Embracing 'failure' in the recruitment process

Ever tried?


Ever failed?


No matter.


Try again.


Fail better...


Recruiters in general (and I include myself in this) talk a lot about ‘successes’ to our candidates and to our clients, we talk about the feeling you get when you land that dream role or when we hire the top performer that landed a huge project for your client in their first month.

What we do not tend to talk about are the ‘failures’. When the candidate didn’t get the job, when the client felt that the candidate’s skill set was in the wrong area and they didn’t make a hire.

Who wants to mull over that ‘rejection’, right?

We see an awful lot from ‘entrepreneurs’, business leaders and commentators talking about the successes that come from ‘failures’. I think it is incredibly important for all parties; employer, candidate and recruiter to address this ‘failure’ head on and learn from it to 'fail better'.




The interview didn’t go as you had planned, and you were unsuccessful in securing the role. It shouldn’t stop there.



Work with your recruiter to understand why this was - was it because you didn’t have a specific experience or skillset, was it because you didn’t give any specific examples in answering the questions, was it because you didn’t prepare well enough?

It could be a whole host of reasons and it is so important to understand why, as if you understand why, you can work with your recruiter to address this head on so that in your next interview, you have the best possible chance.


You did not fill your vacancy and you need someone in the next month as the current incumbent is leaving.



Did your recruitment partner not provide you with the right caliber of candidates? Did you not brief the recruiter on the specific role? Was the job description a stock one from a previous hire?

Again, it could be a whole host of reasons but a time investment here to investigate why, will save you a great deal of time for future hires.


You did not fill the vacancy and your client is not happy as the hire is time sensitive.



Again, a whole host of reasons – you didn’t ‘listen’ and ‘understand’ the brief properly, you didn’t get out and meet the candidates, you hadn’t been to your client’s office and ‘felt’ their culture, so how could you know who would suit it?

A deep dive here and an open and honest approach will be incredibly beneficial to your future recruitment.

All of this sounds simple, and it is, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, simple is often the most effective.

Address ‘failure’ head on - have the difficult conversations and learn…