Some Common Recruitment Myths Debunked

Whether you’re a client looking to fill a role or a candidate looking for your new venture, there is a chance that you already have some preconceived notions about the recruiting process with an agency. Recruitment myths are rife as people talk about their experiences, and soon a game of Chinese whispers takes place. We’re looking at five common recruitment myths and seeing if there’s any truth to them.

Skills are the most important thing in determining the right candidate

It makes sense: the person with the skills should get the job, right? Well, as with anything else in this world, it’s rarely that simple. For one thing, a healthy mix of gained skills and experience is ideal. You wouldn’t throw a newborn graduate in at the deep end, would you?

But it’s not just about experience either. Studies have shown that failing in a job is rarely down to the skillset. The Leadership IQ says that 89% of new hires fail due to attitude issues. Other problems include the relationship with the boss, their colleagues, or due to the company culture. Elements like this cause the new hire to feel undervalued and become dispassionate about their work, affecting their performance on the job.

External hires are better than internally promoted candidates

These recruitment myths make sense to the employer. They want to “breathe new life” into the office and they’re pulling from a wider pool, therefore they think they’ll get a better-skilled candidate. But as we’ve already covered, skills aren’t everything.

It’s actually 18% cheaper to promote someone within your company, according to a study by Wharton professor Matthew Bidwell. Someone that you know fits in well and probably has gained the skills in their time with you. Meanwhile, an external hire will score worse on performance reviews and are 61% more likely to be fired.

Recruiters make pure profit on their fees

Clients pay for the recruitment service and candidates pay nothing: it sounds like a direct line of money that stops at the agency, doesn’t it? But that doesn’t mean there is out-and-out profit with every transaction. This is another of the dreaded recruitment myths. It’s more often than not the case that the money from the client gets reinvested in the recruiting agency, not saved as profit. If recruiting was like running money-making machines, everyone would be recruited into recruitment!

Recruiters use “spray and pray” when it comes to delivering CVs

A little cynicism in the process is to be expected, especially since both clients and candidates seem to think a recruiting agent is a one-stop endeavour. If you don’t get your dream job on the first try with an agent, you’re going to have questions, which feeds these recruitment myths. Candidates assume there’s not much thought in the process and that recruiters are just firing their CVs around like out of a t-shirt cannon.

But the reality is that there is no benefit in doing that. If a candidate isn’t a good match for a job or isn’t interested, it’s wasting everyone’s time to connect the two anyway.

Similarly, people forget just what is involved in recruitment and assume that the job just entails sending job descriptions to candidates. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Every candidate is thoroughly vetted to ensure that both parties will be happy with the result. And they’re using more than job descriptions to find them. For example, social media, LinkedIn in particular, has become instrumental in finding candidates. In fact, 90% of recruiters say they have found a desirable candidate on LinkedIn.

There is such a thing as a perfect hire

Perhaps the most dangerous of these recruitment myths, that sets everyone up to fail, is the belief that filling a job role is like finding a soul mate: there is one perfect person for the job. Having high standards is good, for either party, but both should accept the good with the reasonably bad. We’re not saying stay in a toxic environment but understand that even your dream job has a downside you perhaps didn’t see coming.

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