12 massive blunders most recruiters are making right now

12 massive blunders most recruiters are making right now

Being a recruiter has always been a tough gig. But probably never as tough as right now. (Clue: Not because the market is against us, because mostly, it’s not)

It’s tough because the ‘rules’ are changing. The environment is shifting. Our real ‘competitor’ is not who it was and who many think it still is. (Clue: It’s your clients, and maybe your job-board)

Many recruiters are adapting and re-skilling. Most are not.

I am going to talk about this at length in my upcoming 9 city speaking tour of Australia and NZ.

But for now, a quick check list. Is this you?

You rely on job-boards for your candidates. You know they are becoming increasingly ineffective. You know, deep down, that the massive response of inappropriate candidates keeps you ‘busy’ which means you won’t have to spend as much time making fruitless cold-calls. In your gut you know you need different candidate tactics. But you run job-board ads, over and over and over…

• You still treat candidates with disdain. Oh, you will deny that. But ask them. Especially candidates who have not been successful. Calls not returned, expectations mismanaged. Disrespectful tone and interaction.

You have not built a digital brand. In fact, deep down, you think the whole concept a bit of a joke. You don’t blog, you don’t tweet, you don’t use status updates on LinkedIn. You distribute no content at all in fact. You are happy to spam resumes all over town, sure. But content marketing strategy? What’s that? ‘I am a recruiter mate, not a marketer!’ (Clue: If you are a recruiter – you are a marketer!)

You take jobs in competition. Almost all of them. You don’t try to sell exclusivity, and you don’t prioritise the jobs that are fillable. So you work hard. But you work stupid. And you fill 1 job out of 5. At best.

You don’t qualify your job orders. You don’t even really know what I just said. Filling a job does not start with finding candidates. It starts with taking a superbly qualified job-order. That has never changed, and never will.

You don’t discriminate with your candidates. Yes, that’s the word I used. Discriminate. You must. Obviously not on the basis on creed, colour, ethnicity, or any other irrelevant, illegal or immoral prejudice. No, you need to discriminate on the basis of the answer to one golden question. Is this candidate placeable? (Clue: A placeable candidate is one who will GET an offer, and likely ACCEPT that offer. Both)

You seldom, if ever, see your clients face to face. Some of you don’t even bother to see your candidates IRL. You are becoming transactional resume-flickers and your value is diminishing as fast as my bottle of Shiraz on a Friday night (Clue: That is fast.)

You don’t use the phone enough. Except to Text, Tinder and Tag, obviously. (Clue: I am talking about the telephone function of your phone. Try and find it now)

You think you are a productive genius multi-tasker. In fact your productivity is low because multi-tasking is a big fat fallacy. You feel super-busy, but you achieve little and make mistakes. You need to allocate time to dollar-productive activities and see them through, unless an emergency arises.

You make assumptions. You interrupt candidates because you ‘know what they want’. You assume your client ‘deals only with you’, and that is just the beginning.

You do most of the talking in a sales visit or client meeting. Your listening skills are as bad as mine. Maybe worse (Clue: that’s bad!)

Your pro-active candidate acquisition tactics are non-existent. You can’t even search LinkedIn properly, let alone construct a Boolean search string, or a social search methodology.

Score yourself on this. Be honest. What are you guilty of?

6 out of 12?

10 out of 12?

That’s bad news. Very bad. But don’t panic. You can re-boot and update. If you have the guts.

Starting here.

But even if you miss that, (And why would you? Over 1,000 others will be there), find another way…

Or, don’t.

And die like the ‘Yesterdays Hero’ you are.

Figuratively speaking of course.


Tips, tool, tactics to bill 25% more!  350 recruiters have signed-up to this already! Massive Speaking Tour! S.P.R.I.N.T. Savage Recruiter Masterclass. Nine cities. Australia and New Zealand.  Full details.



About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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6 Responses to 12 massive blunders most recruiters are making right now

  1. Anthony Hesse November 29, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    Excellent blog as always Greg. PS – love the Shiraz quote 🙂

  2. Mike Richards November 29, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    Astounding advice from the Aussie legend that is Gregs calling card.
    Good luck on Saturday Greg!

  3. Sylvester November 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    Great Blog, you have simply outlined the importance of a recruiter.

  4. Business Mentor Adelaide December 28, 2016 at 9:36 am #

    could not have said it any better

  5. Marcus Ronaldi February 4, 2017 at 3:23 am #

    I partially agree with this article.
    (Points in agreement)
    1) If you are relying on job boards for candidates, you will starve to death. If your candidate is on the job board, they are either not very good OR they are EVERYWHERE
    2) Need to be on the phone (or Skype or other messaging app)
    3) Its 2017 they need to be able to do basic internet research

    Here are the points that I disagree with
    Meeting candidates in real life is a tremendous waste of time both for you and the candidate.
    Good candidates are busy and barely have time for an initial phone screen. If I told my passive candidates that I would need to meet them prior to submittal they will tell me take a long walk off a short pier.
    Many of my jobs are in other parts of the United States and the world.

    The point about treating candidates better and then doing a better job in qualifying which jobs you work on seem to contradict each other
    Many of the candidates that contact me for positions are not remotely placeable for the job they applied for or placeable in any role (job hopping/employment gaps/their resume is everywhere). If I returned their call and got into a chin wag, they will call me on the regular to see if I have anything.

  6. Angela Lin February 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

    This is brilliant advice! Perhaps another thing to add is to be honest when communicating with candidates – sometimes recruiters phrase their words in ambiguous tones to highlight positive aspects of the job while hiding the unpleasant facts. But yes, your points are spot on – especially the one about treating candidates with disdain! it really gives your company a bad name. Thank you for sharing!

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