Recruitment isn’t an easy job. You have so many different people to please, targets to hit and admin to stay on top of – so recruitment mistakes can happen.

In the process of trying to juggle all of your responsibilities, you can end up cutting corners – and that’s where the mistakes occur.

Here are 8 of the classic recruitment mistakes, and advice on how not to make them:

Mistake 1. Poor communication to all parties


The importance of good communication in recruitment is a given – recruiters get such a bad reputation as a result of one negative experience, and it’s usually to do with the lack of communication.

It might seem like a good idea to streamline your comms strategy, sending out bulk emails to all your candidates and recruiters or using generic templates for all your responses.

But this just doesn’t work. You can’t ‘cookie cutter’ communications.


Good communication is actually easy to achieve, and it won’t take up much of your time.

  • Set out clear expectations of what you are going to do, when they will hear from you, etc. – and stick to them.
  • Have editable templates for your candidates and clients, that you customise and edit to suitably respond to their queries.
  • Set aside time each day to respond to your non-urgent emails.


Mistake 2. Scattergun approach to marketing


If you have a lot of roles to fill, it might seem like getting them all out there to as many potential candidates is the best approach.

This might be:

  • Emailing your entire candidate pool about the roles
  • Putting the roles on as many job sites as possible
  • Posting about the roles on your social channels

While this is great for drumming up interest, the reality is that you will struggle to feasibly manage the response – whatever volume and quality it is.

This then reflects badly on you, as you’ve wasted a lot of people’s time, so it gives your agency a poor image.


Avoiding this situation is straightforward:

  • Make sure you have a rock solid candidate network.
  • Know your existing pool of candidates inside and out, so you only send the roles to suitable people.
  • Be picky about which platforms you post your roles on – it’s a good idea to track the success of each of them, so you know what sites are most fruitful for you.
  • Use a CRM that’s coded accurately, so you can perform efficient searches of your candidate pool.


Mistake 3. Wasted emails


We touched on blast emails before, but it’s worth repeating.

Please are smarter nowadays – they can sniff out a bulk email easily, and most people find it really off-putting.

You can do more harm than good:

  • The emails might be received at the wrong time
  • If your recipient data isn’t clean, the wrong person might receive the email
  • You might email someone who has previously unsubscribed (and, with GDPR on us, getting this right is vital)


The solution is pretty simple: don’t send blast emails.

If you really want to send the occasional one:

  • Make sure your data is clean
  • Make sure you are compliant
  • Think smart – when is the best day/time to send the email out
  • Proofread and check any links you have in the copy


Mistake 4. Bad job specs


Getting your job ads right makes life a lot easier:

  • Applicants have a clear understanding of what the role involves
  • You won’t get as many applicants who are completely wrong for the job
  • A well-written ad will attract strong potential candidates

So, things to avoid include:

  • A light-touch approach
  • Non-descriptive overviews
  • Poorly formatted information
  • Spelling mistakes and bad grammar
  • No information on salary
  • A poor CTA
  • Listing every keyword under the sun


In short, make sure your job ads are correct, engaging and informative! We shared some useful tips and guidance on how to write the perfect job ad to help you out.


Mistake 5. Bad choice of advertising


We talking about sharing jobs on all you social channels before, but this is an important point to go into more detail about.

Plastering your social channels, especially LinkedIn, with all the different jobs you have to fill each day might seem like a quick way to share them – but it also opens the floodgate to direct messaging, emails and applications.

What’s the problem with this? You create a lot of work for yourself, and, unless you make it clear how to apply for the role, you’ll receive a lot of CVs in your inbox.


Again, it’s about thinking smart, being picky with where and when you post, and choosing the best way to communicate the roles.


Mistake 6. Poor control of process


If you’re not in complete control of the recruitment process, you can lose sight of what’s been agreed, and you can end up losing a deal.

There’s are mistakes to look out for:

  • Not having anything agreed with your client about the role
  • No client buy-in
  • Not setting expectations or managing timeframes
  • Letting “time kill the deal”


  • Be proactive, and reactive
  • Maintain regular communication
  • Get things in writing with your clients and candidates
  • Book in calls and meetings to maintain the process


Mistake 7. Fee negotiation


Automatically offering the lowest rate to get in a deal doesn’t actually help your recruitment business, in fact, it just devalues your position.

Not understanding the implications from a business point of view on margin and your commission structure is a big mistake you can make.


First of all, make sure you understand markup and margin. And, buy yourself time if you need to get a decision from a senior member of your team. Just make sure you communicate the process with the client or candidate.


Mistake 8. Not knowing when to say no or cut the job loose


If any of the following things are happening, it might be time to say no or stop trying to fill a role:

  • You’re working outside of your recruitment specialism
  • You’ve been working on a vacancy for too long, and it’s lost its way
  • The role has no clear objective
  • Your client isn’t responding
  • There are no set timescales


Rather than waste your time trying to fill a role that just won’t be filled, be pragmatic and analyse whether turning your attention another role will be better for business.


These 8 recruitment mistakes are common, but easily avoided. If you keep on top of everything we talked about above, you should find your work life a lot easier to manage.