6 Very Real Fears Every Recruiter Has to Deal With
If you think your recruiting fears are unfounded or that you alone have them, think again.
Every recruiter has been there. You go through hundreds of resumes, many of which likely meet or exceed expectations, and do enough phone screens to determine that many of them are articulate, personable and deserving. But the catch, as always, is that opportunities are limited and only one (or very few) candidate will be selected. If that weren’t challenging enough, you’re probably wondering if you handled the process well.
1. Am I being honest with candidates?
Let’s face it: most candidates are rejected because they aren’t qualified. In the long term, they would likely benefit from honest, open appraisals of their shortcomings. This gives them the opportunity to develop the skills needed to become more hirable.
However, you may feel conflicted about doing so; that it would lead to an irrevocable loss in confidence, legal worries or a poor candidate experience. It’s even more likely that individual feedback isn’t possible due to the sheer number of candidates. So you use templates and jargon while sending out rejection emails (if you do it at all), and candidates are none the wiser.
TL;DR: Honesty is the best policy. Even if you don’t have something nice to say, say it nicely.
2. Am I doing what’s best for everyone?
As a recruiter, your first (or only, some would argue) allegiance is to your company. You fulfill this obligation to the best of your ability when you hire the best person for the job at the lowest possible cost to the company. But surely you also feel like you have an additional duty to the people you interview and hire?
Without doubt, companies must hire the best and the brightest; those willing to go the extra mile and hungry to prove themselves. But does that justify paying below market norms, foisting unrealistic expectations on a newcomer, or leaving them to fend for themselves after they accept an offer?
And what about all the other candidates who aren’t qualified or whose financials and logistics don’t align with those of the role? Surely they deserve to be told that their prospects with your company are not as golden as they’d have hoped.
TL;DR: Ah, the life of a recruiter. Even when you win, you must play the role of the villain.
3. Am I losing track of why I became a recruiter?
If recruiters were motivated by money, they’d be bankers. If by fame, actors. The truth is, you and many of your colleagues chose a career in recruiting because you enjoy interacting with people and ensuring they received fair treatment. You eat, sleep and breathe recruiting because it’s so much more than a one-page resume.
While you might live for the thrill of the hunt for the right fit, it’s easy to lose sight of this. The pressures of the game can sway even the brightest, most motivated recruiters. You might reach a point where you look at candidates and see spreadsheets, dollar signs and pie charts.
TL;DR: Remember, a people game must be all about the people.
4. Am I confident in what I bring to the table?
It’s a fear as old as time itself: what if someday, a machine learns to do my job better than me?
Certainly, technological advancement means computers will always be more efficient at certain tasks, but these are usually banal tasks like administrative functions, scheduling interviews, sending emails, and other things people would really prefer not having to do in the first place. Adopting an AI recruiting solution not only reduces your workload and allows you to focus on interacting with candidates, but enables you to improve your entire recruitment and hiring process.
Technology can at the very least be deployed to speedily screen candidates, shortlisting those who meet basic requirements. It can be used to communicate with candidate, delivering a personalized acknowledgment that their application has been received. At a deeper level, it can be used to identify candidates who have been rejected for a past role but may suit something newer.
TL;DR: When your job entails dealing with people, AI makes you more productive and result-oriented. But it can never replace you.
5. Am I treating candidates the way I’d like to be treated?
Chances are you weren’t handed your job, but worked for it. You were once an eager candidate who went through the recruitment process, likely several times over. Some of your experiences were good; others, not so much. Much of this perception would have depended on how closely the process matched your expectations.
Now, you find yourself on the other side of the table. You’re handling the interviews, setting the tone for phone calls and panel discussions, and possibly working in fear of becoming the very thing that you disliked. In the midst of all your scheduling, don’t forget to keep communication lines open and honest.
TL;DR: Be quick, be truthful and above all, be the recruiter you wish you’d had.
6. Am I creating positive energy?
Not every candidate is going to get a job offer. There, we said it.
However, candidate experience isn’t just about the one person who does. It’s an important factor that directly impacts employer perception, thereby influencing the volume and quality of future candidates. There’s a direct correlation between positive candidate experience and highly motivated, highly skilled future candidates.
On a professional level, you have every reason to question if there are ways in which you can improve the interview process for all candidates. And because you were once a candidate interviewing, you have every reason to question the same thing on a personal level.
TL;DR: Happy recruiters mean happy candidates. Spread the cheer!
Face your fears.
Take a step back, and walk yourself back through your own recruitment experiences. Ask yourself if you’re doing everything that you would reasonably expect as a candidate. Compare expectations and reality, and work to bridge the gap.
It all starts with a positive, vibrant attitude.