Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

Recruitment Myths Debunked: 7 Lies You’ve Been Told…

By Charles Trivett | Aug 18, 2015 | Attracting Staff
signs saying myth and fact

Stuart Miles at

What’s your business’s most important asset?

Your amazing product? Your creative branding? Your state-of-the-art equipment?

Think again. It’s your staff, of course!

Having a great team, who genuinely care about your business and work hard to make it successful, is the biggest advantage that you can possibly have.

So how do you assemble such a loyal, skilled and exceptional team?

Unfortunately, there’s an absolute mass of misinformation out there about how to recruit the right staff… and today, we’re on a mission to expose those lies.

Behold, the (7) most popular recruitment myths and exactly why you should NEVER believe them!

1. All You Need Is a Simple Job Advert.

social media words made into a tree shape

Sujin Jetkasettakorn at

…and the relevant applications will come pouring in!

It is, of course, really important to get your job advert out there on the job boards (to find out how to write a great job advert, click here) but this is just the first step of an efficient recruitment drive.

You should also be considering other means of recruiting like, for example, social media.

LinkedIn research suggests that only 15% of fully-employed individuals are completely satisfied in their current employment (not willing to change jobs).

However only 25% are actively looking for a new job, which means that (according to LinkedIn) 60% of working people would be willing to consider changing jobs if the right opportunity was presented to them.

Recruiter Pro Tip.

One of the most efficient ways to hunt down passive candidates (but by no means the only way) is by using social media.

In fact, 93% of recruiters will use social media as an important part of their recruitment process.

To find out why you should be one of them, head over to our recent blog: The 8 Crucial Benefits of Social Media Recruiting

So, if you merely publish a job advert on a few job boards, then you’re potentially not going to reach that huge pool of passive candidates.

2. Every Job MUST Be Advertised Externally.

Magnifying glass on staff member - recruitment myths

iosphere at

Many hiring managers prefer to advertise jobs externally because they think more (and often better) people will respond and they hope to bring a ‘breath of fresh air’ to the company.

But sometimes the best person for the job really is already in your organisation… and it’s 18% cheaper to promote them!

Combine that with the fact that external hires are also 61% more likely to get sacked (according a this US study) and it’s clear that a little internal investigation should be your first step during recruitment.

At the very least, you should consider a combination of external and internal job advertisements.

3. It’s All About IQ.

A brain with a question mark coming out of it in a speech bubble

Boaz Yiftach at

It’s really easy to fall into the trap of making hiring decisions, based entirely on education, grades and proven intelligence.

But… there are plenty of cautionary tales out there to advise you not to do, just that.

In fact, Enron Corporation became famous for hiring the brightest graduates and thrusting them into positions that they (quite obviously) weren’t ready for.

Promotions were pretty much given on a whim (if you asked for one, you got it) on the assumption that bright individuals, with high IQs were bound to find their own way and make the company successful.

It didn’t work out that way and the company soon sank into bankruptcy. Check out the full story here.

A good hiring manager or recruitment consultant will look past all of the scores and evaluate each person’s ability to fit into a team, their work history and personal traits.

4. You Should Only Recruit When You Need Staff.

Why wait until you need staff, to try and recruit staff..? Seems like a stupid question right?

Perhaps not.

In The War For Talent, Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod surveyed thousands of business executives (in the US) and found that the 18 most successful companies, never actually stopped looking for top talent; they were constantly on the lookout for new additions to their team.

shopping for brains

atibodyphoto at

Recruiter Pro Tip.

This may seem like overkill if you’re a hiring manager for a very small business… of course, not everyone can afford to hire staff on a whim.

But that’s where your talent pipeline comes up.

Having your own database filled with relevant, appealing and engaged candidates that you could contact should any opportunities arise, will really streamline your recruitment process.

(If you’d like to find out more, check out our blog: 4 Reasons Why You Might Need a Talent Pipeline).

If you do have the capacity, then creating jobs and spaces for potential superstar staff members (rather than rushing with last-minute recruitment) is guaranteed to improve the calibre of your team!

5. Hiring Multiple Agencies Will Aid Your Recruitment.

lots of people eyeing up woman - competitive stances

imagerymajestic at

With the rise of job boards and CV databases, recruitment has changed completely.

Gone are the days when a job candidate would sign up to one recruitment agency alone and it would be in your favour to hire multiple agencies all at once, to reach more people.

These days (and particularly for more sought-after job vacancies) if you put out a good job advert then recruiters will receive a huge amount of responses… so do you really want 5 different agencies sending you masses of ‘suitable’ CVs (often duplicated) all at once?

(Good) agencies are more than equipped to find top talent, so it’s much better to choose one, who’ll get to know your company, culture and desirable candidate characteristics, than attempt the trigger-happy approach.

6. It’s All Done By Computers These Days!

a man typing on a computer with cartoons of people coming out

jannoon028 at

Yes, it’s true, the recruitment industry has embraced the digital age.

Computers, social media, applicant tracking and scoring systems allow consultants to search thousands of prospects for each and every job at the touch of a button, but the human touch is still an essential part of the process.

A good recruitment consultant won’t just find CVs and blast them over to you… they’ll take the time to ring each applicant and find out more about their personality, character and passions, assessing each on how well they might fit into your corporate culture.

Recruitment is not simply a ‘by the numbers’ business and any attempt to reduce the search for talent to pure algorithm is destined to fail.

7. Everyone is Desperate For A Job…

doll on knees holding up money (pleading)

zirconicusso at

…So you can offer less!

The salary you offer is of course your choice, however, it’s really important to remember that the very best candidates will always be in demand.

Whether the market is depressed, unemployment soars or you think you’re advertising a highly sought-after job and have received thousands of applications, the cream of the crop will ALWAYS have the power to turn down a sub-par salary package.

Because they’re good enough to do it.

Clever hiring managers will offer just that little bit extra salary to attract the best people to their business and get a higher ROI in the long run.

Don’t forget, Britain is currently facing a skills shortage too, so if you’re in a growth industry and want to attract the best, you better be prepared to pay for the privilege!

(Click here, if you’d like to find out more about recruiting, despite the annoying skills shortage).


To ensure that you’re truly getting the most out of your recruitment drive, it is really important to separate the lies, the myths and the rumours from the truth… and the above list should help you to do just that!

Of course, there are still other places where you can go wrong…

Recruiter Pro Tip. 

Here are the most common mistakes that hiring managers make during the recruitment process…

  • Providing an incomplete job description.
  • Poor screening of CVs.
  • Being unprofessional during interviews.
  • Not getting the rest of the team involved
  • Lack of time-frame.
  • Lack of focus on during on-boarding.

Luckily, we’ve written an entire blog post to help you avoid these mistakes.

If you’d like to read more about how to attract and assess great job applicants (including heaps of sample interview questions) click here to sign up to our blog and we’ll send you an email every Tuesday, revealing everything you need to know.

Good luck recruiting.

- Charles Trivett
Charles - blog author

Charles Trivett

Charles heads up Coburg Banks’ IT Division, and has worked in recruitment for nearly 20 years.  His knowledge of how to optimise and get the most from a recruitment campaign is second to none, and he now works with a select handful of clients in maximising their recruitment ROI.

> More blog posts by Charles Trivett

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