Whether in a job description when a recruiter initially reaches out, during the interview or in the follow-up, some phrases that staffers use can sound like generic stock expressions, and the candidate usually eye-rolls behind the screen. If you’re a recruiter, check out these phrases that you should remove from your lingo.

“We’ll be in touch”

This is a very nonchalant way for someone to tell a candidate what they want to hear without any concrete timelines. Sure, we’ll get back to you. But only if we don’t forget about you by the end of the week. Ensure you are direct with candidates. Be honest about communication timelines and confront any issues that preclude a candidate from moving forward right then and there. They will ultimately appreciate you not wasting their time.

“There are opportunities for growth and development.”

OMG NO WAY! This isn’t a mundane role where my skills will remain stagnant? That’s crazy. Most companies say this to attract talent but don’t have the evidence to back it up. If you need to say this, or something similar, include examples to show candidates that you mean business. For example, talk about situations where an employee was promoted. Let them in on the times where a candidate was working on contract but transitioned to working for business development on a part time basis, and eventually moving to corporate staff full time. Talk about percentages of employees who have fully utilized their education benefits, and that your company supports employee’s development.

“There aren’t any candidates that fit!”

Sure, your position may be tough to fill. Ridiculous requirements for the rate. An area that no one wants to relocate to. Even if you reach out to hundreds of candidates without a nibble on the current role offered, it’s time to get creative. Talk to your executive team about a sign on bonus. See If you have a current employee who may work for the position that you can incentivize, and then backfill their maybe easier-to-fill position. Ask for a waiver from the customer on requirements. Carpe diem and seize the loopholes. Not the excuses.

“We need a Rockstar”

Man, am I guilty of using this one. I also still insert ‘guru’ after words like recruiting or staffing that hold no meaning because I give these titles to myself. Instead of ‘Rockstar’, you can probably think of other, better comparisons. Are you really looking for a Rockstar who can shred on the guitar? Wail like Janis Joplin? Or are you looking for a competent Intelligence Analyst that likes pulling at threads? It’s an interview…not an audition.

 “At xxxx company, we work hard, play harder.”

OR insert any other overused saying that makes you want to vomit.

Please. Just don’t. No one wants to hear the same cliché that the last recruiter probably told them or that is plastered across their social media pages with marketing stock photos of very happy employees. Get real. Ask candidates what they care about, and then talk about what the company can actually deliver.




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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