The 5 Biggest Fallacies About Recruiting

June 8, 2015

Fallacies are among the most destructive forces in the universe.They are bad ideas believed to be good ideas that prevent meaningful progress.

The way to defeat them is the exact same as the way to defeat another demonic creature, Vampires – with sunlight. They must be exposed as false, so they can be given the quick and unceremonious death they so rightfully deserve.

So what are the biggest fallacies in recruiting? Well, there was a recent Quora thread about that very issue, and five insightful ones came up:

1. The perfect candidates will find you

Shared by Vivek Reddy:

Say you’re an established company with an iconic brand. Or you’re an exciting startup whose been getting a lot of buzz in the industry. People are dying to work for you, right?

Well, yes, but those people aren’t necessarily the best people. If you post a job, there’s a good chance you will get quite a few applications, but quantity doesn’t always translate to quality.

Truth is, the best talent rarely applies for positions - they need to be courted. It isn’t just enough to post jobs, you also need to both work on and showcase your employer brand and still put effort into passive candidates.

2. If the candidate doesn’t respond, they must not be interested

Shared by Cody Voellinger:

This is a very dangerous and costly assumption to make.  As recruiters, we spend our time crafting attention grabbing, creative, appealing messages.  When the candidate doesn't respond, our heart breaks a little bit and it is easy to assume the timing must not be right.
Sending your introductory cold email is just the beginning of the relationship.  Most candidates, especially engineers that are getting 50-plus a week, don't have time to open and read these.  Follow-ups, LinkedIn invites and following the candidate on Twitter all continue to make your name visible and display your genuine interest in connecting.
If someone is worth the time invested to find him or her, they are worth the follow-up.

3. The more people you message, the better

Shared by Vivek Reddy:

While this can work in the short term, if everyone is doing this (and there are many who are), we arrive at a scenario where response rates get driven down further and further, hurting the entire community, recruiters and engineers alike.

Meanwhile, doing your research upfront allows you to specifically target the people you know are a good fit, and when reaching out, the time you spent researching that person will come through in your messaging. Spending even a little extra time reading a candidate's blog post or taking a look at some of their work will go a long way towards increasing your response rate.

While reaching out to fewer candidates you'll be able to get just as many quality candidates, if not more, than with approach number one.

4. You should recruit an engineer who’s an expert in the programming language you need

Shared by Kartik Ayyar

Almost all the best engineers I know are great because they are generalists and great at learning, rather than being dependent on one language.

Good lesson for people beyond just engineering as well. It makes sense to hire people who are proven performers as opposed to limiting your search for specialists in a particular field.

5. Recruiting isn’t as important as other departments within the company

Shared by Vivek Reddy:

How will you continue building a great product, increase revenues and spread your brand without hiring the right people to do so?
Recruiting is by far one of the most important aspects of growing a company. There's a reason why almost every successful founder or CEO spends nearly half their time recruiting: you need to bring on the right people to help you realize your company's vision.
Do recruiting right, and it'll fuel all other aspects of your company to excel to the highest degree.

Based on a Quora thread: What are the biggest recruiting fallacies?

* image by Kristina Alexanderson

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