Recruiters, 10 Things To Leave In 2021

by | Dec 29, 2021

Tough love to set you up for success in 2022 💪🏻

It’s true, there are more than 10 things I’d like the recruitment profession to ditch. It’s also true that what follows is blunt but if I inspire you to be the best recruiter you can be, then I will have improved the recruitment experience for the people’s lives you touch. 💜

In no particular order, please drop these 10 things…

1. Being replaceable

Which one of the following do you think can be replaced by tech and automation? 🤖

Recruiters, 10 Things To Leave In 2021 Katrina Collier

To succeed in 2022, you need to be a recruitment partner. It’s time to demand proper intakes from your hiring managers (Chapter 5), and to set boundaries and SLAs that give you the opportunity to do your most important job, hiring the people that make your company or client’s company succeed.

If you want to develop into a true Recruitment Partner next year, get onto the waiting list for my Mastermind programme, opening early 2022.

2. Your hiring manager’s bias

Is it really so hard to hire people at the moment or is it because you are allowing the hiring manager to dictate all sorts of conditions that feed their biases? 😓 Ouch.

Their ethnic, gender and neurodiversity biases will (hopefully) leap out at you but there are more. Does that gap really matter? Is there really a reason for the criminal record box on that application? Do they even need a degree or education specifically from those Universities? Do entry level positions really need 2+ years of experience? What’s so wrong with offering true flexibility or job shares? And what about opening the pool to Radicals (see below)? Etc.

In the intake, push back. Question. Delve. Use data. Use research. Influence. But don’t allow your hiring managers to close the door on a life you could change. A human who will, in my case, still thank you 17 years later because you pushed back and got the right person hired.

3. InMauling


verb \ˈin-mȯl-iŋ\

To beat, bruise, mangle, handle roughly or otherwise cause varying degrees of emotional or physical harm, by using the LinkedIn platform to dispatch spam, phishing content, sales material, or galactically erroneous job availability to an individual via a message. First defined in 2015 by Steve Levy.


If people aren’t answering your InMails, it could be because you are trying to get their attention on the wrong platform or it could be that your message sucks. [Chapter 7]

The easiest way to find out where your future recruits are active online is to ask them. Ask your colleagues or ask your candidates. Then learn how to message them there… but only after you’ve used the information you gained in your Intake Strategy Session [Chapter 5] to create a message that people want to reply to.

4. Whiny posts

Right here on LinkedIn, I regularly see posts from recruiters moaning about the behaviour of others. As annoying as it might be, people don’t need to read your long job advertisement before they apply, nor do they need to reply to your message, or stay in the recruitment process. Quit moaning about irrelevant applicants, declined offers, ghosting candidates etc.

It’s part of the job. Not an easy part of the job, true. But it is.

Instead, focus on what you can control. What things are in your sphere of control? Look back at the times that you have felt frustrated by a candidate or hiring manager’s behaviour or decision. What could you have done differently? What is in your power to change? Where do you need to try a different way? Get brutally honest with yourself.

And what can you influence? You can influence your hiring managers by partnering with them [see my last post]. You can influence candidates by giving them all the information they need to make an informed decision.

But you cannot control the outcome. That is ‘everything else’ so if you’re thinking about complaining on social, instead take a deep breath and look back at what you can or cannot change about the situation, and use it to change your future behaviour or to let it go.

5. Clickbait valueless posts

There’s a wonderful hit of dopamine that comes when we share a post and receive countless reactions and comments. Every notification making us feel good. But if your post isn’t adding value to the people you are looking to recruit, why share it?

Before you hit post or launch yet another poll, consider whether it is of value to the people you are wanting to attract to your roles, and even if you’re posting on the right platform.

6. Believing everything ‘thought leaders’ post

For example, a ‘thought leader’ makes the unfounded claim that you should never just phone someone. They probably only say it because they don’t like receiving calls. But only the person you are trying to contact knows how they like to be communicated with.

As a recruiter, your job is to be open and communicable on all platforms, which is a lot. But if you think a candidate is relevant for your role, try multiple methods. And yes, one of those could include a phone call, or SMS or Twitter DM, or WhatsApp or email or snail mail or even a carrier pigeon. Okay, probably not the last one.

And no, you don’t need to believe my posts either. But do at least consider if you’re casting your ‘candidate net’ small because of your own communication preferences.

7. Complicating the hiring process with 💩 tech

Remove the obstacles to hiring by walking through your recruitment process on your laptop and mobile, and getting rid of all the tech that is hindering the process. Only use tech that will save you and the hiring manager time, money and hassle, and that puts the human first.

A bold statement, and easier said than done, but this is a candidate’s market. You need to make it easier to connect with the human, and to connect the right human with the job.

8. Losing people due to silly processes

Agree an interview and feedback process in the intake strategy session and stick to it. And if your hiring manager is consistently changing it, you must work out why. Do they need support, coaching or training? Do they need more understanding of the marketplace? Fix it.

Ensure that you and your hiring manager work with speed (I know! Hence the Mastermind), and provide as much clarity and certainty as you possibly can to candidates, and coach your hiring managers to sell the role and future career path and development possibilities.

Unfortunately, you will always lose people in the recruitment process. But learn from those who have high offer to acceptance rates, like Clive (below) who posts about it.

9. Recruiter ghosting

I wrote a whole article about recruiter ghosting leaving candidates feeling down or depressed. Do we really want to leave people feeling down or depressed after the last few years? 😢

10. Forgetting we can make an impact, even in this!

There’s something so wonderful that happens when we pay-it-forward, and don’t we all need more of that in 2022? For inspiration, check out how some of your peers do it.

  • Emma Freivogal: the phenomenon behind not-for-profit Radical Recruit, who with her team have placed 270+ Radicals, who experience intersecting disadvantages and significant barriers, into meaningful and paid work. And they have supported 56 rough sleeper Radicals, with no recourse to public funds, to come off the streets, secure permanent employment and move into stable accommodation. Check this out 💛
  • Neal El-Jor: who co-founded Jobs for Lebanon, a citizen-led economic initiative, that calls on the Lebanese diaspora to create an alternative economy to help solve the economic crisis ravaging the country.
  • Alla Pavlova: by launching WAN party, Alla helped 1000+ sourcers in 2021 and is going to continue these free sessions! She has personally helped me by sending me hiring managers to interview on The Hiring Partner Perspective podcast too. 💜🙏🏻
  • Amy Miller: recruiting truth teller and slayer of myths who, when not finding satellite engineers, shares helpful videos for job seekers & recruiters on her YouTube channel. Starting just a year ago, she has 5k followers so she’s doing something right.
  • Clive Smart: Not only has he won Sky Betting & Gaming 2021 Colleagues’ Choice Award for being the Inclusion Champion of the Year, he consistently posts advice for other recruiters and bigs up his team. He does a ton of other great things; go look.
  • And, I am an Ambassador for Hope for Justice, raising money in many ways including by donating the royalties from my book, The Robot-Proof Recruiter, to the charity (a reason I plug it so much!) Twice, I have been to Uganda to help the amazing staff and carers, people who work tirelessly to end modern-day slavery, which impacts over 40 million people globally.

There are many more I could add, including those listed in Chapter 1. Fabulous humans! 💜

What magic could you weave into your work in 2022? What small change could you make that would significantly help others?


Wishing everyone who takes the time to read my words, share my articles, comment and subscribe, the most wonderful 2022. After the last few years, the only way is up, surely? 🤞🏻 🥳


Originally posted on LinkedIn as part of the Recruitment Isn’t Broken newsletter.



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