What do you want from a Recruiter?

As someone who uses LinkedIn regularly, it is quite intriguing when I see “recruiter-bashing” on there from people who are frustrated. I always try to read the comments & take heed of them (the constructive ones at least).

This is my first time at delving into this “hot potato” topic and I have a few things that I want to say that I thought would be article-worthy.

N.B. This is the first article I have ever written – so apologies in advance if it is a bit haphazard!

I want to speak about my findings on the subject and to invite people to comment on their findings as well (within a concise and reasonable manner!). I may be opening a can of worms here but fortune favours the brave! (Gulp)

Qualifying Statement

I want to qualify this by stating that I have seen extremely good practice as well as bad practice within the industry. Please do not take this as we are tarring the industry with the same brush because that is not the point. The aim of this article is to incite constructive debate/discussion in order to make the industry better.

If you have seen good practice please also comment on this as well!

There – now that’s out the way……..if I had a penny for every-time I hear horror stories from both candidates and clients alike about their experience with recruitment “professionals” I would be a rich man.

To start with, as I learnt my trade (way back in 2010), these stories were volunteered to me by candidates as they aired their frustrations about poor experiences that had happened to them from recruiters.

As time went on, I actively started to ask questions about peoples experiences within the industry as part of my process (to understand what the person likes/doesn’t like and invariably how they wish to be treated). It massively helps me to up my game and also if other recruiters out there are doing good things I like hearing this as it encourages me to up the ante!

Some common themes kept re-occurring, most of which are avoidable:

1) They never return my calls

The age old chestnut – a recruiter calls them about a role, gets a candidate excited a position – and then never calls them back. Worse still, when the candidate quite rightly rings/emails to chase up, they are always told that the recruiter is on another call or that they are in meetings – and then never get a call back. This carries on until the candidate gets frustrated, bored of it, or finds a job. Net result = one annoyed candidate who is now a potential client who probably won’t use you to recruit in future.

2) Lack of communication

The recruitment industry as a whole is a communication industry. Essentially we are brokers who marry up candidates to clients. In order to do this we need to COMMUNICATE. Simple things like not updating candidates/clients on developments, feeding back to people’s job applications, not calling when they say they will. They are all quite small things that add up to a big thing!

3) CV Harvesting

It has been known for some recruiters to ‘CV Harvest’ i.e. brief candidates on phantom roles that don’t exist in order to get people’s CV’s etc. JUST DON’T DO THIS PLEASE.

4) Sending CV’s without briefing the candidate on the role

Probably my biggest bug-bear and hopefully in the era of GDPR this type of practice should stop. I have unfortunately lost out to more than one placement over the years from recruiters who have done this. It’s unethical, wrong and it punishes those who do the right thing by doing a proper job rather than the “spray & pray” approach. Also clients can implicitly encourage this by operating a ‘first past the post’ system. Message to you – PLEASE DON’T

5) Lack of feedback from interviews

Not a great thing but it does happen. Sometimes feedback does not come from interviews. This can either be the clients or recruiters fault. Sometimes the client will just say “they’re not right” or email to say no. The recruiter needs to push back to try & get more detail – sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully. At other times it is the recruiter who does not feedback to the candidate. Either way – this is wrong.

6) Compartmentalising

Recruiters (especially at the big blue-chips businesses) can compartmentalise the candidate into either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ for a role – quite often not allowing for the persons other attributes to shine through. If you think a person is right for the role – push back to the client! At least try to get a phone conversation between the client & candidate to see if there is a connection or not.

As mentioned earlier, I have plenty of thoughts on this topic, but have no wish to make this article any bigger than is necessary for now.

I look forward to any constructive thoughts & feedback you may have. I know it can be an emotive issue – but please try and be constructive!

Please feel free click on my profile and connect.

Steve Eston

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