8 Things Good Recruiters Never Say

September 8, 2015

While presenting to a group of corporate recruiters recently, I had an ah-ha moment about the fundamental difference between a rookie recruiter versus a good recruiter -- it's their recruiter brand.

Good recruiters know what they say to candidates has a lasting impact on their perception of the company. Which means, your recruiter brand is reflected in the comments you make to talent. Say the wrong thing and you can send a message that leaves a lasting, negative impression about the employer.

Here are eight things good recruiters never say:

1. I’ve got the perfect job for you.

Top talent knows there’s no such thing as a perfect job. It’s even worse if you say this the first time you contact them. They prefer for you get to know them first, and then together, you can both decide if he or she is a fit.

2. I’ve got other candidates to screen, let me circle back with you.

Nothing says, “Hey, you’re just a number,” more than telling a candidate they’re one of many. Smart recruiters focus the conversation on the talent and make them feel special.

3. You are in my top three to submit for an interview.

Telling talent they’re in the top three sets an expectation they will get an interview. If/when you have to go back and tell them they aren’t in the running, your credibility as a recruiter goes down.

4. If it was up to me, you’d have the job.

Talk about throwing your employer under a bus! Recruiters need to stand behind their employer’s choices. Just because you’re disappointed your candidate wasn’t picked, doesn’t mean you should commiserate with them. It’s disrespectful to your employer, and it makes the company look disconnected.

5. The hiring manager is going with someone stronger.

Telling candidates that someone outperformed them is the fastest way to make sure they never want to work for you. What if this candidate is right for a different role? It’s better to tell them the employer chose a candidate with a slightly different combination of strengths for the particular role, reinforcing that his or her own strengths are solid.

6. You should definitely hear something by ____.

Giving a hard date is the kiss of death. Something always comes up in the hiring process that delays an answer for a candidate. It’s smarter to be candid, give a range, and let the candidate know you’ll be in touch when you can.

7. The hiring team can’t get on the same page to make a decision.

Another example of casting a negative light on your employer. You should never comment on the company’s internal hiring process. That’s not the business of the candidate. Especially, if the process is disjoined or having issues.

8. A last-minute referral has been entered into the process for consideration.

This is both frustrating and insulting to the candidate who has invested significant time and energy into your hiring process. Hinting to him or her they could get knocked out in the final hour is not the way to make a good impression, and could cause them to withdraw their candidacy.

Takeaway: Don’t Underestimate How Important Your Recruiter Brand’s Reputation Is

Studies show 76% of sophisticated job seekers want to be able to study a recruiter before working with them. Why? They want to make sure you’re as good at your job as they are at theirs’. Besides having an optimized LinkedIn profile and a killer public recruiter directory profile, you need to think about all aspects of the candidate’s experience with you. The better we treat talent (like V.I.P.s), the better caliber of talent we attract to our positions. That includes how we speak to them.

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*Image from AliExpress

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