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Recruiting Mistakes– how to lose or piss off a candidate


If sourcing hard-to-find talent to you means shooting fish in a barrel than this blog is not meant for you as you will be one of the lucky recruiters that have a steady pipeline of candidates coming in. However if you  recruit for hard-to-find  talent you want to make sure you do not lose the candidate after all the hard work of sourcing and selling the job. Here are a number of mistakes that we have gathered from candidates whereby hiring companies have missed their chance.

  • Know the candidate

It wouldn’t be the first time whereby the recruiter has found a great hard-to-find talent candidate and is getting a line manager to do the interview. One of the questions the line manager should certainly not open with is: “tell me something about yourself as I haven’t had a chance to read your CV” What is the point of preparing for an interview if the interviewer is not prepared?

  • Being Late

Yes, it is all about the candidate being on time for interview. But that does not mean you can leave them waiting in reception for 20 minutes while you should have been interviewing him for the last 20 minutes. Candidates get time to think and the longer they wait the more negative their thoughts might become about their prospective new employer. “Hmmm is that dust under the couch, wow if they can’t even clean than what am I doing here”.


  • Take your time

You have an urgent need for a hard-to-find talent candidate with a certain skills set or language. You have posted your job and gotten the approval to hire the candidate. Finally a great profile has come in. Let’s schedule a first round interview for the end of next week and we will take it from there to see if there will be a 2nd round. “Surely we are the only company hiring and the candidate will not apply and interview with other companies”.


  • It is not all about salary – well sometimes it is

Granted if salary is an issue from the start you will pretty much always lose the hard-to-find talent candidate. However if the job you are recruiting for does not pay the same salary as the candidate might have as a minimum requirement or you feel the candidate does not justify the salary perhaps it is better to be open and honest and stop the interview process.  You do not want the following conversation. “Hey do you know Company ABC? Yeah they pay sh*t”


  • Make promises you cannot keep

Over the years we have seen many people reject offers or leave quickly after only having started. One of the main reasons is that hard-to-find talent candidates felt that companies did not keep to their promises. This can be from, I will call you tomorrow - but more than likely next week, to yes you will receive 4 weeks training, but that is over the period of 4 years. Do you know the saying a man is only as good as his word, well that applies to companies too.


I know that we are all human and mistakes are easy to make. But when it comes to hiring hard-to-find talent every mistake we make might mean one step closer to losing that candidate. 

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