We’ve all been there.

As I shoveled through a thick pile of Monday papers, bright computer screen set up before me, a brief LinkedIn message passed through my email. While I generally roll my eyes and delete the message with little thought, this time pulled up my account for a nice, hearty laugh. This should be good, I thought to myself.

My jaw dropped as I scrolled through my inbox. Why do these people still have jobs? I asked my bright monitor. As a talent acquisition specialist myself, I see the same errors time and time again. Surely these strategies don’t work, so why are recruiters employing them left and right?

As I pondered these questions within the confines of my office, I began to make a list. What are the most common mistakes that recruiters make? What are the boundaries that a recruiter just shouldn’t cross? As the recipient of these messages, which tactics pissed me off the most?

I’ll admit, my list was pretty long. In an effort to pair it down to the most intolerable transgressions, I created the Top 5 Most Egregious Recruiter Crimes.

 

1. Group Messaging:

Messages that begin with “I’m reaching out to my entire network” are the most ineffective method of grabbing a candidate’s attention. Put yourself in his or her shoes. Why would you respond to a mass request for talent? Why would you put forth any effort to apply for a job when the recruiter can’t even personalize a message for you? This type of message illustrates a level of laziness that just gets my blood boiling!

 

2. Begging for a Response:

The purpose of recruiting is to sell the position to the most qualified talent. Begging for a response is like asking a customer to buy a vacuum simply because you need the sale. Rather than emphasizing why you need a response, the goal is to convince the candidate that he or she needs the position. Stop being self-centered and consider the other person’s wants and desires.

 

3. Asking for a Resume over LinkedIn:

This one is my pet peeve. Often, recruiters will reach out to a candidate and ask for a resume upon first contact. How can you possibly ask the candidate for favors when you haven’t even met?! Moreover, why in the world would a candidate respond to your request when you are the one that contacted him/her? Use your head, recruiters!

 

4. Flirting:

I can’t believe I even have to address this one. Based on the horror stories that my daughter and my female employees have told me, some recruiters now think that LinkedIn is a dating website. It gets better: they think that they can recruit in the meantime! Let me be the first to tell you that this is not, has never been, and never will be an effective recruiting method. Let’s be professional adults here.

 

5.Cheesy Taglines:

“Great opportunity” and “awesome position” must be some of the most overused and generalized phrases in the LinkedIn recruiting world. When a candidate hears the words “great opportunity,” they immediately tune you out. It gets worse: cheesy phrases cause you to lose credibility, candidate views, and closed deals. If you were to present me with an “awesome position,” I would immediately assume that you were a used car salesman who is attempting to sell me the crappiest car in the lot.

 

While the incompetence among recruiters has reached an astounding new level, there is one theme that weaves its way throughout each of these egregious crimes. By relying too heavily on LinkedIn, recruiters resort to sleazy methodology, inadequate messages, and a lack of human contact. It is no wonder that the results are so crummy.

Let’s try another method. Human contact, interpersonal relationships, and authentic communication cannot be replaced by LinkedIn. In fact, they are the cornerstone of real recruitment. When one of these elements is eliminated, we end up with one of the five crimes listed above.

Recruiters, which of these crimes are you committing on a daily basis?

More importantly, when was the last time you picked up the phone?