5 traits of a bad recruiter

When engaging with a recruitment agency for the first time there are some tell-tale signs to look out for hinting that your job or personnel search may not be in the best hands

All of us working within the recruitment industry have heard horror stories from clients and applicants alike of poorly managed previous recruitment experiences. We try and up our game even further in these instances, to help prove to the individual or company that there are actually some of us in this industry capable of carrying out the process in a humble, respectable and honest manner – you can read HERE why these traits are so important to us.

The satisfaction we gain when we turn these opinions around is certainly near the top of the list of reasons as to why this industry can be so fulfilling.

Just last week we experienced some ‘dirty recruitment tactics’ first hand and so we felt it may be a good time to publish a post highlighting, from our experience, 5 traits that seem common amongst poor recruiters. If it can help even just one client or applicant spot the warning signs before travelling too far along the recruitment journey, it’s a job well done:

  1. Good talkers and bad listeners – If you are looking to enlist the expertise of a recruitment consultancy as a rough guide you should be speaking for 65% of the time and the recruiter should probably be talking 35% of the time. If you are finding you can’t get a word in to conversation around clichés and catchphrases, there is a pretty good chance the recruiter has very little interest in what you have to say and a sole aim to bend you into the current vacancy they are feeling pressured to fill.
  1. Start selling from minute 1 – How on earth can a recruitment consultant truly know what is the next best move for you and your career without taking the time to get to know you. We are not just talking on a personal level, but more what your career dreams and aspirations are. Without having a detailed conversation, preferably face to face, only then can a recruiter begin to suggest opportunities that might help you achieve your goals. If you are being sold to within 5 minutes of a conversation, chances are the recruiter hasn’t got your best interest at heart and is looking for a quick win. Similarly, if you are a business owner looking to recruit, how can you entrust a recruitment consultant to manage the process for you if they haven’t even taken the time to meet with you and talk everything about your business through in detail.
  1. Focus on sales not relationships – Recruiters who are constantly up against it and under pressure from their colleagues or clients will tend to press a little harder and look for a rush decision. This is where shortcuts may be taken and what is truly best for both parties often takes a back seat. A good recruiter will take their time before walking you through the pros and cons of taking or leaving an opportunity, and has their eye firmly on building the relationship for the future. By doing this, a good recruiter will often gain a hidden referral network of candidates not out in the open market and subsequently their value to future clients increases considerably. Relationships do not end when an offer has been made or a placement has been confirmed.
  1. Lazy and late – This is often something that can only come to light once the relationship is in full flow. A recruiter who is slow to reply via email or over the phone can potentially be busy out and about meeting candidates and clients, but there should always be time to make that important phone call back to a client or applicant requesting an update. Similarly, if the way a recruiter presents themselves in a meeting is sloppy or they turn up late and seem rushed, it probably reflects the level of service you are going to receive if the relationship is to continue.
  1. Ghosting – A relatively new term to describe business relationships. To the everyday person it essentially means that once a recruiter has been engaged by either a client or applicant they have a habit of going missing and becoming unresponsive for a period of days or weeks. This can be through sheer laziness, a poorly organised diary or just an avoidance of wanting to tell an individual or company that there has been little progress since their last conversation. It is this trait that seems to infuriate candidates and clients alike the most. There is a great more in-depth article about ‘Ghosting’ HERE.

If you have had negative experiences of using recruitment agencies in the past, we want to hear from you! Likewise, if you have any further comments to add – Facebook Us, Tweet Us or leave a comment below.