Debunking 6 Common Recruitment Myths

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Almost every day we hear various recruitment and hiring myths, so we wanted to put together a list of some of the top misconceptions we hear on a regular basis that need to be debunked – both from hiring organisations and candidates.

If you have any common ‘myths’ around recruitment – let us know!


Myth Number 1: Recruiters are lazy and just send as many candidates as possible to employers in the hope of placing somebody!

Unfortunately, not everyone in the recruitment industry is reputable, and with over 25,000 agencies it is understandable that there will be a mix of quality across the sector. Some agencies don’t provide much of a service to either candidates or clients, but this isn’t representative of the best recruiters in your industry. From a hiring organisation’s perspective, a recruitment professional is someone who will save you time and money by providing a relevant candidate shortlist which is well qualified with the key backgrounds you have asked for. From the candidate side, your recruiter should be taking the time to talk you through the role or business you are applying to. They should have multiple preparation calls with you, as well as debrief you following each stage of the process. They should add value to both the candidates’ and hiring organisation’s experience, resulting in a much more secure and well-matched placement for both parties.


Myth Number 2: If a candidate has missed their sales target or quota they are not a good candidate!

Sometimes, excellent salespeople miss target. This can be down to the quality of the product or service they are selling, issues with delivery once sold, changes to the market, or maybe their previous company set an unrealistic expectation on sales achievement (this situation happens a lot more than you would think, I am sure we have all heard a story of how a company increased the target by 40% due to overachievement the year before). It is crucial when recruiting to listen to the reasons why people missed target, do they externalise it and blame every available external factor?  If so, this could be a red flag indicating they aren’t the right candidate. However, on the flipside, did the candidate do everything in their power to turn this situation around? What did they do when they realised they were going to fall short of their target, and what did they change to try and affect the outcome? Sometimes, having experience of not hitting target and working on a plan to fix that can be more valuable sales experience than constantly achieving your sales target from day one.


Myth Number 3: You should include a photo on your CV

No! No! No! Unfortunately, we are living in a time when people judge and make an impression of you in a matter of seconds. Unless you are a model or actor, then what you look like should have no bearing on your ability to perform a role. The initial consideration of your suitability to do a job should be based on your background and ability, not what you look like. On the subject of photos, it might be time to consider any bad pictures you may have across your social media. Employers these days will regularly search for people through LinkedIn and Facebook to see what somebody is posting before inviting them in for interview…


Myth Number 4: The more experienced a candidate is, the better they are!

Companies largely judge a candidate based on their level and amount of experience. Whilst some relevant experience is never a bad thing, it’s not the best way to judge the potential of what somebody could bring to a role. A number of times we see situations in which the less experienced person with fresh ideas and enthusiasm can be much better suited than the industry professional stuck in their ways with ten years’ experience performing the same role. We are not saying this will be the case every time, but you should not discount somebody purely based on this, and if you are a candidate with less experience, you shouldn’t let the worry of interviewing alongside more experienced candidates put you off applying.


Myth Number 5: Job boards are dead in the age of social media

Yes, it’s true that the number of options available to candidates about how they find roles is broadening. There is now a range of social media options, direct sourcing, Glassdoor and LinkedIn available to candidates, but job boards still play a major role in recruiting today. With Google Jobs launching, this will further the reach of job boards; displaying adverts from the majority of the job boards. Job boards still form one of the quickest and easiest ways for candidates to identify jobs and with the launch of mobile applications from the likes of Reed and Total Jobs, it has never been easier to use job boards and apply for roles.


Myth Number 6: Small recruitment companies are not as good at delivering enough candidates as larger agencies

Any good hiring manager out there will know that the best recruitment service is mostly reliant on the network of the recruiter rather than the size of the agency. Yes, larger companies may have an active database of a certain number of people, but how many of these candidates are actively looking for a job or fit with your particular role?  Does it matter if your agency has a database of 10,000 graduates if you are only recruiting for senior roles? If you are looking for something in particular or a specific skill set or background (which most companies are today), then it is the recruiter’s network that will deliver this, not the size of the recruitment agency.


These are just a handful of common myths we hear, from both hiring companies and candidates about recruitment. Do you have any others you have come across?


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