May 6, 2022

Recruiters vs Candidates: Issues in the Hiring Processes, Plus 22 Tips on How to Fix it

Apple vs. Android, Windows vs. Linux, freelancers vs. employees. The list of perennial stand-offs and "holy wars" could go on for a long time, but one of the most common for the business environment is the long story between employers and employees, recruiters and candidates.

The leading UA IT media DOU regularly conducts valuable research for the IT industry, especially regarding the traditional tensions between recruiters and employees (not only in Ukraine but all over the globe. In a recent survey, they tried to find out what most frustrates IT professionals who are looking for a job.

The responses from 100+ IT professionals with their quotes (and sometimes quite crushing examples of incompetence of the recruiters at some companies) can be found here (Language: Ukrainian). MIU editorial made a short thesis list (aka TL;DR) so that you could quickly check the actual difficulties.

But to be extra, we've added a list of tips and some useful resources for you.

Before we even started

It was twice as interesting for us to explore this research, as we have previously brought up the topic of correct approaches to recruiting and typical mistakes of managers and recruiters in most businesses on our blog. To complete the picture, we recommend reading the following pieces:

What are the main frustrations on the Talent Side, according to the DOU Survey?

UA Specific Problem: The lack of desire to hire Ukrainian IT people and other realities of Russia's full-scale invasion to Ukraine

  • For many candidates, one search has become vital, in what the potential employee is concerned: Have they left the Russian market or not? Have they banned Russia or not? Recruiters, unfortunately, are often not able to answer this question.
  • Some companies are afraid to work with Ukrainian candidates. Actually, they are afraid that the candidate will not be able to work without interruption, they fear connection/internet problems or other far-fetched reasons. 
We have worked as "MythBusters" and answered why these fears are totally groundless (check the answer here).

Broken recruiting processes

  • Often in Job Posts, or in recruiters' Incoming Messages, there is no mention of the salary, no mention of the hiring stages, or working conditions, the type of your employment (contractor, freelancer, employee, private entrepreneur, etc.). The lack of detailed description of the duties is also in the top mentioned frustrations.
  • Poor feedback (or no feedback at all), uninformative communication. Recruiters often disappear with no answer and come back after one or two months.
  • The long and too complicated process of job interviews, test assessments, etc.
  • Disorder in the hierarchy and processes:
  • not clear who to address;
  • redirecting a candidate from one person to another
  • the inability to communicate with others involved in the hiring process.
  • Inability to give answers to the candidate's elementary questions
  • Imbalanced, "cosmic" requirements for entry-level positions
  • The desire to hire juniors has become even less than before.
  • Long and exhausting test assignments for a few days of work, often having no practical purpose. Especially if no feedback is given (!) afterward. It's a shame. Please, don't do this, it's elementary business etiquette.

Personal communication issues with recruiters

  • Recruiters' low qualifications (as we've partly mentioned it before):
  • Lack of awareness of the project they represent
  • Lack of preparation for the interview, no thought out process
  • Poor studying of the candidate's CV before the meeting
  • Lack of analysis of the candidate's profile before the first contact (Juniors are offered Middle/Senior Level Roles or irrelevant vacancies altogether)
BTW, MIU's editorial team has a story like that too. We were approached by some recruiters and offered to become...(drumrolls)... DevOps!
Recruiters vs Candidates: Issues in the Hiring Processes, Plus 22 Tips on How to Fix it
Senior Web3 Developer is listening to a recruiter selling him a Junior Web Designer vacancy.
Image source: 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' Movie, 1971
  • The expectation of "correct" rather than honest answers to questions.
It's frustrating when HR asks 'What books do you read?' or 'What do you do in your free time?' and expects the answer to be 'I read only books on programming' or, 'I write the code all my free time' (Quote by one of the survey participants)
  • Superficiality from Tech Seniors' side in technical interviews (not relevant for all the locations or sectors, but for the CIS region, this type of toxicity is quite common).

Note by MIU editorial: It is total nonsense to do that. We always highly recommend all the talents to avoid the "socially desirable answers". How could a recruiter waiting for the opposite be considered competent?

  • Problems with the choice of language in the first message. It is especially frustrating when it is easy to understand just from a quick analysis of a candidate's LinkedIn profile.
  • Banal inattention, calling the candidate in the wrong name, etc. [We leave a small placeholder for a facepalm here, please feel free to use it]. Okay, these things happen, we are all human beings though.

