The people you just don’t want to work with
Recruitment professionals sometimes get a bad reputation, and while the vast majority of recruitment professionals are dedicated and genuine people who want to do the best for their clients, there’s a small majority that ruin it for everyone. To set the scene here, let’s look at some of the really bad habits that recruitment professionals get into…
1. Setting the wrong tone
Communication is the cornerstone of any successful deal… recruiters need to sound enthusiastic from the off… if you sound unenthusiastic, hiring managers and prospective candidates are going to think you just don’t care.
2. Not listening enough
Great recruiters know when it’s time to sit tight and listen to their clients and stop trying to sell… on top of that talking too much can very easily reveal weaknesses in their knowledge or understanding of the client.
3. Not understanding who/what you’re looking for
If you don’t understand the industry or position you’re recruiting for, you won’t know who to look for… end of story.
4. Bending the truth
Using dishonest tactics and bending the truth to persuade candidates on various positive aspects of a job while obscuring certain less positive elements, is a really bad habit for any recruiter to get into and is only going to end in tears. Honesty, unquestionably is always the best option.
But probably the number one rule above all else is know who you are placing, as the following examples show…
One candidate, lets call him Dave, was sent by his recruiter for a job interview at a rather conservative bank. After the interview Dave reported back to the recruiter that things seemed to have gone well. However, obviously the bank didn’t think so as they passed over him without explanation. On hearing the news, Dave set off on his own personal crusade to get another chance at the interview; repeatedly calling and emailing the client – naturally this reflected badly on the recruiter. Reflecting on this, the recruiter in question said that he had Googled Dave afterwards and discovered his Facebook page filled with photos of himself with drinks in hand looking totally wasted in a bar. He had to assume that the client had done the same.
Another errant candidate was Ian, who interviewed for and accepted a regional sales manager job for a large IT company. After only a week on the job, he went AWOL. No phone calls, no emails, no returned messages. He was even absent when the company’s CEO flew down for a scheduled meeting. A couple of weeks later, the recruiter discovered from Ian’s sister, who had called looking for his new boss’s contact details, that he was in jail awaiting trial for a domestic violence charge, after he’d been accused of assaulting his ex-wife. He’d been too embarrassed to call his new boss and explain where he was.
Meanwhile, Bob was an exemplary software sales candidate on paper. His CV looked great, and he interviewed fantastically on the phone: upbeat, outgoing and very professional. He was set up with the company’s sales director. Sadly, Bob was passed over swiftly, and the recruiter phoned to find out why only to be told that Bob had showed up 20 minutes late for the interview dressed in jeans, sandals and a flannel shirt with a plastic pocket protector, had a pony-tail halfway down his back, multiple ear piercings and had electrical tape holding his broken glasses frames together. The moral of this story? Sometimes, phone interviews don’t give you the whole picture.
Finally, there’s the unfortunate tale of Jeff the network engineer… again, on paper he looked a perfect fit; he had all the right certifications and experience. But when he appeared for his interview with the recruiter his appearance and lack of personal hygiene were astounding. When it was recommended that Jeff needed to clean himself up and buy some better interviewing clothes, he became defensive, but reluctantly said he’d consider it. Jeff was put forward for the job and got it. However, after one month on the new job, Jeff was fired. It turns out he had used the company credit card he was given to make several very large personal purchases. When asked if he knew he wasn’t supposed to do that, he readily admitted he knew it was wrong, but said he needed the money because he was in such deep debt.