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Bad Recruiters. How do we change perceptions?

Through my time in recruitment, I have learned a thing or two:

  • the importance of treating candidates as people;
  • there is more to the role of a recruiter than just hitting KPI’s and putting numbers on the whiteboard; and the importance of building trusted, loyal, relationships.

After all, if we place the right candidates with our clients – we help them grow, and, if we help our candidates find the right role – we could potentially be changing their lives for the better. By simply doing the right thing, we grow too.

A candidate (I’m going to call him Tom to protect his identity) who I’ve been working with for the last two weeks told me a familiar story. Another recruiter had called him up, and wanted to send his CV to their job. Let’s call him Mr Recruiter. Mr Recruiter didn’t tell Tom anything about his client, so Tom refused. Well guess what? Mr Recruiter did it anyway! A few days later, he then called Tom and told him he’d got an interview, and persuaded him to go.

Let me give some context here. Tom is a fresh graduate, in Computer Science. He’s very passionate about his subject and I love that. But, he’s also new to the commercial world, and, being keen to get his first role in the really competitive tech industry and current job market, why would he not go? Even if it was to get some interview practice.

So fast forward to after the interview. It’s been 3 days and Tom has not heard anything. He attended the interview, did his part, and now Mr Recruiter has gone quiet. No response to emails, no calls. Then eventually, he gets an email from Mr Recruiter. It’s an email telling Tom he wasn’t successful.

As wrong as this may seem, none of this is unfamiliar to many of you who have worked with recruiters, I’m sure. But you know the worst part? Mr Recruiter didn’t even have the courtesy to write Tom an email (let alone give him a call). He just forwarded the email directly from the client. Tom read the email out to me on the phone; he spoke in the third person.

Now come on. Seriously, how long does it take to give Tom a call?! Or write a personal email? A minute? Two minutes at most? Tom has taken his personal time out to travel to the interview, paid for the bus and train to get there. Let’s not forget Tom is a graduate – we all remember how our finances were back then. And to not even have the courtesy to give Tom his feedback, frankly, I find that outrageous.

In contrast, we contacted Tom originally for a Mobile Developer role. He wasn’t sure that’s what he wanted to do. So, we sent him our client’s information, told him to think about it, and come back to us. When he expressed his interest having done his research, we got the ball rolling. Tom told us he really liked how we didn’t force him to go for our role. We then prepared him before every stage, and got his feedback after every stage. Our focus was to help him. At Auburn Rose, that’s why we do what we do.

It really angers me that recruiters like Mr Recruiter still exist, in today’s modern world. There are many challenges surrounding recruiters now, with the likes of LinkedIn, social media, cost-saving online recruitment platforms. Now, more than ever, it is even more vital to provide a quality and credible service in order to be a successful recruiter.

Our brand has grown through referrals. We do what we do because we want to help people – whether that’s a client or a candidate, and we do it the right way. It’s really unfair that people have a tainted perception of our industry, but it’s not hard to see why, when people like Mr Recruiter exist – purely to ruin it for the rest of us in the interest of themselves.

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