22 Dos and Don'ts for recruiters (and their bosses): a few additions on the recruitment pitfalls from the MIU editorial

From research to research, we don't stop analyzing flaws in the recruiting ecosystem (especially in the IT recruiting sector) and distilling our knowledge.

In addition to what's written in this and the above articles, we'd like to emphasize a few other things.

Based on the key issues outlined here and in other sources, let's once again define "Dos and Don'ts" for recruiters (for all the recruitment stages):

  1. Constantly study the talent market and its key parameters: avg.salaries, trends, roles in demand, read the niche market reports, and so on.
  2. Know your company from A to Z, all its key nuances (taking into account the relevant communication agenda), and know the requirements for the vacancy. If you do not have a clear understanding of them, check with a specialist beforehand or take him to the interview with you.
  3. Learn and always try to communicate clearly and precisely the main messages of the employer, the advantages and values of the position.
  4. Before communicating with a candidate, always look carefully at his data, CV, profile, etc. If he is not "your guy", do not touch him. Avoid spamming candidates with irrelevant jobs. It will not help you close a job faster in any way.
  5. Don't lie to candidates (neither in the job posting, nor in the welcome message, nor in the job interview).
  6. Always be clear about the key terms of employment, never change them suddenly, and agree on everything with the candidate. Especially important: unless there is a strong reason for it, never hide salary ranges.
  7. Avoid pretentious and pompous vague descriptions. Clarity is the key to success.
  8. When preparing a vacancy, it would not hurt to involve a lawyer, so as not to violate labor laws.
  9. While talking to the candidate, try not to be distracted and focus 100% on communicating and evaluating the candidate.
  10. Automate what you can automate in your processes. Take the time you have freed up to take a human approach to candidates.
  11. Have an equal dialogue, listen carefully to the candidate's questions, and answer them thoroughly.
  12. Don't be toxic, avoid aggressive and abusive interviewing techniques or stress testing. Somewhere, you may get a lawsuit for such behavior.
  13. Never ask inappropriate questions (you should know all of them — check this PDF Guide by Berkeley University)!
  14. Learn to adequately analyze the competencies of a candidate. If you need help, invite someone to help you evaluate. Avoid all kinds of bias against the candidate. There are many techniques here, from "blind interviews" and distancing to collective interviews with all members discussing the results.
  15. Never go silently "into the sunset", always give feedback and a final answer ASAP. Agree right away WHEN you will give feedback. It's a supreme feat to get a response right away. But, unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
  16. If you have a misunderstanding with a candidate, never take the conflict to the public plane. Whatever the story, it will 100% kill your reputation.
  17. Always follow the rules of business etiquette, and understand the peculiarities of etiquette in different countries. Otherwise, you will have to deal with reputational problems for a long time.
  18. Found the right candidate? Look for alternates (Plan B), because something may always go wrong
  19. Always analyze your work, debrief and work on your mistakes. Only healthy analytics will allow you to develop professionally. And of course, educate yourself when it's possible.
  20. Don't look for the perfect candidate by cutting out everyone who is 1% behind the ideal image in your mind. Such perfectionism is unnecessary. People adapt, newcomers learn, Juniors become Mids and then Seniors. Give those who can grow quickly a chance.
  21. Don't let stale and broken hiring processes discourage candidates. If you can cut down on bureaucracy and unnecessary steps, do it now. The interview should have a clear structure, with clear people responsible and deadlines for each stage.
  22. Last but not least. If you have completed the entire process and the candidate is starting to work with your company, never leave him or her without a proper onboarding treatment. But that's a topic for a separate article.

A short Wrap-up

So, if you are a manager or a founder, please pay attention to these shortcomings of the recruiters' particular fieldwork. Make sure that the recruiter training system explores these mistakes and prevents them in the future.

Also, it is a good option to delegate the recruiting function to professionals who are sure not to make such mistakes (see the last subsection of this article).

If you're a recruiter: just don't let yourself and your company down.

We hope this cheat sheet will help you to do things right.

How MIU can help avoid 100% of recruitment mistakes?

To better understand how we really can help to make your recruitment processes smooth and to feel our current position, please, check our latest Public Statement and Market Focus.

If you are planning to hire professionals and expand your team, here is a great way to benefit both Ukraine and yourself - hire people from Ukraine - you will not regret.

Moreover, there are real professionals from all over the world in our talent pool.

Here are just a couple of our Talent Case Studies, we are proud of most:

‍If you still have doubts and questions, feel free to contact us. If you are ready to hire, all the more be sure to contact us.

Title Image Source: Hoard's Dairyman

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