Critical Hiring Mistake #4 – Business Buzzword BINGO


So here we are at Critical Mistake #4 that can sabotage your growth efforts.

We’ve already talked about number one, leading by talking about yourself, leading with describing your company and what your company does.

And we’ve also talked about giving the entire life story of your company in your job ad, how you want to try to trim that down to just the most important facts and things that are going to really appeal to your ideal candidate.

And then number three, we talked about how you should stop Unicorn Hunting. Don’t list required skills and responsibilities that aren’t really required. Don’t have that laundry list of 20, 25 things that you’d be very hard pressed to find somebody who actually has every single one of those skills.

So for critical mistake number four, I want to talk to you about Buzzword Bingo.

You know, in the business world we talk about business buzzwords a lot. You know, things like the phrases “At the end of the day” and being “self motivated” and “synergy,” and all those sorts of things that are so overused these days in conversations, that they’ve kind of lost their meeting and their importance.

And sadly, you find these a lot in the recruiting world as well, and not just in job ads, but also with applicants.

You see resumes that are just chock full of these words like “driven”, “motivated”, “multitalented”, “a multitasker”, things that really are so commonplace, so overused that your brain no longer even registers them as important descriptors.

And there’s so many job ads that start out with, “We’re looking for a highly motivated individual to join our engineering team,” or “We’re seeking a highly motivated self starter to join us as an executive assistant.”

Can you tell me what that even really means?

Everybody’s motivated by something. Maybe they’re motivated by money. Maybe they’re motivated by status and significance. Maybe they’re motivated by learning and growth. To just say, “We’re looking for a highly motivated individual” doesn’t really tell your candidate at anything at all.

Multitalented? that’s really descriptive, isn’t it? Hopefully everybody has more than one thing that they’re at least a little bit talented at.

Look through the way that you market your opportunity. Do a serious audit of it and see if there are other words that you can use. Instead of “motivated self-starter”, what is another way that you could get the point across that you really want and more precisely define what you actually mean?

So again, avoid Buzzword Bingo. Stop using these words that are so tired and overused and have really lost the impact and the meaning that you want them to have. Even though you have the best of intentions, instead find a better way to describe what you actually mean so that it actually registers with your candidates and doesn’t just make their eyes glaze over.

I look forward to having you back for Critical Mistake #5.