How to be a Bad Recruiter

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Bad RecruiterToday was just like any other Monday.  I came into the office, checked my email, caught up on interviews, candidates and clients that I needed to follow-up on from Friday and started on my second cup of coffee.  Then one of the dreaded time-killers occurred: a client of mine reached out to me to share the frustrations of his job search. “Oh no” I thought. “It’s only 9AM” Now, any Recruiter knows where this is going.  The conversation starts harmlessly, some small talk, catching up and talking business.  Then things start to creep around to the endless job hunt, the challenge of getting people to even look at a resume, let alone set up an interview.  The cry for help is just around the corner.

Now I’ve written any number of articles about being a successful Recruiter.  One of the lessons I try to drive into people is that they need to guard their time selfishly!  So you can imagine that while this conversation was headed down the ‘can you help me get a job’ road, I was thinking of ten ways to extricate myself from the conversation while maintaining the relationship.  But then something else happened….

I took 20 minutes and made some phone calls.  Seriously, just 20 minutes.  And he’s interviewing with an awesome company on Friday.  Good recruiting or bad?

  • Guarding Your Time: I always tell people that they need to guard their time like they guard their money.  Because in essence, a Recruiters time is money. Sure it was great to actually take a few minutes and help someone out.  In fact, it was a great way to start the week.  He was thrilled and incredibly appreciative…I mean, Recruiter’s don’t get that reaction often enough.  But when you get right down to it, if I took that time for every client, candidate or family friend that reached out to me I would eventually be out of a job.  So yeah, it was great…but it wasn’t necessarily good recruiting.
  • Qualifying the Candidate: When recruiters are working for clients and getting a fee, they bust their humps to make sure that the candidate is a great match for the role, the company and the environment. We cover every base we can think of to make sure we either A) make the placement or B) look like we know what we’re doing.  But today I wasn’t recruiting for a fee and I wasn’t looking to fill a job order.  There was no qualification involved.  Instead I picked up the phone and asked someone for a favor getting a resume to the right person.  Good networking? Yes.  Good recruiting? No.  If this was an actual opening with a real client for a fee, I’d be waiting for the door to hit me on the bottom when the client realized I never qualified the candidate.
  • Running the Process: Part of the recruiting lifecycle for any and all recruiters is running and managing the process from end to end.  We don’t just send a resume to a client and cross our fingers…  Instead, Recruiters run the gamut from seeking, qualifying, submitting, scheduling, re-scheduling, closing the client, closing the candidate and sealing a deal.  It’s a long, involved and detail heavy cycle.  Today I got to send a resume, make a call and move on.  I may wish that was how I made placements…but it’s not.

So what’s the point of all of this?  We talk a lot about what makes a Recruiter good and what makes a Recruiter bad but do we really get into the nitty gritty over what it is a Recruiter is actually responsible for?  Because we’re responsible for all of it.  For the client, for the candidate, for filling the job, for setting expectations and for managing all of the personalities involved.  It’s not an easy job.  Everyone (from the Recruiter to the Client to the Candidate) needs to understand that a Recruiter isn’t just the person who puts people in touch…our responsibilities are far more varied and with much higher stakes.  So for folks who think that good recruiting is simply making introductions and networking, think again.  It’s all about results and responsibility.  Today was fun, but it wasn’t recruiting.

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With a background in business development and an expertise in staffing and employment, Christine is the Manager of Market Development for At Christine focuses on creating new marketing avenues and products for Recruiters and HR professionals alike.
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