I Recruit, Therefore I Am

The Do No Use File

Yesterday my world of Recruitment started the same as every other day.

I went through my normal routine, read my resumes, made my phone calls, left my messages, sent my e mails and was ready to call it a day when Bala called.

The red light on the top of the phone blinked. I had left Bala a message earlier and wanted to speak to him about a position he had applied for.

The dial tone passed it’s second ring. Almost the end of the day. Do I grab it before it goes to voicemail? This position needs to get filled.

I answered.


Today my world of Recruitment will forever be a little bit different.

If you are a Recruiter and reading this, please do yourself, me and everyone else a little favour and STOP whatever else you are doing.

Now go to your Inbox, right click, and make a new folder.

This is your DO NOT USE Folder.

Do Not UseRecruiters have all the tools in the world provided for them to keep track of their candidates. They are given databases to store resumes, notes, documents, reminders, etc. They can manipulate searches to turn up any kind of resume they are looking for. They can create folders to store groups of similar resumes.

And they use these tools. Every day. Because a Recruiter’s job is to always ensure they know about the best talent, what they do, where they are doing it, for how much, who they are, what makes them happy, what would make them even happier, and so on. Recruitment is a game of separating the good from the bad.

And yet, maybe it is because we are all unapologetic optimists or nice Canadians that don’t want to rock the boat in any way shape or form,

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But we only ever seem to focus our efforts on keeping track of the good candidates.

A good candidate is always handled with grace and care. A bad candidate is usually given no more effort than that which it takes to click the Delete button.


But why?

Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite weighed in a few years ago with the following “The U.S. Department of Labor currently estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the individual’s first-year potential earnings. That means a single bad hire with an annual income of $50,000 can equal a potential $15,000 loss for the employer.”

TekSystems estimate that the average cost of bad hiring in the U.S. can average in the range of $300 Billion.

300 Billion Dollars!!!

Dr Evil

This is a simple cost that Recruiters can easily have a huge impact on, just by doing their jobs a little better.

Which is why today, my Inbox has a Do Not Use Folder

And why Bala is the first candidate going in it.


The Do Not Use Folder is a powerful tool that gives the Recruiter the capacity to make executive decisions. Talked to a candidate that wan’t very good, sounded a bit dogey, admitted something just a little too shifty for your liking?

Put them in the Do No Use Folder.

You work hard for your company. Make an impact by taking a stand against bad prospective employees. The Do Not Use Folder makes a Recruiter far more than a paper pusher. It makes them a gate-keeper.


To encounter these people and do nothing is to empower them to get away with their actions. If their conduct is not properly recorded and communicated to the applicable party, what is stopping them from getting away with it somewhere else?

So what about Bala?

I answered the phone and went about my standard routine. I confirmed his current position was indeed still his current position and then asked him to tell me more about it.

When he was done he had told me about the position he was hired for, but nothing about the one his resume claimed he held.

“What about this experience?” I asked.

“I do not have experience in this field,” he replied.

I was shocked.

“So what about this?” I asked, reading off a few points from his resume.

“No, I do not have formal experience in this.”

“So hold on a minute,” I paused him in disbelief.” You’re telling me that from [date] to [date] you did not hold the position of [job]?”

“That is correct.” He replied.

“So why does it say otherwise on your resume?”

He gave an excuse about how it is a field he was hoping to get into and crafted the resume based on his understanding of what some of his colleges do [ed. he actually just copied and pasted lines directly from the job description].

Dumbfounded, I informed him that our conversation could no longer continue.

“I’m sorry to have wasted your time,” were his parting words to me.

“You’re wasting the time of anyone you send this resume to,” were mine to he.

And into the Do Not Use Folder he went, along with an e mail to the Recruitment team advising them not to take this fellow’s call, should he try to reach out directly to any of them.

We as Recruiters should take pride in our companies. We know how much the cost of one bad hire can be. We have the power to be the first people in the organization to have an impact on that number. Should we so choose.

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Michael Lippert

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