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The practice of recruiting, too often, gets a bad name. Many candidates cringe and act as if they are trying to avoid the plague when they hear from a recruiter. Prospective and even current clients will duck calls and avoid emails.

Why? Because many recruiters simply lack integrity. They try to push candidates into jobs that are not a good fit just to land a commission. This is no way to grow a strong, reputable recruiting brand, yet it is standard operating procedure for the less invested recruiter.

As an unfortunate side effect of such unscrupulous behavior, even the best, most upstanding recruiters may find their reputations tarnished.

How to Tell If a Recruiter Has Integrity

Identifying a recruiter with integrity is a straightforward matter. You simply have to find a recruiter who is genuine. A recruiter with integrity truly cares about helping candidates find the right job while also helping businesses meet their hiring needs with the right people. It is never a good idea — or a good sign — for a recruiter to submit candidates to a position that is not a match. This wastes the client’s time and leaves the candidate disappointed when they don’t get an interview — or worse, bomb one.

Recruiters with integrity provide real opportunities to candidates. They present them with jobs that are the best fits based on multiple criteria. If a recruiter with integrity does not have any good options for a candidate, they will say so. If an appropriate position opens up down the road, they will reach out to the candidate at that point, but a great recruiter will never tie a candidate up with illusions and false hope in the meantime.

Recruiters with integrity have excellent submission-to-acceptance ratios. Why? Because they understand the nitty-gritty details of what their clients need, and they won’t submit candidates to a requisition unless they meet that criteria. By submitting only candidates who are a solid match, recruiters build trust with hiring managers and form genuine partnerships. As a result, the hiring manager will take that recruiter with them when they go to a new company. They will share that recruiter’s name with others.

Perhaps one of the worst offenses committed by many recruiters without integrity is the use of fake candidates or fake job postings to lure in new clients. Recruiters with integrity know better. Pretending you have a good candidate for a position just to get your foot in the door will backfire every time. Hiring managers can smell a fake from a mile away. If the “perfect” candidate suddenly disappears the minute the client signs a fee agreement, the client will lose trust. This practice is a sure-fire way to destroy a relationship before it even begins.

How to Find a Good Recruiter

How do you know if your recruiter is the real deal? Check their reputation. Ask for a reference, or look at the recruiter’s recommendations on LinkedIn. Recruiters who have a history of delivering real value will have people lining up to vouch for them. Clients and candidates alike will hang onto a recruiter with integrity, returning to them again and again over the years.

Truly great recruiters with high integrity are honest and genuine. They stay in the business a long time because their reputations and ongoing referrals carry them through the years. One of the best ways to find a great recruiter is through word of mouth. Ask around. Clients and candidates alike will share the names of trustworthy recruiters.

Recruiters with integrity are worth their weight in gold, and finding one will pay off for both candidates and employers time and time again.

Geri Duncombe is the director of marketing for Goodwin Recruiting 



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