Is Your Recruiter Damaging Your Reputation?

Posted on June 12, 2019 by PaulHickey | Recruitment

When a recruiter takes on your hiring campaign, they’re representing you on the front lines.

Does their behaviour impact negatively on the reputation of your business?

Oh boy, yes.

Here’s an example that – fair warning – might give you some sleepless nights.

The following is a conversation that a colleague of mine had with a candidate[i].

“So, why do you think the recruiter contacted you?”

“I’ve kept my LinkedIn profile up to date and I’ve got experience in a particular field that was relevant. It seems like a role came up that fitted some keywords in my profile.”

“That’s how LinkedIn is supposed to work.”

“Of course. It only really bothered me because he was asking questions that he would have known the answer to if he’d bothered to read my profile. But that wasn’t as bizarre as what happened next.”

“I think I know what you’re going to say.”

“I had calls or messages from THREE more recruiters about exactly the same position in the space of three weeks.”

“Yep. That can happen when an employer gives the role to multiple recruiters on a contingency basis.”

“Whatever the reason, it was tiresome. And, again, if they’d taken the time to read my profile, they’d have seen that I wasn’t a good fit for what they were looking for.”

“And that doesn’t just make the recruiters look bad, it makes the employer look bad as well.”

“Precisely. Anyway, things went quiet for a few weeks, and then I was contacted again by a recruiter. For the same position. This was a little different because he seemed to have more information about the role and the way he described it made it sound like he had a good connection with the business. So at least the conversation sounded more professional.”

“You think the employer may have hired the recruiter directly?”

“Maybe. But it made me realise how poor a job the other recruiters had done at selling the position. They weren’t telling me how great the employer is, and how dynamic the role would be, and how great the compensation package would be, they were just focused on what skills do I have, what experience do I have, would I be interested in relocating.”

“0 to 60. Like a bad date.

“Exactly. They must know that when they ring someone up out of the blue, the person’s going to be thinking ‘what’s in it for me? But they only seemed to be interested in what I could do for them.’”

This candidate experience is far from unusual.

It’s not hard to see how a recruiter could reflect badly on your firm if they’re not behaving in a professional manner.

As an employer, the big question for you is:

How do you identify a recruiter that is going to represent you professionally?

Start by hiring ONE recruiter on a retained basis.

If you set multiple recruiters on the job you get the unedifying spectacle of a group of people falling all over each other to be first to represent the best candidates.

It doesn’t make you look good when candidates are getting multiple phone calls about the same role.

In the worst-case scenario you could have a PERFECT candidate who doesn’t want to apply for your role because they’re irritated by all the duplicate phone calls.

Secondly, when you’re trying to figure out which recruiter to retain, find out exactly how they go about attracting and assessing candidates. As a general rule of thumb, if their interactions with you seem professional, this will usually be extended to candidates.

It also helps to ask the recruiter questions about their success rates, not in terms of how quickly they find candidates but how long their placements stay in the role. If they don’t know or it’s less than 90% you can do better.

Our retention rate after 12 months, for instance, is 96%. Just in case you were curious ;-)

Another way to judge whether or not a recruiter is going to represent you well is by whether or not the recruiter maintains a good ongoing relationship with the candidates that don’t land the role.

This is harder to establish, but it never hurts to ask.

For instance, if you were to ask us for an example, we could you tell you about the time one of our candidates failed to land the first role for which we put them forward, but they were so impressed with our process that they recommended our recruitment services to their existing employer.

Now THAT’S a good example of a recruiter performing in a professional manner.


For a no-obligation discussion about how we can help you save time and money on your next recruitment campaign, click here.

*For obvious reasons I’ve removed details that could identify the companies and people involved, and I’ve paraphrased some parts of the conversation.