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5 Things To Avoid During The Hiring Process

5 Things To Avoid During The Hiring Process

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt like you’ve sabotaged your chances at landing that dream job.

Related: 5 Hiring Process Myths You Need To Know

Go ahead. Don’t be shy; we all get a little too eager at times.

As a job seeker, the goal is to constantly be aware of your actions and how they can potentially be interpreted by a recruiter or hiring manager.

5 Things To Avoid During The Hiring Process

Here are five things to avoid sabotaging your chances of landing that dream job:

Excessive Follow-Up/Reaching Out

There’s nothing wrong with following up with a recruiter once you’ve either had an exploratory conversation or an interview. However, if the recruiter has stated a specific time frame as to when he/she will be reaching back out with next steps, be sure to at least allow that time period to end before following up. There are a variety of steps within the recruitment life cycle and you never know what client calls the recruiter has to complete, prior to being able to provide you with clarification on whether or not your candidacy will be taken further.

Reaching Out To A Client Directly

In some cases during the hiring process, you may be interacting mostly with a recruiter, as opposed to dealing directly with the hiring manager of a particular company. Occasionally, potential candidates will overstep the recruiter and attempt to contact the hiring manager directly. This tactic rarely bodes well for the candidate or the client.

Clients contract or retain recruiters and search firms not only to locate top talent, but also to serve as an intermediary between themselves and potential candidates. Many companies enjoy a sense of anonymity during the initial phase of the recruitment process, due to various reasons including previously established business relationships, the sensitivity of open positions, and the lack of time and resources to execute the search internally.

This is especially the case if the need for someone to play “bad cop” arises, as that responsibility typically falls on the recruiter to provide feedback from the client or merely inform the candidate of the requirements that he/she does not currently meet in order to be considered for the role.

It is imperative to follow the formal recruitment process set forth by the recruiter, regardless of a personal relationship one may have with a client.

Tip: If you know someone personally, either at the company or on the hiring team for an opportunity you’re exploring, simply mention that to the recruiter and ask if he/she can reach out to that person on your behalf.

Lack Of Honesty And Open Communication

Throughout the recruitment process, there will be a verification of information including education, current employment, and reference checks. If you are currently unemployed, be upfront with the recruiter and say so in the initial conversation. Also, be sure to update your resume and any online career profile you may have, so there is no confusion.

When a Recruiter inquires as to whether or not you have a degree (because it’s unclear on your resume), be honest! We all know the result of how a “mishap” in unclear education information turned out for ex Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson. While most companies tend to have a penchant towards those who at least hold an undergraduate degree, there are times where clients prefer more hands-on industry experience.

Delayed Response Time And Lack Of Commitment To The Process

Recruiters will typically keep you abreast of when they will be discussing your background with the client, so be sure to communicate any upcoming travel plans to your recruiter, ensuring that he/she is aware of when you might be more difficult to reach. This is also important, as you may be requested to complete additional documents or assessments which are time sensitive.

It is never in your favor to leave your recruiter without an explanation for why he/she can’t reach you or why you haven’t returned your completed documents. The client will always want to know what the delay is (instead of assuming you’re no longer interested), so make sure your recruiter can truly be an advocate for you at all times.

Pleading A Case For “Must Have” Requirements Clearly Not Met

If you absolutely do not meet a minimum/non-negotiable requirement, it’s always best to be up front with the recruiter. There’s nothing wrong with providing a brief overview of how you believe additional experience you have might serve as an asset. However, one of the worst things a potential candidate can do while on the phone or in an interview with a recruiter or hiring manager is spend time providing an irrelevant, verbose answer to a question about a specific qualification the candidate does not possess. This will only prove to the recruiter that you’re either not listening or you don’t fully comprehend the necessary requirements to be successful in the role.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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Kristena Deyon Kristena Deyon is an Associate Recruiting Consultant for Morgan Samuels, a top 15 retained executive search and leading human capital consulting firm in Los Angeles, CA. She also serves as a thought partner to the Chief Human Capital Officer concerning new-hire orientation and on-boarding, training, and employee retention.