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One thing that will waste your time in recruitment

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Mercedes G

HR professional with extensive international experience. Expert in Small and Medium Businesses
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Recruitment can be a very satisfactory task if, in the end, you find the right person for your organisation. That usually happens if you are lucky and you follow certain steps to analyse what you need, attract them and select them in the best and most efficient way. If you manage to add some fun and meet some excellent candidates and interesting people, interviewing can be a fantastic activity.

However, it can also be a black hole where all your energy and time n go without finding the right person. Some people just avoid the planning as they claim to have that… “Instinct”. Some others speak more than the candidate as they really like the sound of their voices. Others just think that everyone has a family, and they may need the role for economical purposes… and…so many other things that you shouldn’t be doing if you are selecting the right talent for your company.

Picture from Dreamstime.com @kalinin Dmitrii

I am not saying you don’t have to care about other human being, but not when you are selecting them to be your employee, and when you would be paying them the money that takes you time and effort to earn.

Despite of being a waste of time, these are some things that every new manager or SME owner tend to do at the beginning in recruitment. It happens when you don’t have experience or you haven’t experienced enough bad candidates in your life, and to be honest, you will do it once, but it will be corrected with experience and reading us 🙂

However, there is one thing that I have seen too many times in my life and I believe it is important to explain why it is not a good idea.

A couple of weeks ago, we read that a certain company in the US will, and I quote “ Guaranteed Job Interviews from  NAME OF THE COMPANY for NAME OF THE STUDY CENTRE Graduates” (I prefer not to disclose the name of the company).

You could say this is a nice gesture, as they believe this is a good centre, they wanted to meet all candidates, so they are doing open interviews to all of them. However, on the communication sent they didn’t mention any job openings, they only spoke about how good the school was, and how they are so impressed with the training, that they wanted to meet all those successful students.

Obviously, if you read this as a prospect student and don’t analyse much further, it could convey that you will get a job instantly…so you would register at the school.

Ok, so, the company is helping the school, students will practice their interviews and the school will get some further student applications for the next course… how can that hurt anyone…

This was obviously a PR fraud, where an executive from the particular company would spend 30 minutes per student with each of them, will do 3 or 4 question, will not be harsh and say “thank you very much for your time, if something arises that fits your profile, we will be in contact with you” and never call back.

Why? Because they will not be really analysing, because there is no job to do the interview for.Therefore, you would have to do the interview again if you really need that person to be capable of doing the job. And I presume that is the case.

Despite these facts, and I believe they are very obvious, I have seen through my career plenty of SME owners and managers doing open interviews for a non existent role. Why? Because someone asked for it. As a favour.

I truly don’t believe on doing favours like that, you waste your time, but you also waste the interviewee’s time. They are not doing a real interview, as you will not be that commited, specially if you interview “all graduates from a certain school”

It is complicated to say no, specially when it’s only your time. But I will give you 3 points why you shouldn’t do it.

  • You are wasting your time. How much benefit could you be obtaining for the hours you spent doing that?
  • You are wasting the candidates time, that will not be happy in the end. Also, if they are really interested, they could be calling for ever, to see if there is any role available.
  • If you keep doing this, in the long term, those candidates will really know if you are really hiring or not, so they will end up not even going to those interviews and your name will be associated to something not serious in the industry.
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