HR and Recruiting

4 overrated recruiting concepts you need to ditch this year

Written by Eric Titner

Attention HR professionals: As 2018 continues to unfold, you’re undoubtedly focused on achieving your staffing and recruiting goals for the year, which likely means plenty of advanced planning and strategy sessions, all designed to help you and your company hit its predetermined targets.

For successful companies, this is beyond important—it’s an absolutely essential business function. According to an article by Empxtrack, the recruitment and selection process is one of the most important of all HR functions and has a great impact on the revenue growth and profit margins of a company as compared to other tasks such as retention, onboarding, leadership development, and managing talent.

Effective recruiting requires careful planning—from the first steps to the last—under the watchful eye of a seasoned HR professional or team with business savvy, a deep knowledge of their company’s core needs, and an ability to plan for short-term and long-term growth and success.

Strategic recruiting also requires a thorough understanding of what concepts don’t work or have become outdated to the point of irrelevance and belong in the HR recycling bin. The truth is, in today’s rapidly evolving professional landscape, concepts that may have once been proven sound may no longer hold up today. It’s the job of all HR professionals to stay on top of current trends, shifts, and forces that help shape the face of modern recruitment—or else they risk becoming outdated and irrelevant.

That said, there is a prevailing conventional wisdom in the world of recruiting that helps determine which recruiting concepts should be embraced and which are overrated and should be left behind. LinkedIn recently published an article on recruiting concepts that should likely be reconsidered or shuttered for good. Use the following information to help you and your company strategize effectively.

1. Culture fit is critical.

We’re all aware of the omnipresence of “culture fit” and its perceived value in companies across industries. In fact, some organizations rank perceived culture fit at the very top of their determination criteria when making key hiring decisions. But what are we really getting here? Is a company that prides itself on having employees who are an excellent cultural fit denying itself a level of healthy diversity that could really help move the needle? Think about it, do game changing ideas that truly disrupt the status quo always come from those who fit neatly into the corporate mold, or do they often come from those oddball outliers with enough creative and perceptual distance to really effect change?

Savvy, forward-thinking HR professionals know better when they weigh the value of culture fit, and recognize potential talent who may not fit the traditional corporate mold but who could potentially offer their organizations something far more valuable—a fresh new way of approaching their business.

2. The reference check is essential.

The traditional HR process of performing a reference check on potential candidates is as old (and as time-consuming) as it gets, and if we stop and really take a close look at it, we may realize that it’s likely not worth the effort. Why? Because what the process really involves is reaching out (often, many times before getting a response) to a carefully curated list of individuals who have undoubtedly been told to expect a call from you, and who will invariably provide a glowing review of the candidate in question and go on and on about how they’re absolutely the ideal candidate in every conceivable way.

Admittedly, there may be some value in some instances to performing this time-tested HR ritual, but if you’re waiting for a candidate to provide a reference that will offer a completely honest, unbiased, and critical review of a candidate, don’t hold your breath because it’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Does this sound to you like an effective way to really get to evaluate a potential new employee?

3. Traditional interviews are everything.

It’s almost inconceivable to imagine a hiring process—at any company or for any position—that does not include some aspect of what we commonly refer to as a traditional interview, in which a meeting (often several) takes place between a potential candidate and the hiring personnel of a company and an exchange of pleasantries, questions, answers, and conversation takes place as each side evaluates the other for consideration.

However, you might be shocked to learn that the level of correlation between how a candidate fares on an interview and how they do on the job is shockingly low. According to LinkedIn’s article:

“Candidate interviews have been the single most important tool for recruiters since forever, but that doesn’t mean they’re all that great. Google’s Laszlo Bock spilled the beans in 2013 that their analytics showed that interviews were totally useless: ‘We looked at tens of thousands of interviews, and everyone who had done the interviews and what they scored the candidate, and how that person ultimately performed in their job. We found zero relationship.’”

4. Purpose does not replace perks.

It’s true, the idea of working for a company with a brand identity, mission, and purpose that resonates with potential candidates can really be an attractive and compelling notion—and many HR professionals work hard to cultivate and maintain their organization’s culture and brand identity and communicate them to prospective employees—but it does not completely replace the tried and true employee perks that lie at the heart of an individual’s decision regarding whether or not to sign on the dotted line when a job offer is made.

Sure, your organization’s volunteer efforts, charitable pursuits, dedication to the environment and desire to make positive and lasting change in the world will be of interest to candidates, but if it isn’t matched by competitive salaries, benefits packages, and employee perks, then don’t be surprised if the individuals you’re hoping to bring on board decide to take their talents elsewhere.

There you have it—some overrated recruiting concepts that may have worked well in the past but may no longer hold water as we move through 2018. If you’re using any of these as part your professional recruitment strategy, consider making a change.

About the author

Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.