Untangle Your Web of Recruiting Career Mistakes

Recruiting Career MistakesSo you’ve been passed over for a promotion again?  Missed out on recruiter of the month, or any recognition for a job well done?  Did you have to sit down with your boss again and explain why she keeps getting complaints about you?  Are you on your 5th job in just a matter of a few years?  These are some of the common places recruiters find themselves in.

Right now is definitely not the time to make mistakes in your recruiting career!  Unemployment is rampant, and recruiting jobs are hard to come by at the corporate level and recruiting firms aren’t exactly going gangbusters.  At the agency level if you make mistakes, you can bet you’ll be replaced quickly.  If your actions cause the agency to lose a client, that’s a very big deal in today’s competitive environment.

If you’re ready to get serious about your recruiting career and turn a new leaf follow this advice and get your career on track.

  • Identify your issues- Admitting you have a problem is the first step.  If your career isn’t going anywhere it’s time to find out why.  Sit down for one on one’s with your boss, co-workers, and key clients or hiring managers and find out how you’re doing for them.  Ask for honest feedback and be open and receptive.  This is not the time to get defensive.
  • Ditch the gatekeeper mentality- If you treat people like you hold the keys to the castle, you will not form partnerships with anyone.  This is one of the things recruiters get a bad rap for.  You can’t treat people with arrogance and disregard and expect to get anywhere in your life or career.  Remember the age old saying, “don’t burn bridges, you never know when you’re going to need to cross them again!”
  • Give back- Become a mentor, join a recruiting organization or HR organization in your area and get involved.  Get to know others in your industry and even if they are from the “other side” of the house (agency vs. corporate) treat all professionals in your industry with respect.  You could probably learn from them and teach others at the same time.
  • Operate with integrity- Call back when you say you will, don’t over promise and under deliver, don’t exaggerate about your candidates, don’t gossip about your clients or candidates, and don’t try to “get one over on a hiring manager” especially if they are desperate to fill a job and are counting on your professionalism and expertise.
  • Recruit from the heart- Keep the bigger picture in mind.  You are involved in someone’s next career move.  It’s one of the biggest decisions they will make, it’s stressful and it could impact their family.  Don’t take that responsibility lightly.  Work with the right heart and intention and you will feel good about what you’re doing and typically make the right decision.  If you operate from a point of desperation or irritation, it will come through in your work, and you’ll be seen as less trustworthy.
  • Stay away from troublemakers- Is there a group in your department that is always badmouthing people, the company, the clients, or the boss?  If so, remove yourself from those groups.  You are the company you keep and it’s not like people in your company don’t know who the complainers are.  Feel fortunate for what you have and respect the company you work for by not associating yourself with troublemakers.
  • Remember the grass isn’t always greener- If you’ve jumped around from job to job; you are in danger of being unemployable.  Most employers look for stability in the candidate’s history.  If you have left great jobs for what you thought was the chance of a lifetime, but multiplied that by 5 in the past few years you really need to settle down for at least 3-4 years and give your career a chance to flourish.  Don’t start looking just because your boss upsets you or you have challenging hiring managers.  Those people exist everywhere.

It’s possible to turn a new leaf and get your recruiting career back on track. Take one day at a time, stay humble, and celebrate the small wins you accomplish each day.

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Marie Larsen
Marie is a writer for Recruiter.com covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.