Well, folks, the results are in…and it doesn’t look good.

Orion Talent determined that over half of all talent acquisition customers “give them [providers] a ‘B’ grade when it comes to overall performance.” These aren’t my words; these are the words of Staffing Industry Analysts. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

However, it gets worse. The same respondents were asked about their providers’ “alignment to strategic business objectives” The outcome? On a 100-point scale, the average was 69. As SIA notes, this is closer to a D than a B.

Here’s my conclusion: recruiters still couldn’t recruit if their lives depended on it.

But why are modern recruiters so dreadful? Why do these results often fall on deaf ears? And what can industry leaders do to encourage better habits, better listening skills, and better results?

I’m glad you asked.

Train, Train, Train:

You can’t successfully run a marathon without a few training sessions, so why do we expect recruiters to be able to do their job without any practice? With a lack of recruitment education, poor onboarding, little explanation, and an absence of mentors, the mission is sure to fail. Recruiters need the same instruction that any other profession receives –or perhaps more if their results are so poor!


Far too often, organizations value quantity of candidates over quality. How do I know this? Just take a look at the metrics they use! Organizations need to spend less time focusing on the quantity of applicants and more time measuring retention rates, quality of hire, and candidate satisfaction. This shift of focus will affect the way that recruiters evaluate their candidates.

Robotic Recruiting:

We live in a world where everything is automated, online, and at our fingertips. With sources such as LinkedIn so ready available, we often forget that recruiting requires a basic human element. A quick, assumptive email with a cheesy headline is one of the biggest turnoffs for qualified candidates. Authentic relationships and *gasp * communication are the key to discovering candidate needs, drivers, and priorities.

Paper Shufflers:

Let’s face it, recruiters haven’t acquired the term “paper shufflers” by accident. Simply gathering piles of resumes, handing them to a hiring manager, and washing your hands of the project IS NOT RECRUITING. Talent acquisition specialists must put faces to the names, relationships with those resumes, and vouch for certain candidates when the time comes.

Recruiters, it is time to peek around your computer and see the outside world. Pick up the phone, get lunch with a candidate, get to know the man or woman behind the profile.

We can – and must – do better.


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