Is it just me? or has the recruitment industry gone a bit mad recently?

I have worked in recruitment for over 7 years now it’s fair to say that in recent times things seem to be going a bit mad.

When I say mad, what I mean is; In a time when the candidate is king and their experience is so important, why have so many businesses decided to make the recruitment process as complicated and long-winded as possible?

Here are some of the problems I encounter daily;


A big problem is people don’t communicate effectively, and when they do communicate they use email and either misinterpret the message, ignore certain parts of the message or take days to respond. Sometimes they forget to respond altogether and people are waiting on a message that doesn’t come. This problem is exacerbated by there being too many moving parts in the process. Sometimes a lengthy process is due to there being an email chain spanning 4 different people that all take their time responding or simply refuse to ask somebody more than once for some feedback. I understand that a phone call is not always practical, but if people picked up the phone a little more, there would 100% be less problems.

Over interviewing

Over-interviewing people is a big problem, and is known collectively as ‘death by committee’. We have witnessed multiple instances of people being interviewed by 6 different people within a business, and some of them may want to hire them, but they are vetoed by 1 or more people. This is a colossal waste of time as they all have different expectations. Businesses should delegate the task of recruitment to one or two individuals who can make decisions on people without fear of making the wrong call or being penalised if that person doesn’t work out. This is often the reason people cannot make a decision and look to other people for validation on the candidate they want to hire. This often leads to numerous people being involved and slowing things down.

Interview process malfunctions

For one reason or another, clients will often completely disregard the advice of their consultant and do whatever they like. They often insist on a process that you immediately know will be extremely challenging and are unwilling to change it. Managing recruitment processes is what we do, we are not trying to rush people, we are trying to make things as streamlined as possible so that companies don’t lose out on people because they move at a glacial speed. At the end of the day, we have the same goal – place the best person in the job.

Once size fits all

Clients often insist on having a once size fits all approach to all recruitment, this is also counterproductive. You might have a process that works really well when hiring an accountant or a project manager, but if you try and apply a similar process when you want to hire a Data Engineer with AWS experience, you will probably not have the same result.

Not trusting the experts

If it takes you any longer than a month to recruit somebody and you can’t figure out why, then find a recruitment consultant with good credentials that can provide evidence of their process working. They will not be the cheapest but you will know why you engaged them when they do a good job.

If you are unimpressed by your recruitment consultant, then find out the reason your business is using them. If it wasn’t your decision, you may find it’s because they are cheap

If you’ve been trying to hire somebody for 4 months and you are struggling to find the right person, then please take the advice of somebody credible that can help you. If you think you know more than the recruitment consultant you are currently engaging and you don’t want to listen to their advice, then you are using the wrong person. Why would you pay somebody you don’t trust to do a good job? That’s just not good sense.

If you don’t trust the advice given by your consultant, or are feeling unsure of their experience, ask for a testimonial from one of their clients that has successfully recruited somebody through using the process that is being suggested. If they can’t give you evidence of success then feel free to decline that advice, but if they can and you can’t hire anybody then I would suggest giving their advice a try.

Jamie MacMillan
Senior Manager