them at all costs or if you’re already doing it, then fix it.


1. Not Being Upfront About Salary Range

Every company has a specific budget for a particular position – that’s not a huge secret, and top candidates know that. Still, a lot of recruiters post job ads without a salary range simply because they want to keep it confidential and prevent employees from learning about each other’s salaries.

A lot of recruiters do this as well in an attempt to find a top candidate who is willing to work for much less than the going rate. Once the candidates are deemed qualified, that’s when they reveal how much they’re willing to pay.

What if your budget is way below what the candidate is willing to accept? That’s a complete waste of yours and the candidate’s time and energy. Plus, it’s terrible for your reputation as an employer.


2. No Feedback About Application

It’s common for recruiters and HR professionals to ignore candidates and applicants who don’t qualify for the job. But sometimes, it’s not that they’re unqualified. It’s because your hiring process is too long, you’re still interviewing a slew of other candidates for another position, or something else unrelated to their application.

Top candidates will never wait three to four weeks to hear back from you. And no, your auto-respond email message that gives an obviously automated message about how you received their application and that you’ll get back to them shortly doesn’t count.

Top candidates know that they have a stellar resume and that they can find another job elsewhere. Show them that you recognize their worth by giving them a call or at least send them a personalized email to let them know what the next step is.

If you think they’re not qualified for the position they want, let them know that you’ll keep their contact information in case another more suitable position opens up.


3. Unnecessary Pre-employment Tests

Your candidate has already given you their resume and provided their portfolio. Do you really need them to go through a two-hour pre-screening exam? If you can’t see their worth based on the background, skills, and experience outlined in their resume, then neither will they see yours.

Do your research! Read their resume. Look them up on social media and go through their LinkedIn recommendations.

If you like what you see, then meet them in person. Remember, some people perform better in real-world applications than written exams, so your judgment and their resume will help you determine their qualifications better than any exam.


4. Abusing Keyword Searching Tools to Screen Candidates

AI and machine learning tools are available for recruiters to help streamline their process and make their hiring system more efficient. However, no machine can ever replace human intuition.

Keyword scanning software allows recruiters to collect and sift through hundreds (or even thousands) of CVs to come up with a shortlist of highly qualified applicants in a very short amount of time.

While time is certainly of the essence for any recruitment firm, there’s a great risk that recruiters are missing out on hidden gems. Plus, you need to consider that resume writers and tech-savvy applicants are already familiar with these tools, so they know what keywords to use so that their resume gets an edge over others. This tool can work wonders if you’re hiring SEO experts, but perhaps not so for other positions.


There are other bad practices that recruiters need to avoid such as using outdated interview questions, focusing on past and current salary, and offering candidates a compensation package that’s below industry standards in hopes that he or she is desperate for a job.

Don’t make candidates jump through hoops for you. In today’s competitive landscape, you need to push for getting the top candidate who perfectly fits the job.