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Bad Recruiting Habits To Stop Right Now

The Recruiting Reel Episode 14: Bad Recruiting Habits To Stop Right Now

In the 14th episode of The Recruiting Reel, Elizabeth Becker from PROTECH examines bad recruiting habits that you should stop right now. Here’s the transcript:

Josh Tolan: What’s up everyone? My name is Josh Tolan and I’m the CEO of Spark Hire, the leading video interviewing platform used by thousands of organizations around the world.

And this is The Recruiting Reel, a video series in which we discuss real recruiting challenges with prominent recruiting experts to provide you with actionable tips you can apply to your own recruiting.

Today, we are lucky enough to have Elizabeth Becker on the show. Elizabeth is currently the Client Partner at PROTECH, an IT staffing firm.

In her role, Elizabeth helps PROTECH’s world-class clients find and hire top tier candidates while also assisting candidates in landing their dream jobs.

She has a unique skill set blending a marketing, social media, and writing background with multiple years of experience in the recruiting industry.

We asked Elizabeth to shed some light on bad recruiting habits that should stop right now and this is what she had to say!

Elizabeth Becker: Hi Josh. Thank you so much for having me. I’m Elizabeth Becker and I am the Client Partner of the tech staffing firm, PROTECH. You can find out more about PROTECH at So, I am here to talk about some of the really bad habits that recruiters can have and how it affects the recruiting process and the reputation of the industry in general.

For me, the number one mistake that recruiters can make is not being cognizant of a candidate’s time. To me, it’s really important to respect a candidate’s time because if you want them to respect your time and pick up the phone when you call them, it’s definitely important for you to respect theirs as well. What does that mean? When you have an appointment with a candidate for 2:00 pm, you call them at 2:00 pm. That doesn’t mean 2:10 or 2:15 because that basically shows that your time is more valuable than a candidate’s and that’s not the case. A candidate is taking time out of their schedule usually from work, school, or whatever it might be to speak with you so it’s really important to be respectful. The other part of that is being aware of where a candidate might be living and what timezone they are in. You don’t want to be calling them at 4 in the morning or midnight. It’s very important that you’re always aware of where a candidate is at and what you might be interrupting.

The second thing I want to talk about is some traditional recruiting advice that I don’t necessarily think is still a best practice. That piece of advice is what I like to call the “sprinkler method.” To me, the sprinkler method is trying to hit as many candidates as possible with the same generic message. What this shows a candidate is that you didn’t look at their resume and you’re not really interested in speaking with them, you just want to get your message out to as many people as possible. This isn’t going to get you a very high response rate and the responses you do get won’t be from top quality candidates. What I really recommend to both new and seasoned recruiters is to add some personalization into your messages. Take a bit of time to carefully group the candidates you want to reach out to, make a shortlist, and send personalized and individualized messages to each of those candidates. What you’re going to get back is much better responses and you’re going to be building up your candidate network for better referral sources in the future. So, it’s really important not to just do the water sprinkler method and get a million responses, it’s better to take your time and reach out to the candidates that you want to speak to. It will really save you a lot of time in the long run. That’s all I have for today. Thank you again for having me.

Josh Tolan: Elizabeth, thank you so much for pointing out those bad habits which unfortunately, are pretty easy to develop.

I think the sprinkler method is something that many new recruiters struggle with. Many folks blitz their activities and target every and any candidate with the same message. This yields some initial results, but eventually, you’re left with diminishing returns and a bunch of annoyed candidates.

Much of this is related to a recruiter’s eagerness to get moving and achieve quick “wins” and some of it can be tied back to another bad habit that I’d like to point out which is not taking the time to learn about the professions of the individuals you’re trying to recruit.

Trust me, there’s nothing worse for a candidate than speaking with a recruiter who tries to speak their language, but doesn’t have a clue as to what they’re talking about.

So the moral of the story, slow things down, do a lot of research, and create a playbook for how you’re going to approach and follow up with candidates. This will allow you to put something meaningful into place, measure the results, and make adjustments so you don’t reach that moment of diminishing returns on the bad habits you were practicing before.

Thank you so much to Elizabeth Becker for coming on the show today. Head over to to learn more about PROTECH and the services that Elizabeth and her team provide. Also, follow her on Twitter @lizzythewriter. In addition, I encourage you to connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn.

Thank you for watching The Recruiting Reel and stay tuned for more episodes. For additional HR and recruiting content, head over to and subscribe. Also, follow us on Twitter, @sparkhire. And subscribe to our YouTube channel to be the first to know about the newest episodes of The Recruiting Reel.

Thanks again for watching and happy recruiting!

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.