Beat The Recruiter’s Bad Rap

by Rebecca Sargeant

Tenure recruiter

Come here often? Why not sign up for our e-newsletter. Receive updates every time we post and extra tips, announcements of free classes and promos. Sign up here.


On July 23, James Rossiter posted a blog on LinkedIn called, “It’s time to stop using recruitment agencies.” Within 24 hours this blog had been seen by 28,239 people, there were 293 Likes, 416 comments and it had been shared 1,129 times. Anyone working with Social Media will tell you these numbers are only a fraction of the people that are talking about the blog.

What was interesting for me was I found James’s post moments after I had a similar conversation with a software development company. They were echoing James’s frustration and irritation with the Staffing and Recruiting industry as a whole.

We may not agree with James’ opinion of our industry. We may dismiss him because of his grammar. We might even try to discredit him because of his background. What we can’t do is ignore James’s message:

“I am sick of Recruiters.”

This message is coming to us from everywhere. James just took the time to blog it for you, your clients and your candidates. In the past, we could hang up on anyone, dismiss them as crazy and move with no repercussion. Good or bad, depending which side of the fence you romp, Social Media is revolutionizing how our clients and candidates hold us accountable. In today’s environment anyone can blog, post or open a discussion to deliberate about our overall short comings as an industry.

The short comings come from lots of places, such as the past and even novice recruiters either still learning the ropes or due to lack of proper leadership, that none of us will be able to stop. As we mature into our recruitment profession, we learn 5 simple principles that help us develop better relationships that net us a comfortable living and a good reputation no matter what the other bad apples are doing. New recruiters to the industry, pay attention:


5 principles of reputable recruiting shared by tenured recruiters


“Nothing happens overnight.” Being a recruiter is not about running as fast as you can, getting all the orders you can, only to filling the industry standard of only 33% of them. Tenured and reputable recruiters know they have to invest time in developing a trusted working relationship with everyone. These relationships do not happen overnight. You need your client’s time to answer questions about the opening, they will need to give you feedback in a timely manner, and then you will prove the time they have spent is worth it by providing them quality candidates. Take the time to provide them value. And what about candidate relationships? They are key to your placements. Candidates are sick of recruiters offering them “opportunities.” You will have to take time repairing the damage a junior recruiter has created with their smash and grab approach. You will also have to gain their trust to get vital information. By slowing down, recruiters become more strategic, have access to better quality orders and make more money tapping into candidates others have missed or dismissed.

“Shut up and listen.” As recruiters, we are always hoping the person we are talking to will be the one for the job, and sometimes we hope so much that we push for the correct answer not the real answer. When pushing for the correct answer, we don’t hear all the other things people are saying. Tenured recruiters have learned that people are more than willing to share valuable information with you if you would just sit and listen to them. By being an ‘active listener’, you will quickly become the person people turn to for advice and solutions.

“Respect is a two way street.” Many times recruiters are working in the best interest of the client. At the same time those clients don’t have any respect for that recruiter. This situation often leaves the recruiter with egg on his face. Especially when the recruiter has a candidate for the client and the client is not available for their call. Good candidates are left with the impression the recruiter over promised. To avoid this situation, reputable recruiters establish relationships based on mutual respect. They present themselves as the hiring consultant they are, they offer solutions, gain buy in and follow thru. At any point if there is a breakdown, they quickly address it with an open and frank conversation. By being respectful of others, we should expect the same in return.

“Documentation is KING.” As recruitment professionals, we work very hard to ensure everyone’s success. What we don’t do is take the time to demystify our job by explaining the recruitment process. In fact, if you asked any average recruiter to whiteboard the recruitment process, you might be surprised what they show you. Tenured recruiters have a flow chart or a document readily available they can give their clients and candidates that clearly outlines their recruitment process. By taking the time to document your process you show people you know the way and you can help them achieve success too.

“Do your research before anything else.” Tenured recruiters hate being caught not having all the information. They have learned over the years information is power and what you don’t know is really going to hurt you. Spending time researching how a company works, digging into people’s backgrounds and asking hard questions is what tenured recruiters have built their long successful careers on. By taking the time to investigate companies and people before you call, you will lay the platform for a more in-depth conversation about how you as a recruiter can help them.

These 5 principles of recruiting are not outlined in any one recruiter handbook. They are simple universal truths that many tenured recruiters develop on their own. They would simply read this blog and nod their heads in agreement. Learning these principles may come with lot bumps and bruises but, when they are learned, a Headhunter will always make a comfortable and happy living no matter what, because they actually help companies hire the right candidates and people find the right jobs.



Rebecca Sargeant Curta

Rebecca is the Recruiter’s Coach at Curta, where the mission is to raise the bar in the global recruiting and staffing industry and assist Recruiters in exceeding their business goals. Rebecca is currently meeting the 360 Desk Challenge of building a desk from scratch and targeting a $100K by October 1st using Curta methodology. “Because those who teach well, definitely can!”



Bad Boy Smoking photo credit: Christophe Verdier via photopin cc


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s