5 Recruitment Tools That Are More of a Crutch Than a Solution

Does your hiring process involve recruitment tools?

Smart recruiters and hiring managers are always striving to improve their process, either by increasing efficiency or improving outcomes. As companies seek scalable solutions that can support ongoing growth objectives, building a competitive approach to recruitment is critical. But how do savvy recruiting specialists identify, incorporate, and leverage the right tools for reliable outcomes?

Even with the best of intentions, many recruitment tools can end up interfering more than helping the process over the long run. Here are five pitfalls that can prevent recruiters from meeting their goals:

1. AI Technology as a recruitment tool saves time but often at a cost.

New research shows that in an effort to improve hiring efficiency, corporate recruiters have come to rely on technology to an extreme, leading to potential employee pools that are too narrow and often miss promising candidates. Right now, there is no shortage of companies that have created streamlined AI platforms, all promising that their algorithms will remove any hint of bias in the process, thus supporting diversity and inclusivity goals. However, these tools are only as good as those who created programming logic and as a result, often cloudy the waters with someone else’s bias. To make matters worse, these biases only grow over time, as the AI learns to optimize for their own erroneous inferences i.e., someone who hasn’t been employed for a certain number of months does not have the right work ethic. Today’s resume-screening tools are built to save recruiters significant time in screening and evaluating candidates but can miss the nuances of human communication.

2. Excessive interviewing negatively affects candidates’ perceptions.

Candidates who have made it through the screening process and a preliminary interview are often asked to then complete multiple rounds of interviews with various internal groups. This can be a result CYA, but in the end, it really is a symptom of not understanding what is needed for the role. When recruiters use a tool like the HireBest® Cipher®, the process of getting input from key stakeholders BEFORE the interview process begins is built in– making the process streamlined and showcasing your brand in the most positive light possible to candidates.

3. Relying on a checklist as a tool when recruiting and interviewing can backfire.

Many managers use a checklist to evaluate potential new hires. However, there is a downside to making the process too formulaic – it can be easy to overlook a specialized skill, unique expertise, or critical differentiators of a potential employee. Also, it’s easy to come across as bored or simply going through the motions when using a checklist, without really listening or being fully engaged in the conversation. For intuitive candidates, this may raise questions about the culture of the organization compared to other opportunities. Checklists are great as a reminder and to keep the interview on track, but over-reliance can hinder the recruitment process in the end.

4. Excessive pressure testing will alienate great candidates.

Just about everyone has heard legendary tales about the Microsoft brain teasers in the interview process. Many claim that these puzzles are used to identify which candidates can think out of the box or operate under pressure. The reality is that there is no research to back up these claims. Google recently stopped using these kinds of exercises because they found through their own research that the results did not pan out. There are also the massive take home assignments that some hiring managers request of candidates – forgetting that the best candidates are likely considering several opportunities and probably still working their day job too. In the end, these practices only serve to make the candidate irritated and the interviewer feel smart.

5. The most critical recruitment tool is often outdated and bloated.

Lastly, as companies add new requirements and responsibilities to job descriptions, the documents become too long, outdated, and too onerous to entice people to apply for the position. The net result is a mediocre process with mediocre attention paid to it resulting in a mediocre hiring end result. Sometimes, recruiters get lucky with a couple of hires, but the lack of a structured process and data-based approach almost always causes pain and suffering on the back end. Companies need to do away with job descriptions, turning to a scalable process like the Cipher to focus on what’s essential to a role. Ciphers are inherently designed to focus on outcomes and the potential impact of a candidate, rather than on a rigid set of job responsibilities or tasks. This approach lets managers crisply identify and align on what is crucial for candidate success.


 Finding the right tools to support the complex task of recruiting and hiring great employees continues to be a goal of recruiters and hiring managers. While many recruitment tools can be helpful, just as many can fall short of their promises and in the end cause more harm than good. Those responsible for the task of supporting human capital in their businesses need to carefully evaluate the long-term effectiveness of new and ongoing practices.





Leave a Comment