"No recruiters please!"
When scrolling through my LinkedIn feed or searching for current vacancies on an agency's website; this infamous phrase keeps rearing its ugly head far too often for a recruiters liking. I will only contact an agency with good intentions – with the hope to see if we can help their business and build a fruitful relationship. But this is usually greeted with “Oh… you’re not another recruiter are you?”
Recruiters have a certain reputation in the business world. Just go to Google and see what the suggestions are:
What is it about recruiters that make professionals turn their nose up? What is so unattractive about working with a recruitment agency to find the best talent? There are good and bad eggs within any industry, but I think that the world of recruitment particularly attracts the wrong sort of attention.
The recruitment industry is an incredible place to work and there are amazing benefits. However, the benefits should be seen as a bonus, not a necessity.
There are a lot of recruiters out there who seem to forget that they serve such an important role – they are dealing with people’s careers. People need a job to put food on their table, to put clothes on their back, to add a sparkle to their day, and we as recruiters have a responsibility to place the most suitable candidates to the most suitable roles.
For me and my colleagues, the priority is always clear – candidate and client satisfaction.
I have come across some traits in other recruiters and I believe these are what are giving the rest of us a bad name…
Traits of a Bad Recruiter
A sales pitch on the first call
It’s important that the candidate can trust the recruiter, knowing they are in safe hands and they are trying to get them the best role. If a candidate can detect a sales pitch too early on (and trust me… they will) they’ll believe the recruiter is only interested in what’s in it for them and the trust will be broken.
A recruiter will usually have more than one role which is suitable for the candidate. Of course these roles will need to be sold to the candidate, however, it’s important to understand that sometimes a candidate just doesn’t want to be sent there. The same goes for selling candidates to clients, something they may not just be the right fit. Equally, when a candidate has an offer, it’s important to leave this with the candidate – let them decided their career!
Sending CV without permission
This is the most common factor as to why a candidate will not work with a recruiter. This happens far too often and it’s severely unprofessional. Equally frustrating for the client when you send a CV across and then have to explain that they don’t want to interview. If a recruiter has done this to you… steer clear!
Not staying in contact
Building a decent rapport with candidates and clients is crucially important. There needs to be an element of trust throughout the whole recruitment process. If you have placed a candidate a few months ago – get in touch! If you haven’t had any activity with a client for a few months – get in touch! Who doesn’t love a catch-up and a coffee? If you find yourself having to chase up with a recruiter for feedback a few too many times – stay away!
Too many clichés and overpromising
A top recruiter needs to be realistic. Don’t try and smooth talk your way with clients and don’t promise the world with candidates. If you work hard and be truthful the results will reflect.
Now, there is some good news in all of this! Despite all of these awful bad habits, there are some incredible recruiters out there you can work with – I know, I work with them! Here are some of the characteristics I have seen my colleagues portray...
Traits of a Good Recruiter
It should go without saying, however you'd be surprised how many times this goes over someone’s head. A good recruiter will listen to the client and candidates needs and match up accordingly.
Keeping all parties in the loop
Even if you have nothing to report, just letting the candidate/client know you are chasing up for them is a great sign of reassurance and showing that you care.
Patience is a virtue and it is certainly no exception here! Never push for an answer that will benefit yourself. Remember: candidate and clients always come first, give them some space.
Always keeping up-to-date with current trends will impress both the candidate and the client. Equally, if a candidate or a client can recommend you – bonus! Having an impressive spectrum of clients - big and small - will impress a candidate. The same with sending multiple candidates for the same role. It’s all about good impressions!
As a recruiter, you can certainly appreciate if you have worked with the bad qualities before you would take every opportunity to avoid working with anyone like that ever again.
However, some recruiters possess those good qualities, are experts in their industry and care more about matching perfect clients and candidates than their bonus at the end of the month. We are out there!
And I’m sure once you’ve worked with one, you’ll change those “no recruiters please” requests off and your first port of call when hiring will be a recruiter!