7 Hiring Myths that Could Be Hurting Your Recruitment Efforts

Hiring myths have a way of spreading like urban legends around a campfire. While urban legends are typically harmless, falling into the trap of believing the wrong hiring myths can negatively impact your hiring process and make you miss out on great candidates. 

We want to shed a little light on the most common myths we hear from our clients and debunk them. Are you ready to approach recruitment with a fresh perspective? Let’s see if you’ve been tricked into believing any of these common misconceptions. 

Myth #1: “No one wants to work anymore.”

A tale as old as time – maybe you’ve said it yourself while in the midst of a stressful applicant shortage. Maybe you’ve heard colleagues utter the sentiment while wondering why they can’t fill their open roles. 

Some of our clients tell us they worry that some people are only applying to jobs to reach an application quota so that they can still accept unemployment benefits. Some employers believe that people aren’t applying because newer generations have less drive. 

No matter the reasons you might think “no one wants to work anymore,” the data simply doesn’t back this statement up. Unemployment has remained at an all-time low in the last year. With some states seeing the lowest rates of unemployment in their entire history. 

So what’s really going on? 

Job seekers have more options these days. And the global pandemic ignited a widespread reevaluation of our relationships to work. This means that people do want to work, but on their own terms. Instead of settling for challenging jobs that pay low wages, applicants are focusing on better roles. Companies with better work-life balance policies, great benefits, and compensation listed in their job postings are the ones seeing a steady flow of applicants that are more than willing to work.  

Myth #2: “Job boards are the best source of applicants.”

When you need to make a hire, you likely turn to popular job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc. These are, of course, great places to find the largest volume of applicants. But despite being the source of the most applicants, job boards do not produce hires at nearly the same rate as other sources.

The chart below from our 2022 Recruiting Metrics Report, shows the rates of which applicants become hires through various sources:

Applicants who apply from job boards are more likely to be sending out dozens applications in short order, with less consideration for their qualifications for the role or their interest in the specific job. By comparison, an applicant who takes the time to research a role and apply directly through a company careers page is more likely to have spent time considering their own fit for the role and the company.

To really optimize your hiring process, it’s important to recruit from a variety of sources, especially employee referrals and custom sources, like industry-specific job boards. A great careers page, which you can build in our hiring software can also bring you more applicants and hires.

company careers page example

Myth #3 “You should only recruit when you have an open position.” 

Most employers only recruit when they have an open position, which makes sense right? But when you think about it, the most stressful time to be looking for the right candidate is when you have an open role that you needed filled yesterday! One of our mottos is: Always be hiring.

state farm agent

CareerPlug client and State Farm Agent Isaias Ruiz has seen hiring success using this method and shares his advice for hiring insurance agents: “I know as an Agent, you have a million things to do, and a million things to worry about, but without a constant funnel of team member prospects, you’re kind of spinning the wheel. You have to make sure that you’re always keeping that funnel filled even when you’re not hiring.”

“Even if you think ‘my team is solid,’ or ‘I can’t afford to hire anybody right now’ — you never know. In my first three months, I lost over 50% of my team and I didn’t think that was going to happen,” Ruiz says.

Passive recruiting year-round makes it easier to find people to fill open roles when they come up unexpectedly. Always look out for talented people, and keep in touch with other applicants from the past. 

For our clients, we recommend always having a passive job posting up — this is a job posted only to your careers page (not job boards) with a status of “Accepting for Future Openings.” A job of this type indicates that you are passively recruiting and will reach out to candidates when an opening becomes available.

Passive recruiting helps you keep more candidates in your hiring pipeline, which gives you more options when it’s actually time to make a hire. 

Myth #4: “Candidates are the only ones that are ghosting.”

Candidate ghosting is a big problem these days. Many employers struggle with taking the time to review applications and schedule an interview or phone screen, only to have the candidate seemingly disappear from the face of the earth. 

But guess what… Candidates aren’t the only ones that are ghosting. 

Employers are also guilty of a lack of communication in a hiring process. In fact, many never respond to applicants or fall out of touch after a few back and forth emails. One study found that 75% of candidates have been ghosted by an employer after an interview. Ouch! 

This isn’t a good look for your business. Candidate experience matters whether you want to hire someone or not. The way you treat applicants impacts your employer brand, meaning it could negatively affect your ability to recruit other candidates in the future. 

We know that you’re busy, but don’t forget to keep all candidates engaged throughout the hiring process. Improve your communication during the hiring process with text recruiting. Better yet – use an applicant tracking system like CareerPlug to automate communication for you. 

Myth #5: “Gaps in a resume are a bad sign.” 

At first glance, gaps in a candidate’s resume might be concerning. You might think it suggests that the candidate wasn’t able to hold a job or maybe they aren’t as committed to their careers as you’d like. 

We strongly urge you to change this perception, and consider that gaps in a resume actually say very little about a candidate’s professional trajectory. 

Many people have to take extended breaks from work for a variety of reasons. Maybe a candidate took off to care for a sick loved one, to raise a child, or to travel and see the world! None of these things should affect your willingness to hire them. 

Don’t believe the myth that gaps in a resume are bad. Instead, when reviewing resumes, focus on the experience a candidate does have and whether or not it matches the criteria you are looking for. 

Myth #6: “The right candidate will fill out a long application.” 

You may think that the candidates worth hiring are the ones that are willing to undergo a long application process and prove to you that they are committed to your open role. But in reality, job seekers have more options than ever these days, and the best candidates know their time is valuable. This means that many job seekers will abandon applications that take too much of their time in favor of shorter, less complicated applications. 

Applications should be easy to complete. Here are some tips to simplify your applications: 

  • Don’t make applicants create a login to fill one out, or worse – re-enter all the same information that’s in their resume. 
  • Limit pre-screen questions to two or three.
  • Don’t ask candidates for any sensitive information like social security numbers. 

Lastly, since nearly 86% of candidates use their smartphones for job searching, a mobile-friendly application experience is crucial. 

How would you rate your current application experience? Click the button below to download our Application Grader to make sure that your application isn’t scaring away great candidates. 

Myth #7: “You should hold out for the candidate who has the exact experience you’re looking for.”

The perfect candidate might be as much of a myth as unicorns and mermaids. Many employers fall into the trap of thinking that they should hold out for someone who’s resume perfectly matches their job description. 

And sure, sometimes you actually need certain professional experience like licenses or a degree, but other times, holding applicants to too high of a standard only slows down (or brings to a screeching halt) your hiring process. For example, when you say that a candidate needs to have at least 5 years of experience for a role, does that mean you would overlook a candidate with 2 years of experience? 

Instead, consider hiring for growth potential. Look for a proven track record of growth and evaluate for soft skills that you know will make someone successful in a role. A resume doesn’t always tell the whole story, and it could be worth your time to get to know more about a candidate with an initial phone screen or interview.

For more on how to hire for growth potential, check out this video from our Senior Director of People, Natalie Morgan: 

Did you believe any of these hiring myths?

Whether you’re new to hiring or have been recruiting for awhile, sometimes it can be refreshing to take a look at your hiring beliefs and make sure they aren’t holding you back. 

Letting go of common hiring myths can help you improve your hiring process and reach the right candidates. 

Does your hiring process need some work?

Let our hiring experts help you separate fact from fiction, and improve your hiring process with our easy-to-use software built on a proven playbook for recruitment success. Click the button below to get started.


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