4 Things Candidates Wish Recruiters Would Stop Doing

The recruiting market has become extremely saturated in recent years. With some people receiving multiple messages in a day from recruiters, it’s not unusual for candidates to get annoyed. While, at Spire, we would argue that having those opportunities delivered by a recruiter to your inbox is a benefit, we also understand that there are some traits that certain recruiters have that are, in fact, bothersome.

So this week, I surveyed young professionals, asking them what really ticks them off about recruiting messages, in hopes to help recruiters. Here are a few of the messages I received when I asked, “What’s something that a recruiter sends in a LinkedIn message that immediately annoys you/makes you not reply?”

1- "They don't give me enough information"

Often times, recruiters aren’t allowed to disclose the name of the company in which they are recruiting for. In that instance, it’s a best practice to give a somewhat detailed description of what the role requires and why this particular candidate is a good fit. It’s possible to do that without disclosing the name of a client. Sometimes, candidates become irritated when they’re not clear on what role they’re being recruited for, so it’s also very important to start with the role and requirements. 

 This is a message that Ellen received from a recruiter. While Ellen appreciated her enthusiasm, she didn’t know what the role was. In addition, Ellen notes that there was no job description attached to the message, even though the recruiter said that she would provide that information. As a result, this recruiter did not receive a reply, and wasted an InMail.

This is a message that Ellen received from a recruiter. While Ellen appreciated her enthusiasm, she didn’t know what the role was. In addition, Ellen notes that there was no job description attached to the message, even though the recruiter said that she would provide that information. As a result, this recruiter did not receive a reply, and wasted an InMail.

2- "They displayed a lack of professionalism"

When conducting this survey, countless candidates said things like “I hate when recruiters call me buddy,” or “They didn’t even spell my name right.” Jean-Christophe sent me this screenshot of a message he received:

  ...Since when is Martin even close to Jean-Christophe?!

...Since when is Martin even close to Jean-Christophe?!

Elmer says that recruiters have asked for references from him:

3- "They didn't even respond to me..."

Jonathan hit the nail on the head with this one! When recruiters reach out and a candidate IS interested, a surprising amount of recruiters don’t follow up or respond to the candidate’s reply. It’s probably something to do with time constraints, however it conveys an air of unprofessionalism. Always, always, always, respond to the candidate. Even if the position has closed, even if the candidate doesn’t end up being a fit, even if you sent the message to him/her by a mistake. Responsiveness can really separate the good recruiters from the mediocre recruiters. Here’s a great one:

4. "There was absolutely no relevancy to me."

Many messages are sent before the recruiter takes a deep dive into the candidate’s profile. Recruiter’s often do keyword searches on LinkedIn and find their prospects that way, sometimes messaging the wrong people about the wrong role. See below.

5- Last, but not least, "The message they sent me was clearly generic... and they thought I wouldn't notice..."

Both Riley and JC say that this is a huge factor when determining whether to reply to a recruiter. And while it’s understandable that candidates want to be treated as “special,” it’s also understandable that recruiters only have so much time in a day. But let’s go ahead and say that the following messages are ineffective…

Impressive...huh?

Hmmm... you're impressed too..

These candidates must be impressive...

I think you get the point. Using a word like “impressive,” does not tell a candidate that you are, in fact, impressed…or that you even read their profile, for that matter. After talking to candidates, it is safe to say that they prefer a message strictly about the role, or a tailored message- not this halfway “impressed” type of message.

Again, this article is not meant to bash recruiters in any way. Instead it is a way for recruiters to hone their technique, and reach candidates in a more relevant way.

Here are some quick tips:

  • As a recruiter, take 30 min- 1 hour at the beginning of the day (or the night before), and write out a generic message for each open position that you’re currently recruiting for.
  • Be sure to highlight sentences that you can later change to tailor to a specific candidate.
  • List the skill and experience requirements below the message.

Take these steps before reaching out to anyone. When you see a candidate that you think would be a fit, take a minute to review his/her profile, and a minute to cross-check his/her experience and skills with the job description. Since you will have the sentences that are customizable already highlighted in your generic message, you can now tailor your message to the candidate. Not only does this increase your sincerity, but it is way more likely to illicit a response from a candidate. Beyond that, it doesn’t take a ton of time to do, AND it will distinguish you from other recruiters.

Kate Jacoutot

Spire Workforce Solutions, 5575 Peachtree Dunwoody Road Northeast, Building C, Suite 240, Sandy Springs, GA, 30342, United States