Let us both be honest, recruiters waste your time Mr HR Manager, well guess what, you do need to take some of the blame!

Recruiters waste your time, others waste your time and even funnier, you waste your own time!

Let us both accept, like you, good recruiters are busy, yet in a strange way and more about that later, we do both need to help or educate each other.

We each seek a move away from those desperate or “new” recruiter calls for business, the top candidate or “panacea profile” offers and the continued poor delivery or take-up.

So why are the most common outcomes, a lack of follow-up, a lot of anonymous profiles,  ones which are just plain wrong, a waste of your time and a real frustration?

Many believe as a direct result of the top 5 HR timewasters!

You may have your own so please add to the list or provide your top 5, your thoughts or comments are welcomed.

So in no particular order here are the top 5 HR timewasters:

1   Job Details Off The Website

What are the realistic chances of hiring someone based on a 5 minute call to you and a copy of your needs as per the website?  Why say it?

2   You Cannot Say No 

Do not be afraid, say No now, go on, how did it feel? It is really easy.

Any potential candidate call to HR needs joint discussion, more time commitments, a  follow-up with the hiring manager and others. If you cannot do this, or feel that the person you are speaking to does not know what they are doing, cut the cord, say “thanks but no thanks.”

3   Communicate When It Is Urgent Pick Up The Phone

An email does not always convey urgency, the number of polite ones I have received over the years asking to start a hiring assignment is close to a hundred. Time is lost, a 5 minute phone call conveys urgency, impact and the email can be used later.

4   Commit to Interview Good Candidates

Candidates need to be interviewed, those submitted after a discussion with HR and the Hiring Manager will at least be an 80% fit. After the first interview how many times do you or the hiring manager add something to the profile? A further qualifier for future candidate presentations. If you know this will happen, let us all get on with it, make a commitment to speak to a candidate and not just compare and contrast 3 or 5 CVs in a spreadsheet matrix.

5   Forgetting Quality Feedback 

This is part of any process to hire, the company, candidates and recruiters provide feedback. Yet the sort of feedback given can be as useless as “we like his skills but for the internal consultant role he needs to be stronger.”

An actual example where the candidate did not need to enrol in the gym, his presentation skills needed to be better for the target C-level audience. HR took over 4 days to secure that answer.

Recruiters use this information in the sourcing and screening process, a specific one liner as feedback is better than a general statement, nearly a week was lost by both sides.


To summarise, remembering these will cut short recruiter telephone calls, improve quality to hire and provide a good foundation for mutual understanding internally and externally with the recruiting community.

This links nicely to the start of the post, do you remember the third sentence about needing each other?

If you treat recruiters well, they can help you, not just in good times, supporting your employee branding and recruitment efforts.

You know average tenure is 4-5 years in a role or job, should things change at work, you are made redundant, who do you call for market advice or a potential job?

That could be one of the most important personal timesavers of all.