Avoiding the biggest rookie recruitment mistake

Written by: Rich · Jul 01, 2024

Facepalm statue

What’s one of the biggest rookie mistakes in recruitment?  

Wasting time working poorly qualified jobs.

You need jobs.  You spend all day smashing the phones… You get 100’s of voicemails

The small amount of conversations yield the same responses; "We’re not hiring", "You need to speak to HR", "We have a tight PSL", "We’re on a freeze"

And then finally….you get a bite….

The prospect says “Yes I’m hiring

You’re like “Yesssss, hallelujah, I’m going to be a hero in the office."  All you can think about is all the high fives you’re going to get from your colleagues as soon as you’ve hung up the phone.

And then you hear the phrase….

“yeah, we’re always looking for good people”

What a rookie hears is “here’s a load of good quality jobs and you’re going to be a legend when you fill them all.

What an experienced recruiter hears is “Here’s some impossible to fill jobs, I don’t really have budget but if you find me a 11/10 for half the market rate I’ll have a chat with them but I’m essentially sending you on a wild goose chase”

How do you avoid the Wild Goose chases?  

In my experience the best recruiters were able to evaluate and score the jobs they work effectively and they wouldn’t even work jobs that had a low score.

Firstly, it’s crucial to take a good job spec from the actual hiring manager. Some of my job spec calls would take an hour and I would still pitch a meeting at the end of a call. Of course these call were to understand the role to aid your search, but it was as much of an exercise in job qualification and scoring to establish whether this was a job worth working as it was anything else.  

When I started my recruitment career at SThree we would score a job on commitment and fillability   

We would have a commitment score

  • An A Job was a job on exclusive
  • A B job was a job where the manager had given us interview slots
  • A C job is where we’d been given permission to work the job  
  • And a D job was a lead

We then had a fillability score

Things like:

  • Have you taken a job spec from the manager directly
  • Is the budget signed off
  • Location
  • Is the salary at the market rate
  • Skills required
  • Will candidates be excited by the role etc

you can tailor these to your market.  

From these two scores you can put together a 2 by 2 matrix (every management consultants favourite) to help you prioritise roles to work!

Fillability matrix

You might have a A1 job. It’s exclusive but it has a fillability of 1, you’re probably not going to fill it.

Conversely, you could have a C9. Highly fillable job that you need to do everything you can to upgrade it to exclusive.  And of course having Hinterview as part of your value proposition is a good reason to ask for increased commitment!

Using this simple scoring model does 2 things; it’s a good check list to make sure you fully understand the role and what the client motivation to hire is.

Recruitment is a tough game.

Whatever the market conditions, whatever the sector, you need to work smart and prioritise effectively. And that’s where job scoring comes in.


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