The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Recruiting Messages

There are good and bad sides to every story and every career choice. Surely – recruitment is not an exception. We all tend to hear about the bad experiences more frequently, though. It’s not because there are fewer bright examples of recruitment processes, ideas, and approaches. This phenomenon is real because negative feedbacks have a louder echo. And some recruiting messages just stick around long enough to become urban legends. 

So, all recruiters know about a recruiter who made a mistake. A typo. A misspell or a mispronunciation. A bad choice. Recruiters don’t usually care about other recruiters’ slips. Engineers do. And you know what? They kind of have a point there. 

Some half-witted actions, occasional hoax & bad practices can and must be eluded. 

Everything Wrong With Copy & Paste Recruiting Messages

Larry Tesler would be displeased if he knew you use the same template to source and attract different people. 

If you call them “talent,” treat them adequately. What do you see? Great resumes, cool gadgets, knowledge of tools and frameworks that exceeds our comprehension. These things open an opportunity to chat about some exciting topics. And to discuss a career change. And there are still Recruiters who choose to open with a – “Hello Dude/Dudette, who’s name I got wrong”? No way. 

Sure, some parts of the text must be incorporated into each email or LinkedIn message. Guess recruiters can’t be particularly creative when it comes to stating some overall facts about the company or the role they’re working on. Everything else must radiate the inevitability of not succumbing to “copy-paste.”  

The Intolerable Easiness of Reading Carefully

Reading resumes and profiles carefully is another disregarded segment of the recruitment process. Many HR managers and recruiters are often overwhelmed by multiple tasks. They are frequently in charge of scheduling calls and meetings, responding to candidates, clients, and Hiring Managers, and striving to communicate efficiently. In addition to these mandatory responsibilities, all HR staff (recruiters included) are often in charge of administration. 

We’ve all been there – our minds simply wander off, and we start to perceive the most uncomplicated assignments as crucial philosophical topics. And that’s how recruiters manage to swap QA job descriptions for a grocery shopping list. Talking about the horrors of recruiting messages that have failed. 

The same thing happens when the interviewer doesn’t pay enough attention to what’s written in the candidate’s CV. Cucumbers are healthy and low on calories, but not all of them can automate your tests. 

Is there a key to solving this problem? Sure, and it’s way too obvious to describe it in detail. Just focus.

Is It Time to Move on?

The bad practices (that spoil recruiting messages – and the rest of the process) and failed relationships are very much alike. We tend to stick to them because they used to work fine. Or at least it felt like it. But everything seems to be evolving, and so are we. And so is hiring! No intention to sound like a character in a family PG-13 movie whatsoever, but analogies sometimes help. 

Recruitment is a bit peculiar when it comes to changing and automating processes. Hiring should be as easy as possible. And we’re all looking for ways to save time and resources. Which brings the entire universe of recruitment and technology closer to each other. However, let’s not forget about the purely humane component. A friendly approach and honest communication never go out of style. Recruiters need to find the balance – and it starts with texting or emailing.

Besides the Shakespeare-like dilemma, should I let the ATS do the dirty work? – there are other parts of hiring we should give a second thought. Some interviewing patterns and habits need to go away forever. If you’re unclear about which ones (and we’re not necessarily saying Whiteboard Interviews here) – just check out what pisses off your candidates. 

Disclaimer: Hiring processes (and their steps) aren’t always within recruiters’ reach. Hiring managers or clients are usually the ones behind these steps and structures. It’s their call. 

Choose Wisely – Write a Job Description that Truly Matches Your Needs. 

So – the inaccurate job description represents a huge obstacle in recruitment, and unfortunately – a widespread one. To be honest, recruiters can do very little about it. But it does make their jobs significantly burdensome.

We know – we all love Windows and respect Linux simultaneously. But we should stop and give it a moment before we start to source DevOps engineers and ask them about both. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes the list of requirements seems to be never-ending. So, before you ask an engineer to build and maintain your application, water your plants, and play German chess, be honest. Do you really need all that?

You either lower the criteria to a realistic level, or you can expect your recruiters to inform you they have received zero positive responses. Wanna know why? Either the candidates were too exhilarated to reply, or you’ve got yourself a massive impediment.

Recruiting Messages to the Rescue: What Can Recruiters Do to Fix a JD? 

No one expects recruiters to know about every tech detail, but they should rely on someone who does. Asking a colleague or a candidate they’ve previously established a friendly relationship with can be helpful. Even if a recruiter doesn’t persuade a client or a hiring manager to modify the JD, they can still inform the potential candidates about the importance of specific tools. In other words – recruiters will be able to tell apart “nice to haves” from “must-haves.” Hence, so will prospective hires. 

The Truth Is Out There

We’re all aware of just how competitive the market is today. Tech companies offer a whole range of goodies, from Namibian coffee with almond milk to traveling and learning opportunities. Every company wants to attract and hire knowledgeable tech experts and build something extraordinary. And some really go the extra mile to achieve their goals. But it’s literally a mile in someone else’s shoes. Pinnochio’s shoes, to be exact. 

By all means – do not oversell. Be honest. No exaggeration, no stretching. Modesty will get you closer to your objectives than overemphasizing ever will. 

The importance of honesty, transparency and communication applies to other parts of recruiting and hiring, too. Which leads us to the next familiar struggle.

The Demigod of Failed Recruiting Messages: Feedback? I Don’t Know Her. 

Candidates’ impressions are being formed from the first interaction. And they continue afterward – which is why your efforts can’t decrease throughout the hiring process. Especially the ones that showcase how much good communication and exchanging inputs mean to you.

Regardless of whether you have just finished a remote interview or an on-site chit-chat, your mind is most likely packed with impressions. Surely, you’ve been taking notes. And now, you might need some time to revisit what you’ve got there. You’ll possibly share the insights with other fellow recruiters or Hiring managers. And just maybe you’ll knock on wood or something, in case you’re working on a hard-to-fill position, and a bit of assistance from the above would be a nice touch. Anyhow, there’s just one more thing you can’t afford to miss. You know what we’re aiming at, right?

No One Actually Shoots the Messenger 

Every stage of the interviewing process must be accompanied by timely and accurate feedback. Yes, this is a phrase you’ll find in every article or blog post from the HR domain, and somehow some recruiters still fail to recall this step. But, no, it’s not (just) about the “candidate experience,” which is another syntagm used in every article out there. It’s about ordinary, quotidian behavior. It’s kind and polite. And useful in many ways!

Are you chronically jammed and joggling between meetings? You’ll need some extra help. Do not memorize everything you intend to say to a candidate. Write it down and use all tools at your disposal. Everything we own, every device we use, is there to help us remember our daily duties. Rejection letters suck (even more than declining a job offer). You won’t feel over the moon sending them, but the key points you include in them might help someone do better in the next interview

Spotting the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Are We There Yet? 

Finding, enticing, and hiring top talents isn’t unchallenging. Some struggles are bound to happen, even to the most experienced recruitment specialists. However, many of the common mistakes are easily avoidable. Most recruiting messaging fails, for instance, are superbly easy to prevail over. 

And if you want to grasp the true meaning of a simple and painless recruitment process ASAP, you’re in the right place