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Unprofessional Recruiting Practices

December 18, 2009

After applying to a posting I received the following response two days later…

“Dear applicant,

We appreciate the time you spent with us in your interview for our position.

At this time we have decided to pursue other candidates who are more qualified for this position.  We encourage you to review other open positions at our career site.  We wish you the best of success in your career search.”

Thank you.”

Are you kidding me, I did not even go to an interview. Why did I receive this? I met the qualifications too. The position is still open. Is this a case of prima facie? Perhaps, we should not go that far; however, this incident got me thinking.

For the unemployed, this whole process of finding a job is frustrating when recruiters obviously do not look at the credentials and send uninformed emails like this. How do recruiters come to the conclusion of an unqualified applicant, when the advertised qualifications are: high customer orientation and self motivation, PC proficiency, Strong attention to detail? In all honesty, recruiters need to do a better job at writing job descriptions and be more concise in what they are looking for. Is this not what they are taught in HR and recruiting training? Is this the type of people that are recruiting for your company? Management might want to anonymously apply to see their response. Below, I have outlined constructive feedback on how recruiters can obtain more qualified candidates and effectively market to potentially future employees of the company.

Tips on Recruiting and Posting Advertisements

  1. Get to the point– We all know that one has be–summed up in one word–professional. Leave out the information about being upbeat and cheerful with puppies and rainbows. Job seekers want to know, what does the job entail? What will I do at the job?
  2. Be specific- Are there specific job duties that one needs to have completed in past employment to successfully become a productive member of the team. Are the tasks something that can be learned in a day or two? Do I truly need to have advanced knowledge of the tasks? For instance, if I am applying for a Management level programming job that requires SQL knowledge, I need to know that I need advanced SQL experience as well as experience managing a given number of staff members. Or, if I am applying to a data entry position, do I really need 5 years of experience. I believe not, but the applicant might need the ability to type at a certain speed level to keep up. Find out what the average typing speed it and give the prospect a typing test.
  3. Do not misspell words– Hopefully we all have a GED, so please check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  4. Post the Job in the right locations– If recruiters are not going to look at half of the applications that they receive, do not post on Careerbuilder or Monster Jobs. Go to professional places to get the best and most “qualified” prospects.
  5. Personalize the advertisement– Put contact information on the ad such as an email address. Who can I contact if I have a question about the job?
  6. Do not prestidigitate to make the job “seem” like it needs specialized knowledge– It is difficult to place an accurate “number of years” experience on an advertisement, especially if the recruiter is unfamiliar with the job. Feeling obligated to do this typically leads to the “let’s just say 5-10 years experience” guessing game. Someone with 10 years experience might have just as much knowledge and understanding as someone with 20 years experience. Of course, this depends on the profession; I’d want a doctor with 5 years experience over a doctor with 1 year. Another example is social media job descriptions. Does one need to have 20 years of experience for a profession that just began a few years ago and became most prominent in the news in 2007-2008. Really? Half of Gen-Y with management experience qualify for that! For jobs that have little opportunity for progression, are repetitive, and teachable, and doesn’t require in-depth strategic thinking, let the years of experience rest.
  7. Use Technology– Times are changing and so should companies. If management wants their workforce to be a connected and well informed team, it needs to understand technological advances to attract the right people to the team. Place videos in the career section of the website, have employees who are enthusiastic about the company write blogs, or talk with prospects using social media. Get people excited about what the company has to offer. Do not make it seem like “just as job” but a career with an attractive environment.

These are the most common issues I have seen. Things like this make the company seem as though it has incompetent people in its ranks. It makes the rejected candidate question the validity of the selection process as well as the excellence the company boasts. Just as companies market to increase the number of customers, companies need to effectively market to potential employees of the company. Employees are the greatest assets, right? Recruiters can become more effective by helping to build and maintain the brand in every aspect of the department.

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