You’re treating candidates badly when…

Signs you're treating a candidate badly

1. You lie

During an interview, do you make generalised comments or any of the following statements without meaning it?


“You’re the best candidate for this position”

Have you already interviewed everyone? You might like the candidate but find one even better. Stick to the truth,”This interview has gone very well and you are in a string position for the job.”


“We think your outside life is just as important as your work life“

Your company handbook may make statements about the importance of work/life balance but you are hiring someone for their work capabilities, not to indulge their leisure preferences. If asked about worklife balance issues, give an honest response about how flexi time, time in lieu and working at home really pan out in the company


“Our company doesn’t do office politics”

Every organisation has politics, and everyone knows this from the pre-school up. It’s more a question of how things are played out and the prevailing culture. So talk about this, and better still demonstrate by inviting candidates to meet members of staff.


“We’re still not sure of the salary”

Why not? The sussed candidate will immediately smell a rat. The salary should already be in place if they’re ready to hire someone. If there is some negotiation or fine tuning according to the candidate’s experience, then say do. But give the negotiation, but give the salary range.


2. Your body language is off

An accomplished recruiter will not do any of the following as they convey a negative message:

Drumming your fingers or rubbing your face

Both of these gestures are clear signs of annoyance. If a candidate senses you’re annoyed with the interview or with them, they’re not likely to open up enough to judge their candidacy fairly. Or, they may become annoyed themselves, which makes for an overall negative experience for both of you.


Too much smiling

You may be trying to be friendly and make your candidate feel more comfortable, but overdo and you’ll risk scaring off your candidate. A prolonged smile can make an interviewee feel as though you’re not taking them seriously or that there’s something phoney about you. Put on a bit more serious of a face between those welcoming smiles, and your candidate will be more at ease.


Leaning back while clasping your hands

Message: This gesture can make you appear completely disinterested in the interview and what your interviewee has to say. And if the perception is that you don’t care, they’ll become negative and stopping caring, too, which once again makes for a pretty pointless interview. Your best bet is to lean slightly forward and keep your hands in your lap or on the desk.



3. Candidate behaviour is off

Candidates ask basic questions

Do candidates always ask you for basic information about the company or even the job title? If so, you’re probably not explaining the role well enough. Don’t let the candidates do all the selling, if you don’t promote the employer and explain the perks of the job properly, then the candidate might choose to turn a job offer down because they aren’t impressed or simply just don’t understand the job.


The interview is a Q&A

A really good interview flows like a conversation. Not every candidate has the ability, interest or confidence to make this happen. But if it doesn’t, also ask yourself whether you are dominating proceedings too much or have succeeded in putting the interviewee at ease.


You receive poor quality candidates

If you consistently find yourself interviewing low-calibre candidates, then you’re screening process is wrong. And you are letting candidates down by raising their expectations and giving them a false sense of their own abilities.


4. Food for thought for the agencies

Agencies don’t have the best reputation in recruitment. Here are some specific criticisms...


“You think that a list of technical requirements is actually a job description. Personally, I want to know what the product is, what the market is, etc. I want to be excited about the work I’ll be doing, rather than just working as another cog in the machinery.” Jim Campanell, software architect and developer


“Between 60% and 70% of the recruiters getting in touch had not read my CV, just run a search algorithm.” Paul Oldfield, software Consultant


“Simply emailing me with a job description and a request for my resume instead of taking a minute to introduce themselves. Getting pinged for junior level jobs when it should be pretty clear from my resume that I passed that a while back.”- Sean Walberg, web developer

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