Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Avoid the Lies Recruiters Tell

When it comes to recruiting, all professionals are susceptible to telling little white lies like, “I’ll be in touch” or “The perfect job for you is out there somewhere.” While good recruiters have the best of intentions when uttering these little lies, the outcome is not in the best interest of the candidate or the recruiting firm.

Avoiding the general recruiting lies will not only boost your likability and trustworthiness but also your firm’s reputation. After all, there is a reason that “honesty is the best policy.” Let’s take a look at the lies that bad and good recruiters alike tell, and get honest answers that are better alternatives.

1.  “I’ll be in touch.”

Generally, recruiters use this line when saying goodbye to a candidate without having any real intention of following through. In truth, it’s one of those passing phrases that a lot of professionals, regardless of industry, use. But what this does for the candidate is give them false hope.

If, in your professional wisdom, you don’t see a future opportunity for that candidate, let them know. Tell them that you’re sorry, but that you believe being honest with them is best for their job search. Let them know why you don’t foresee an opportunity that fits their experience and skill level, and provide them with some suggestions for getting to that particular career or opportunity that they’re interested in, like further training or a more entry-level position.

2.  “You’ll hear back from us regardless of the outcome.”

This is one of the worst recruiting lies that job candidates hear. They’re told that they’ll hear whether they got the opportunity or did not, only to be left with no news at all. While some candidates will follow-up, and to a very aggressive degree, others won’t want to bother you.

If you’re going to make this promise, keep it. However, if it’s not your company policy to follow up, let the candidate know that up front. Inform them that you will only be contacting them if  they got the job.

3.  “We’ve decided to go in another direction.”

This isn’t necessarily a lie. Rather, it’s more of a deviation from the truth. “Going in another direction” might be closing the application process for now or simply choosing another candidate. Whatever the case, just tell the truth.

Again, this is an opportunity for you to help a candidate professionally. Explain to them if the reason they weren’t chosen for the job was because of a lack of experience or just a  more qualified option. If you’re closing the application, tell them why and when, or even if, it will open again.

Talent acquisition requires you to do your job as efficiently and effectively as possible, but good recruiters can do the job to the best of their ability while being honest and helping job candidates grow professionally.

What other “lies” do recruiters tell and what do you think is the best policy? Share now in our comments!

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.