Recruiters Actually Said These…

Recruiting is Sales and Marketing, not Human Resources.

It’s a bit of a fine art.

It’s seducing candidates, coaxing them to have an exploratory discussion (A confidential one, since many are currently working and kicking ass).

execunetselect-man-on-phoneNot badgering candidates or bullying them.

It’s not smelling desperate or sending them a link to an online personality profile before they’re even on the hook.

That’s why my heart sinks each time I see great leaders make great mistakes when they try to engage with an ideal candidate.

Here is a list of things you definitely Don’t want to say when you approach an otherwise-suitable candidate.

  • “I can’t get on the phone until you send a resume.”
  • “We have an exciting new opportunity.”
  • “We need someone who is bright and passionate. Our product is one of a kind and slated to be a total game changer.”
  • “This will give you great exposure to big data in the cloud, and you will be working with some extremely intelligent technologists!”
  • “As a company that specializes in innovation, we want the best and brightest creative visionaries.”
  • “We have a tight-knit dynamic team that is responsible for delivering consumer experiences.”
  • “Chuck Norris coding skills required.”
  • “Think of us as Box.com meets LinkedIn meets Facebook with real privacy.”
  • “ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY”
  • “Looking for a senior iOS architect with 20-plus years experience.” (The first version of iOS was released in 2007)
  • “You’ll be empowered to identify problems and dive head first into the equation.”
  • “I came across your LinkedIn profile and was very impressed by your background.”
  • “We are a multi-billion dollar company that operates like a start-up”
  • “Why do you want to work with us?”

Avoid those – and others like them – at all costs.

Don’t be cliche.

Do the opposite of other employers.

You have a great role to offer, and a wonderful business. Act like it. (But no arrogance, please. That’s perhaps the biggest turnoff to candidates.)

Here’s the article I wrote about other ways to land the Rockstar every time.



Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman launched his recruiting career at Heidrick & Struggles and Spencer Stuart, the preeminent global executive search firms. Today, he’s Chief Talent Officer at Chicago-based Strong Suit Executive Search. Along the way, Jeff created four companies, backed by $50 million in venture capital. He currently teaches the MBA course about recruiting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and hosts the five-star Strong Suit Podcast. Jeff has been featured by Inc., Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg, and other media outlets. He holds a master’s degree from Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from The Wharton School.

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