Top Five Reasons You Won’t Nail Down the Best Candidate


By Mark A. Leon

Don’t take this personally recruiters, talent acquisition specialists, talent engagement partners or whatever “term” of the moment you are using, but most of you are average.  You fill roles, make your commissions or bonuses and move on.  Talent is just a commodity similar to cattle that fills seats and keeps the economic train going.  Most don’t even put up a fight when I make a statement like this.  They nod their heads and continue to chug along.

We need those type of recruiters.  We need lots of them.  With 5.2 million open jobs in the US right now, there are bodies needed for those seats or counter tops.

Yet, there are a few that truly look to identify, engage and place the Grade A top talent in the industry and there are many who fail trying.

Here are five of the top reasons you will not close the deal on the best talent in the marketplace and ultimately settle for the average performers:

  • Lack creativity – Recruiters, headhunters, search firms are all playing the volume game. Throw it out there and see what you can reel in.  Unfortunately, that means tailored email blasts, follow up blasts and follow up to the follow up.  If that doesn’t work, lets blast them with InMails and finally, call until the cows come home.  For those that think you are the only ones diligently doing all these things, stop reading.  Just stop.  I had two “customized” emails sent to me by search firms in the last 3 days.  One was for a software engineer and the other for hotel housekeeping.  I will give you all a moment to stop and look up my background.  Let me know if you see anything remotely similar to either skill set?  I couldn’t either.  I explained the error of their approach and both sent me new email blasts with new roles, not even responding to me personally.  I did unsubscribe from their nonsense.  Back to my point.  The internet is your oyster.  Learn about your candidates, find commonality, personalize your approach and make “human connection” with something original.
  • You are boring – The idea that a recruiter is boring. Unheard of.  Well, most of you are.  You get us on the phone, go through a scripted set of buzz words, pretend you know the role and hope I will fold to your Jedi ways and move on in the recruitment process.  The best performers don’t fall for that.  Be passionate, be energetic and know the role.
  • Entitlement – How many of you work for Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla, Apple, GE and just assume people want to work for you? A few nods there.  No one should ever approach a candidate will the feeling that they would be honored to work for you.  Be proud, but don’t be cocky.
  • Too mysterious – “We have a great benefits program” “We offer competitive wages” “We have great opportunity for growth”. Try complete transparency.  It actually works!   If am going to make a massive life change, I want complete information.  I want to know to the dollar what I will make, what are the benefits are and how they affect my family and what kind of culture I am going to spend half my life in.  If you are going to be wishy washy, you aren’t getting anyone good.
  • You are lazy – I called and he/she didn’t answer. I tried a second time and no response.  Oh well, time to move on.  When you spot the girl or boy of your dreams, do you give up that easily.  Maybe you do.  I shouldn’t assume anything.  When you find something truly remarkable, you take the ultimate risk and don’t give up until someone tells you to right to your face.  If you see a diamond in the rough, don’t give up.  Fight for that candidate.

Time to take out the notebook and take the test.  How many of these five represent you?


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