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If you are part of an RPO team (Recruitment Process Outsourcing), you know the delicate balancing act of growing your candidate pool while at the same time marketing the value of your services to companies.  You know the complexity of addressing both sides of that equation with care.  Your time, effort, and focus is expected by both candidates and companies, and you are in the middle balancing it all.

Here are 11 mistakes you’ll want to avoid like the plague, mistakes to watch out for on the candidate side, employer side, or both.

#1 Adding “faux” urgency

Talented people know they are in demand. They get approached all the time about opportunities.  Attempting to fool a candidate in a hot field, that a particular opportunity is fleeting, is a sure credibility-buster (unless it’s true).

#2 Calling to follow-up on a repeatedly-ignored voicemail

 Are your voicemails getting ignored consistently by a particular target company?  Try a different medium and see if you get a better response.  If voicemails one through five were ignored by your target, there is a good chance that you are trying to reach your candidates in a manner other than their preference.  Time to try LinkedIn, email, or an intro from mutual connection?

#3 A five minute intro email

Does your intro email take more than 30 seconds to read?  It’s too long.  An intro email that takes five minutes to read, is in the Deleted Emails folder four-and-a-half minutes too fast to get read.  Keep it short and sweet.

#4 Trying to “talk shop” with the techies

Are you a non-technical recruiter trying to fill a deeply technical position?  Be straightforward about your role in the process and the value you bring, but there is no fooling a deeply technical candidate into thinking that you are knowledgeable in the details of their work.

#5 Aiding and abetting a job hopper

You know that candidate that you’ve successfully placed at three different jobs in the past three years?  He’s ruining your reputation.  No hiring manager wants to work with a recruiter that is known to represent the underbelly of the talent pool that routinely cycles through to a new company after each performance review.

#6 Failing to align salary expectations

Playing matchmaker between companies and candidates, without reality-checking the compensation range imagined by each party?  If there is no overlap, you are at best creating a short-term sale, but more likely just initiating a waste of time (including yours as a recruiter).

#7 Five-stars for all

When you are working with companies seeking talent, do you present every  recruiting candidate as a “rock star”?  Pretty soon your high praise will be nothing more than window dressing, unless your assessments become more varied, realistic, and therefore more useful and helpful to the hiring manager.

#8 Running a sprint, not a marathon

It’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself politely turned away from some companies that simply don’t have the budget to add new team memers in the current financial period, or don’t work with recruiters currently.  But that doesn’t mean to dissappear until next year, it just means to stay in touch tactfully so that you are the first to come to mind when a better budget situation arrives or when there is a change in mindset regarding RPOs.

#9 Not nurturing your placements

Got a successfully placed candidate?  Time to drop by to say “hello”, with a friendly lunch or coffee invite.  You’ll be amazed at what you learn about upcoming  recruiting opportunities, from your very best allies: the candidates that you’ve most recently helped to land their current job.  As their recruiter, you have a unique connection to their career progress, and the trust in that relationship will serve you well.

#10 Not drawing an org chart

Got a company that you think would greatly benefit  from  recruiting services?  Get out visio, powerpoint, or whatever you use for diagrams, and get to work on your perception of their org chart.  Nothing is more deal-friendly than knowing what decision makers are involved in the hiring decision process, and who you need to be sure to connect with.

#11 Missing out on mutual referrals

We know you have other friends in the recruiting industry, each with their own specialties.  For related but non-competing roles, best to have some mutually-beneficial referral arrangement that encourages you each to send viable candidates to the others.

Other Recruiting Mistakes?

What did we forget?  Any recruiting mistakes that you felt wore noticeably missing here? Please add your thoughts in the comments and maybe your input will make it into a future article about recruiting. Or, drop us a line for some 1:1 time to discuss recruiting technology.

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