Why Your Candidates Hate You
So over the years I have heard countless candidates, clients and even random people at parties knock recruiters. I’ve heard anecdotes from candidates on how they received job leads from recruiters and then contacted the company themselves. I’ve heard clients bemoan the need to partner with recruiters. I’ve even heard some people who have received jobs through a recruiter and then blocked them out of the client—cause, you know, who needs recruiters?! Totally unfair right? Or is it? Well, here are some reasons—even legitimate ones—that make some candidates and clients ‘hate’ working with recruiters.
1. Staying in Touch
The hands down, number one reason candidates complain about recruiters is our general lack of communication. What do I mean? Does this sound familiar? You find a candidate; he/she looks pretty solid. You talk, qualify, lock the person down and promise to do your best to get him/her lined up with your client. But wait, the client passes on the candidate. Or…you just never hear back from the client (argh). You tell the candidate you’re still working on it but each time he/she calls back, you have nothing new to tell. How frustrating for both of you. But, remember, your frustrated candidate doesn’t have insight into the fact that you are still calling other clients on his/her behalf; you’re harassing your client about the person’s resume; or even that you’re fielding 300 calls and emails a day. And candidates don’t know how much you want to let them down gently and not make them feel bad—you just don’t know how. All they know, or at least perceive, is that you lead them down an empty path after making them feel so solid about an opportunity.
2. Pretending to be an Expert
So who doesn’t want to look like they know what they’re talking about? And who doesn’t want to seem like an expert on their client, the technology or the job? We all do. But here’s the thing: Pretending to be something you’re not is going to get you nowhere fast with good, strong candidates. Very frankly, the more you make up answers, the faster you’ll find yourself looking for a new career. As much as you may want to look like the best recruiter for the job, that title goes to the guy or gal who can spot the best talent and has the most credibility with their client, not the candidate. So when you don’t have all the answers on the job, be honest. And get the answers stat.
3. Being Careless
Real recruiters—I mean honest-to-goodness, talented, driven professionals who understand how talent can drive and build an organization—know that success is in the details. We’re hands-on, focused and run the process from start to finish. Candidates and clients alike can tell when you are invested in the process and working to get the job done. On the flip side, everybody can tell when you’re just pushing paper and passing responsibilities on. So taking the time to work with your clients, guide your candidates through the entire process and keep everything transparent will make all the difference in the world.