How to lose candidates and alienate recruiters.

Dear Hiring Managers, HR & Internal recruiters alike,

I’m not going to sit here and write about how amazing recruiters are, or how they should be given the respect they deserve etc. as that seems pretty pointless. Some are good, some are bad, others are average and then some are very, very good. Those are the ones you want to keep a hold onto. This isn’t a letter trying to change your opinion on recruiters, a letter isn’t going to do that. This letter is about how to get the best from your recruitment partners.

Test them - This may or may not come as a shock to a lot of people but sometimes, recruiters don’t know what they are talking about. Feel free to ask a recruiter about the industry, what they know, who their last placements were and what competition they are working with. This will give you an idea if they can find a skillset to suit your business.

Work with them, not against them – a recruiter and a client have the same end goal; filling a job. It’s as simple as that. Make this goal as easy as possible to achieve by telling the recruiter exactly what the process is, what hurdles need to be overcome and set realistic expectations in terms of time. There is nothing worse than throwing another unexpected round of interviews into a process when we have told a candidate differently and it makes us both look below average.

Think of us as your personal advert – because we are. Whether you like it or not, we speak to people about you almost every day; we talk about your brand, your office, your culture & probably your management style. It’s a wise idea to make sure this is accurate by giving a recruiter a clear representation of the business they are representing.

Don’t just send a F*cking Job Spec – Gone are the days of job spec recruitment. You can’t expect someone to find you the perfect person given just a piece of paper. A few keyword populated searches aren’t going to find the ideal person, skillset and character to seamlessly fit into your team. Here’s a better idea – start with talking about what you want this role to achieve and we can work it back from there. Any recruiter worth their salt should be able to advise on the steps that need to be taken to find someone of the calibre you are looking for, and what it will cost you.

“Buy cheap, buy twice.” – Obviously everyone wants to get the best deal, you’d be stupid not to at least try to negotiate where you can. But when it comes negotiating on the fee, the lower you go, the worse the quality of service and candidates you will receive. It really is that simple. Those who value our service and the people we provide will receive access to them first and before their competition; it is important to prioritise our workload as much as you do.

Communicate – Now this is the simplest one yet possibly the most difficult to comprehend. It takes minutes to give feedback, even less to organise an initial interview or discount a potential candidate’s CV as it’s missing some key things. Don’t sit on this information, it doesn’t help anyone, it frustrates the recruiter and the candidate and what good will come of that?

Listen – This is going to sound crazy; it might even sound hilarious. But recruiters sometimes have good ideas, sometimes great ones. The chances are the recruiter you are dealing with will be far more experienced with a talent acquisition process than you are. We know what we are talking about so when we suggest something different from your norm, we are genuinely trying to help.

So, the next time you think about uploading a long complaint on LinkedIn about how appalling some of the very, very good recruiters are, or how they don’t know what they’re doing, have a look at the checklist and see if you could have done anything different.

Kind regards,
All recruiters (Or specifically Luke Joy, Head of Commercial at GKR London Property Recruitment) 
Tel: 0207 048 3304