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Recruiters- The Good, The bad and The Ugly

Posted on 4/09/2015 by


In such a saturated market for recruiters there are A LOT of good and A LOT of bad, the aim of this blog is to distinguish these from one another.

A common objection or hurdle I come up against regularly is “I don’t deal with recruiters!”. Some job hunters tarnish all recruiters with the same label; (deceitful, “salesy”, no technical understanding, pest, liars – the list goes on).

Ask yourself a question: “If you went to a restaurant and ordered yourself a Fillet Steak and it was terrible, would you then decide to never eat steak again?”

Typical things UGLY recruiters may do:

  • Asking for references/managers names immediately
  • Asking where you’re interviewing before they even proposed anything (digging for leads)
  • Not following up (say they’ll call you back in two hours and you don’t hear anything for weeks)
  • Not understanding their market (rings a java developer about a javascript role – because they’re the same…….erm no
  • Contacting your current employer saying you’re looking to leave just so they can find the replacement (hard to believe but I’ve heard of people doing this)
  • Not telling you who the client they are putting you forward for is (I am currently working under a NDA…..blah blah)
  • Post a fake job advert just to get CV’s in to speak to candidates actively looking and interviewing elsewhere (again digging for leads)
  • Post a fake CV online
  • Sending your CV somewhere WITHOUT your permission

“What’s the point?” “I’m sick of this recruiter, why can’t I just do this myself?” “What value is this recruiter actually adding to my search?”

Recruiters can add value in these areas:

  • Tips to help improve your CV – a good recruiter will look at anywhere between 20-50 CV’s a day and they should have a solid understanding of how clients like CV’s to be written whether that be the layout the content or even the length of the CV.
  • Give you an insight into current market rates, are you being paid fairly?
  • Give you the opportunity to meet companies you have never even heard of
  • Coach you through the interview, if they are good at what they do they’ll understand their client pet hates and what makes them tick. They in theory should be able to help improve your compatibility with their client.
  • Talk you through your resignation, counter offer etc

I read an article dated from 2010 the other day that stated “MYTH: Recruiters Find Jobs for People. Wrong! Recruiters find People for Jobs!” Now any good recruiter knows that the current market in driven by good candidates as they are just so difficult to find. Yes it is the end client that would pay the bill at the end but I have recently had most success working with individual candidates and aiming to place them securing several interviews and proposing them with a couple of offers at the end.

Candidates are key and relationships can last a lifetime, your reputation in this market means the world. Plus you need to remember people talk, if you treat someone poorly or have a bad attitude there is no way they will refer you any friends or even use you if they ever look to hire for their team.

So the question is…How do I find a recruiter that's worth working with and how will I know he/she’s the one?

  • Use your network speak to people that have recently found jobs and find out who they work with.
  • Do your research on the recruiter that’s just contacted you, look at the company website, are they a reputable business?
  • Look at their LinkedIn profile, do they have any recommendations?
  • Are they going to put you in front of the top companies?
  • Do they LISTEN to you? Too many recruiters spend too much time talking about themselves and the role, how an earth are they going to find you the dream job if they don’t know what your dream is. Two ears, one mouth..
  • Do they respect your time and attention? Everyone is busy, it takes two seconds to say, is now convenient to talk? If not when is best for you before work, during lunch, after hours.

On a lighter note I wanted to end on 10 inspirational quotes recruiters should say more:

  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” Wayne Gretzky
  • “You only lack experience if they want it done the same old way” Robert Brault
  • “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” Confucius
  • “The only way to do great work is to love what you do” Steve Jobs
  • “When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell
  • “Winning isn’t everything, but WANTING to win is” – Vince Lombardi
  • “Talent hits a target no one else can hit genius hit a target no one else can see” Arthur Schopenhauer
  • “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value” Albert Einstein
  • “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do” Mark Twain
  • “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it” Katherine Whitehorn

I’d be extremely interested to hear of anyone else’s opinion on “Recruiters” or even any stories of past experiences and how we can improve moving forward!