Recruiting Sucks… But It Doesn’t Have To

Recruitment Strategy

Let's face it: we'd all like to recruit better - to hire more efficiently, more authentically and ultimately, more successfully. That can be tricky when using the same methods that have been used for 50+ years! On this episode of ProjectHR, Steve Lowisz, author of Recruiting Sucks…But It Doesn’t Have To: Breaking Through the Myths That Got Us Here, explains:

  • How to break the recruitment myths that have locked us into our current process;
  • Why hiring for skills only takes a third of a candidate into consideration;
  • What Results-Based Interviewing is, and how it can help; and
  • The importance of communicating with hiring managers.
recruitment strategy

Steve Lowisz

   Recruitment Strategist

“If I'm a recruiter, whether I'm internal or external,  I am focused on, held accountable,  to what? To filling a number of roles. I am not held accountable to putting the right person in the right role for the right reason at the right time. Think about that.”

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Why Does Recruiting Suck?

  • Recruiters are often focused on the wrong things. 
  • There’s also very little education for recruiters about what recruiting really is. Recruiting isn’t just as simple as going onto LinkedIn or picking up the phone. There’s more to it than that, but not enough recruiters have the education they need.


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Why Are We Still Using Broken Recruiting Systems?

  • We’ve become so used to doing it the way we always have, that we don’t want to change, even though we know it’s broken.
  • You can think of it like eating unhealthy food: you know it’s bad for you, but you still do it.

What is the Cost of This Broken System?

  • Hiring the wrong people leads to a whole host of problems, including:
    • High turnover
    • Low morale
    • Poor customer service
    • Lack of efficiency

How Can We Change the System?

  • “If I'm a recruiter, whether I'm internal or external,  I am focused on, held accountable to what? To filling a number of roles. I am not held accountable to putting the right person in the right role for the right reason at the right time. Think about that.”
  • Recruiters are rewarded based on the numbers they produce, not for the quality of the hires. So they aren’t incentivized to find good people. 
  • By giving recruiters incentive to hire good candidates that do their jobs well and stay with the company, you’ll get better employees.

Recruiting Sucks

  • Steve has worked in recruiting for 25 years. 
  • The inspiration for the book came from a meeting he had with a CEO who, upon learning that Mr. Lowisz was a recruiter, declared that “Generally, recruiting sucks.” He then talked about all of his bad experiences with recruiters, prompting Steve to write this book.
  • The good news is, recruiting doesn’t have to suck.
  • Recruiting Sucks...But It Doesn't Have To: Breaking Through the Myths That Got Us Here is about fixing the broken recruiting process that we’ve all grown so accustomed to. 

What Are Some of the Myths Surrounding Recruitment Practices that the Book Tries to Break?

  • There are 6 myths discussed in the book.
  • The first myth is that “Skills are the most important thing.”
    • Job descriptions are filled with skills, skills, more skills, and education. 
    • But just because someone meets all of the skills requirements, doesn’t mean they’ll be able to succeed. 
    • A candidate is best represented by three factors, described in the book as their Head, their Heart and their Skills. Skills are one third of who a candidate is - by only focusing on skills, recruiters miss out on the other two thirds of a person. 
    • Mr. Lowisz emphasizes the need to look at a candidate as a whole person. This includes asking them about what’s important to them and what drives them. 

Results-Based Interviewing

  • Results-based interviewing rejects the idea that recruiters should only focus on a candidate’s skills.
  • Instead, a recruiter seeks to determine whether or not a candidate will actually successfully complete the objective of the job they’re applying for. 
  • Then, the recruiter leverages that against the Core Four, the four different pieces of a candidate:
    • Head 
    • Heart
    • Skills
    • Questions that help figure out what makes up the Head, Heart, and Skills of the candidate.

What About LinkedIn?

  • Myth #2 in the book is that “LinkedIn is the be all, end all of recruiting.”
    • LinkedIn does give recruiters access to a vast wealth of information, but it also means that all recruiters are recruiting from the same pool of candidates. 
    • Using LinkedIn alone can prevent a recruiter from finding the best candidate for a job.  
  • Myth #3: “Recruiters don’t need to be marketers.”
  • Recruiters need to learn how brands market by using psychology to attract people. 
  • Recruiters have to distinguish themselves from other recruiters who are trying to get candidates to apply. 

Connecting with the Candidate

  • “Without doing the job of connecting with the candidate and building a relationship, we can’t expect to hear answers that are completely truthful.”
  • Recruiting is about influencing people. To influence candidates, recruiters have to truly connect with them by thinking about the human being they are talking to.
  • “Don’t suck the human out of human resources.” 

The Five P’s that Drive Employees

  1. Purpose. What is the purpose in your career?
  2. People. Who are the people you enjoy working with?
  3. Process. How are you going to achieve your goal?
  4. Performance measurements. How will you get the performance you need?
  5. Profits. What are the profits that the business and the individuals see?


  • Authenticity has always been important for HR. You want candidates to trust you and your company. 
  • Recruiters should be honest with candidates about the potential challenges of the job and the workplace.

Communicating with Your Hiring Manager

  • Recruiters have to be upfront and maintain constant communication with their hiring managers. 
  • Overselling a candidate to a hiring leader just so you can fill a slot and get your commission is one of the problems with the typical model of recruitment. Honest conversations about performance are necessary for hiring successful employees.
  • In order to determine whether or not a candidate can perform the job successfully, you have to ask your hiring leader what a successful job performance means to them. 

Qualigence International

  • Mr. Lowisz joined an organization whose recruitment practices reflected performance-based hiring.
  • This company led to him starting Qualigence International in 1999.
  •  Qualigence does recruiting through a services-based model, as opposed to a commission-based model. 
  • They also do talent optimization to determine potential issues that a candidate could have in their new job and get them to perform the best they can.
  • They also provide leadership, sales, and HR development. 

Steve Lowisz Backstory

  • Studied Architecture at Lawrence Technological University.
  • He began his career as a Managing Director for Great Lakes Research.
  • He served as President of Research Corporation of America.
  • Mr. Lowisz is currently the Founder and CEO of Qualigence International, the largest recruitment research firm in the U.S.
  • He also currently serves as the Chief Trainer for Recruitment Education Institute, a Management Department Advisory Board Member for Walsh College and he is a contributor to the Forbes HR Council.
  • He’s the author of Recruiting Sucks...But It Doesn't Have To: Breaking Through the Myths That Got Us Here.


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