5 lies poor recruiters tell candidates

What’s the most important asset to your company? Your brand? Your product or service? Your office location?

Think again. It’s your staff. Having a highly-engaged team who genuinely cares about your business is the biggest asset your company can have. But how do you build such an exceptional team? By recruiting the right talent.

Unfortunately, when it comes to recruiting, many hiring managers have been found guilty of lying to candidates. While these so called ‘white lies’ may be well-intentioned and innocent, such brush-offs have become common practice and can leave candidates feeling dis-heartened and lacking confidence when applying for other positions.

Below are some of the most common responses given by recruiters to unsuccessful candidates and suggestions on how to handle these situations more effectively.

“I’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities”

What it really means – Your resume will remain in our database along with the hundreds of other candidates we rejected. Unless you apply for something else within our organisation, it’s very unlikely we’ll revisit your CV and our association ends here.

How to do it better – It is important to tell candidates upfront whether or not they are a good fit for any of the other current vacancies you may have or whether there will be other opportunities for them in the future. Provide suggestions and methods for improvement, rather than giving them false promises. By helping them to increase their chances of landing a future role, you will enhance the candidate experience and earn a good reputation.

“We’re interested, but we aren’t finished with the interviews yet”

What it really means – We are waiting for some other candidate to accept the offer. If they turn it down, you are our plan B. It also means that we are stalling your confirmation because we are looking for better candidates outside of our talent pool. In a few cases, it could also mean that we cannot afford the salary you expected.

How to do it better – If something concerns you about a candidate, it is better to let them know. There is a good chance they may be able to provide the necessary information for you to make a decision. If stalling the offer has got nothing to do with the candidate, ensure they know exactly what the reasons are. A good recruiter digs deeper to see the true potential of a candidate and follows up with them regarding the status of their application.

“We have decided to take another direction”

What it really means – We really like you but… we didn’t really like you. Maybe because you are too young, too inexperienced, or you have an attitude that doesn’t fit in with our organisational culture and hence, we are on the lookout for a better candidate.

How to do it better – Whether you are closing the application process for the time being or opting for another candidate, it is better to simply tell the truth. Taking this opportunity to help a candidate grow as a professional is what differentiates a good recruiter from a bad one. Explain to them the reason why they weren’t selected. This will be a learning opportunity for them. If the process has been closed, tell them why and when it will open again.

“Salary depends on experience, there isn’t really set amount”

What it might really mean – We already have a figure in mind with no margin for negotiation. Your expectation will determine whether we want to continue this conversation or keep you in mind for future opportunities.

How to do it better – It’s a good practice to avoid asking the salary question when on a telephonic interview and have these conversations face to face. Share your salary range with the candidate and see if the numbers match with their expectations. Disclose even a slight variance in the figures and determine whether the candidate would want to negotiate. If an increased salary is the primary driver, then you might want to have a conversation in person to avoid complications later.

“I’m waiting for my seniors to take a call”

What it might really mean – You are not the right candidate for the company and, therefore, we are going to look for a better one – one who has more experience and fits in with the company culture.

How to do it better – This may or may not be a lie. If the response is genuine, then that recruiting manager may lack influence and simply needs approval from higher level directors. However, if the excuse is due to the candidate being a mis-fit with your business, take the time to explain why. This will help the candidate in assessing their professional behaviours. Refer them to another company that you think may be a better fit if possible. Good recruiters invest their time in helping their candidates and ensure a positive engagement experience.

Everyone tells a little white lie from time to time. However, when it comes to recruitment, it may not always result in a positive outcome either for the candidate or the business in need of a new hire. This is where a good recruitment specialist makes a huge difference. At TalentSpa, we help improve the candidate experience and enhance your employer brand. Having helped over 2500 organisations, we can help you with your recruitment needs.

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