Irrational behavior in recruitment

Lately on LinkedIn, I came across two articles which I found both insightful and depressing.

The first one was written by Susan P Joyce with the title “The Mistake That Can Ruin Your Job Search” (, [read on July 16th 2014]), explaining why recruiters could discard an ideal candidate because someone else sharing the same name had previously misbehaved.

The second one, “Why Recruiters Hire the Wrong People”, written by Maurice Ewing (, [read on July 16th 2014]) was about the right people being kept away from a position due to recruiters’ biased hiring methods.

My first reaction was: how can companies discarding candidates with huge potential for no reason and leaving them available for their worst competitors be that successful? Are they really successful, by the way? How much money did they miss because of irrational behavior? Do their owners/shareholders know about it?

As often stated in different contexts, companies are often scrutinized in order to get answers to certain questions. Is this company worth to work for? How much profit is it expected to make? By recruiting the wrong staff, a business exposes itself to two major risks, the first one being to recruit someone who will ruin the team spirit, which would push/keep the real talents away, the second one being to make significant losses. Indeed, recruiting the wrong person is expensive (According to the Assessio recruitment company, the numbers vary, but it is at least several ten thousand US dollars. In Swedish. Online [read on July 16th 2014]:

Now, I understand that recruiters and employers are flooded with applications, and the necessity of automatically sorting them out is not in question here. One thing comes to mind, though: since this process discards talents arbitrarily, is it necessary to add irrationality to waste?

But let’s not leave with a negative feeling. Many recruitments work well and many businesses do thrive. In fact, a useful tip for jobseekers would be to spot successful companies. The latter usually implies the former.


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