Are You A Dinosaur Recruiter?

(A checklist to help you assess whether you are ready for 21st century recruiting) The world of recruiting has changed dramatically over the last few years. Technology, low unemployment, globalization and other factors have turned the recruiting world upside down. Unfortunately many recruiters haven’t changed at all. Here is a checklist to help you assess yourself and see if you are ready for the world of 21st century recruiting!* Here is a chance to do a quick “audit” to see if you are “part of the problem or part of the solution!” If more than 10 of these apply you may need a crash course in updating your skills and tools. Sources of Candidates:

    • You have no demographic “profiles” of your target candidates so that you know their job “acceptance criteria as well as what they read, sites they surf and their interests


  • You find more candidates from “job boards” than from other types of web sites
  • You find a significant number of your candidates at job fairs
  • You recruit and source only in the U.S.
  • When you visit a campus you get most of your hires through a visit at the career planning center. No professor knows you on a first name basis
  • You use newspaper want ads as a primary source of candidates
  • You primarily target active candidates (not passive ones)
  • You have not used “subtle” recruiting tools like attending professional seminars and non-professional social events (Ex. beer festivals and home shows)
  • You routinely captures names for a continuous recruiting database as well as complete resumes

Screening and Assessing Candidates:

  • You believe in giving a manager more than 5 resumes for each position
  • You sit in on a majority of the candidate interviews
  • You don’t at least do behavioral interviews or targeted selection
  • You do the standard 3 reference checks
  • You never use simulations or work sample exercises

Use of Technology:

  • You had no role in developing your firms web site
  • You get less than 30% of your hires from the web
  • You have never used “spiders” or “worms” to search the web
  • You have never used a Resumix/Restrac type system


  • You measure your success by the number of requisitions you fill
  • You don’t track the performance and retention rates of your hires. You put more emphasis on the cost of the hire than on the quality and the performance of the hire
  • You do not continually evaluate the success rate of each tool and source you use so you can change the allocation of your time accordingly
  • You do not routinely gather customer satisfaction information from managers and applicants

Working with Line Managers:

  • You spend less than 10% of your time coaching and training managers on employment issues and helping managers understand the economic value of great recruiting
  • You do not prioritize managers and jobs based on business needs
  • You don’t survey turn downs to find out why applicants say “no”
  • You believe you “own” and are responsible for recruiting and that your job is to provide candidates to managers

Strategy and Process:

  • You start recruiting only when a req is opened
  • You demand a resume before you will begin the screening process for a candidate
  • You do not forecast future employment needs or the available supply
  • You have no applicant pool or pre-qualified candidate lists
  • When a finalist candidate is not selected you have no tool for keeping in touch with them on a regular basis
  • You do not benchmark your strategy/ approach against your competitors
  • When you reject an qualified applicant you do not provide them with useful feedback on what they must do before they re-apply
  • You hire all candidates at the same speed. You have no “expedited” process. Your time to fill (make a hiring decision) is more than 30 days for key positions
  • You treat all jobs and hiring managers the same. You do not prioritize your “key” jobs and you do not vary your recruiting and selection process for each type of hire. You do not treat IT employees any differently than other employees
  • You do not coordinate your recruiting activities with the firms PR and marketing efforts
  • You do not have “technical advisors” or mentors to help you tailor your strategy to better fit the needs of managers, GenXer’s and diverse candidates
  • You have not used mailing lists, direct mail marketing strategies or TV and Radio to target currently employed people


  • You have never taken a marketing course or you do not consider yourself a marketing expert
  • You do not have a written continuous learning and growth plan for yourself
  • You are not a subscriber to any electronic recruiting “listserver” (such ascorp-rec)
  • You are not a member of EMA or a similar professional organization
  • You do not know the top selling product, top customers and main competitors of our business

*Remember these are only guidelines and “the way you are” may be more a function of what your boss lets you do rather than what you are capable of doing!

About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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