7 Deadly Sins of Recruiting

Amy Worthy   December 22, 2016  

Making mistakes is a normal part of life. It happens, right? However, there are mistakes and then there are MISTAKES, some you don’t even realize you’re making. Could you be digging your own grave without even realizing it? Check yourself with this list of the 7 deadly sins in the world of recruiting:


Confidence is key in any situation, but overconfidence can be a recruiter's Achilles' heel. This doesn't just apply to your attitude either. Not only does arrogance tend to turn people off, but it can also give you a false sense of security in your ability to get things done. Be proud of what you have accomplished in your years of experience, but don't let it give you a big head. Stay humble.

Over Pickiness

Producing the best possible matches for your clients is the overall goal of the staffing industry, but there is such thing as being too selective. Trying to find the "perfect" candidate is a fool's errand. You will be wasting precious time you could have been spending moving the process along with strong prospects on a wild goose chase. That's not good for you, your client, or your other candidates.

Finding and Forgetting

This is the mistake nearly every recruiter makes no matter how much experience they have. They source a candidate, submit them into the database, and forget about them when they should be building and nurturing a relationship with them. Even if the candidate isn't a good match for your current client, put that candidate in your back pocket for later. When you do sourcing from your own database (which you should be doing,) they could turn out to be another client's purple squirrel.

Giving into the Grind

After so long, anything will feel tedious and predictable. You may start to feel a lack of motivation, a need for a challenge, or that cockiness we talked about earlier may start to set in. It is important to give your 500th client the same enthusiasm and attentiveness as you gave your first. Start each new lead with a clean slate, even if you think you already know what they're going to say.

Static Strategizing

Our world is constantly changing and evolving, this includes the corporate world, too. What brought in new talent last year may not necessarily work for this year. That is why it is important to keep up with the culture and not be set in your ways. We are living in the age of social media where information travels fast. Don't get left behind on the job boards when new talent is just an update away.


Being organized isn't just a good idea, it can be the difference between meeting your deadline or meeting your maker. Keep track of where you do your sourcing, the status of your candidates, your time spent on different activities—everything! Make sure your files are up to date, include all the necessary info, and that you are regularly checking in with your clients and candidates.

Poor Time-Management

Proper time-management is the most intrinsic part of success as a recruiter which is why mismanaging it puts you in the deepest circle in HR Hell. You can get everything else to the T, but if you do not manage your time correctly it won’t matter. Managing time correctly is especially critical when it comes to actually placing your candidates. If you take too long they may find another opportunity, but if you hire too quickly that may set off a red flag in your prospect’s head. Handling not only your own time, but the time of your clients and candidates, with care is the most important thing you can do as a recruiter.