The old saying “Throw enough mud at the wall and some of it will stick” might ring true in some scenarios, but recruiting is not one of them.

 As recruiter and hiring manager priorities become increasingly disconnected in today’s competitive market, damaging recruiting habits have taken hold.

According to a survey compiled by iCIMS, 54% of recruiters say that hiring managers expect them to find candidates for hard-to-fill jobs more quickly than is possible. In an effort to ensure that hiring managers are presented with enough candidates, many recruiters have fallen into the trap of collecting a pile resumes and simply handing them to the manager, regardless of true fit for the role.

Not only does this result in the blurring of responsibilities for both parties, it also highlights a lack of strategy and streamlined processes. In order to avoid one of the most common recruiting pitfalls, recruiters should utilize four basic but effective approaches:

  • Ensure the recruiter is clear on what the hiring manager wants.  According to Deloitte, while 80% of recruiters feel they understand the roles for which they are recruiting, more than half of hiring managers (60%) disagree. Asking the right questions about the role can save a lot of time and energy for both the recruiter and hiring manager. This is especially true when it comes to nailing down candidate qualifications. When a recruiter is clear about what the hiring manager desires, many potential candidates can be eliminated from the running immediately.
  • Build a relationship with the candidates. After speaking with candidates and identifying their wants, needs, and experience, a talented recruiter can easily identify which candidates are to be eliminated from the running. Such conversations can determine whether the candidate is unqualified for the position in question or simply does not have the social or cultural skills needed for the role. Such qualities can be detected by communication with the candidate and building a professional relationship.
  • Avoid asking for resumes during initial outreach. Asking for resumes in a simple LinkedIn message should never be a recruiter’s first contact with a candidate. Not only is it unprofessional to ask favors of a candidate without first having a relationship, it often replaces a true conversation and the building of trust between the recruiter and candidate. Without true conversations and a true relationship, a recruiter cannot confidently determine whether the candidate is the right fit for the position.
  • Focus on quality over quantity (and determine what ‘quality’ is for each position). Experienced hiring managers would much rather have a few decent candidates than sift through resumes of numerous candidates with irrelevant skills. According to iCIMS, as much as 77% of hiring managers believe recruiters do not adequately screen candidates prior to passing them along. Instead of collecting dozens of resumes and handing them over, it is the recruiter’s job to be sure that each of those resumes represents a qualified potential candidate and be able to back up this belief with cited examples from conversations with the candidate.
Following these four basic steps will help to ensure a recruiter is doing his or her job rather than leaving the hiring manager to shuffle through resumes. This will lead to a better recruiter/hiring manager relationship, confidence in the recruiter on the part of hiring managers, and successful placement metrics for recruiters.