Why Recruiters Hire the Wrong People, even in Turkey,

Strategy& Development

I would like to use most of the article’s original title written by Maurice Ewing. He is a Northwestern grad who is the CEO & Founder of Conquer that guides executives in overcoming the challenges and embracing the opportunities related to their own companies, their customers and their competitors using predictive analytics, market intelligence and cognitive science.

Here is the list of practices by recruiters and hiring managers that often lead them to hire the wrong people according to Maurice:

  1. Recruiters and hiring managers often aim to hire “prospective friends” rather than ideal candidates
  2. Recruiters rarely evaluate thecontext of a job applicant’s history, challenges or achievements
  3. Recruiters are likely to hire liars
  4. Recruiters look for the wrong traits when analyzing social media profiles to screen applicants
  5. Recruiters tend to hire people with better looks (often based upon the perception of others) and discriminate against those with physical defects
  6. Recruiters could be concerned more about the way you physically MOVE (yes, move) during interviews than with what you say
  7. Recruiters love people who love themselves
  8. Recruiters may evaluate candidates like gamblers of roulette
  9. Recruiters are biasedagainst video interviewers

As it is seen, recruitment processes seems to be subjective. Don’t we need to be objective while hiring a new talent or at least a new colleague to our team/organization?

A Michael Page article wrote by Ben who is the Professor of Personal & Organizational Development at the University of Hertfordshire is about “The mistakes employers make when selecting candidates for a job”

  • Inadequate specification of needs
  • Believing that you do not need the professionals
  • Internal company politics
  • Wanting the impossible or the very unlikely
  • Not staying focused on need
  • Poor selection from amongst the possible

7)       Hiring what you know, not the best


Finding your chit-chat friend is costly then you think

James Callander, Managing Director of FreshMinds Talent mentioned that the cost implications of recruiting the wrong person are extremely high: recruiting costs a company approximately 25% in basic annual salary of the employee, plus the cost of time spent interviewing the candidate and then the cost of making them redundant.


But why we are making these bunches of mistakes during the recruitment processes? My findings represent the general problems of recruitment in any company. There are some minor differences in local practices. However it won’t be difficult for you to adapt them to your company.

In general the recruitment process in Turkey is listed below:

For students

  • Campus recruitment days

–          Internship programs

For new grads


  • CV selection
  • Interview with HR
  • Personality Somatic Test
  • Ability Test
  • Department Interview
  • Head of Division Interview

–          References if necessary


For experienced professionals


  • CV selection
  • Interview with HR
  • Personality Somatic Test
  • Ability Test
  • Department Interview
  • Head of Division Interview

–          References


For executives

  • CV selection
  • Reference check
  • HR interview

–          Meeting with the executives in the office or at the lunch


Example: A new grad story:

The university graduation age in Turkey is around 22-23. If a postgraduate degree is qualified then it is around 23-24.

Case: Companies would like to invite the interview mostly the top tier university grads every year. The best university list is not changed year by year and the list is mostly accurate. However, the selection is based on an examination system which is not stable and develops many questions every year. Recruiters trust the unequal conditions (exam) to give them the best candidates.


As Turkey has very large number of university grads, we all accept that CV selection is a very important and a hard working stage. Unfortunately, for the first selection out of thousands, recruiters use two-three clicks to categorize their selections. Commonly used parts are:


  • University
  • City
  • Gender
  • With photo
  • CV selection problems



It is generally outsources to search & find companies such as Adecco, Michael Page and Pedersen& Partners. Again the process is very though. As the HR consultants side who is young and ambitious to find the candidates to their portfolio, they are only and mostly concentrated not to the candidates achievements, or skills that fit to the company, but first to school and previous work experiences. But why? Because they have targets! Targets to have x number of candidates in their portfolio, targets to reach x number of customers in every week and targets to have x number of placed candidates.


  • HR Interview problems

Personal interview are all about karagöz and hacivat.

There should be min 2-3 short interviews with other hr people. After the short listing there should be team play or case study interview


  • Personal and proficiency tests related problems


A very significant example is McKinsey Problem Solving Test (McKPST) case. This 26 questions 60/70min. exam is used to find the “consultant mind” people for this top tier company. However, just after the exam results are announced, the candidate’s results are trashed. Result is as easy as it is: You are failed or you are passed. This kind of exams are open for many kind of manipulations and I do not think the company ethics are enough to be seen fair. I believe the test and an interview should be combined to solve this bias.

And the personal tests and proficiency test are not enough too. It is easy to manipulate or just find the right combination to pass these tests. We do not have enough searches about the accuracy of these tests.


The topic has many different dimensions to discuss at different articles. To make it short, I would like to ask two questions to all of you: Isn’t it a time to confess that the companies are not good at hiring the right candidates like Google? Isn’t it true that if a new hire is the wrong hire, after 5-10 years of his/her career in the company, with whom he/she will work with? And what kind of working environment he/she will create? What kind of scarification the Company needs to give just to protect the wrong loyalties…


Northwestern U. article: Link

Maurice Ewing’s article: Link

James Callander’s article: Link

Michael Page: Link

Please, feel free to comment or share your thoughts.