Research Driven Recruitment

How to deal with difficult recruiters…

We’ve all been there and we’ve all dealt with one; trying to shake off a shoddy recruiter is something that we all have to face in our careers at some point.

There are a number of myths and misconceptions about how recruiters should and do work and even why their job function exists nowadays. Unfortunately, this means that many job seekers out there don’t realise how to utilise them as a valuable resource.

Like all professions, there are good recruiters and bad recruiters. I would be lying if I said there weren’t a number of recruiters out there who don’t lie, manipulate, aggressively ‘persuade’ and promise things they can’t deliver on and unfortunately the sheer number of these types have meant that often the entire profession gets given a bad name. In this article, I’m hopefully going to highlight traits of these types and show you how to avoid them, or if they’ve already put you in the process with a company you really like, how to deal with them…

CV spraying… One of the first questions I usually get asked when engaging with a new candidate is “Will you send my CV out without my permission?”. If this has happened to you then, first of all, well done! You’re clearly a great candidate whose profile is so perfect that the overzealous recruiter has got excited and tried to cover all his bases. Unfortunately for you, it’s a pretty frustrating situation, particularly if you’re dealing with multiple agencies who might be working with the same client. My suggestion is to spell it out to the recruiter clearly from day 1…”Hey recruiter Bob, if you send my CV out without a permission email from myself, I will never use your services again. Thanks!” This should give them the right idea and hopefully scare them into best practice if not…

Sell sell sell… I’m often astounded at the level of which many recruiters dress up the jobs they are recruiting for. At the risk of sounding like your mother, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s not to say that there aren’t some amazing jobs out there but if a recruiter is offering you a position that’s three times more on your current basic, usually requires 10 more years experience than you have with unlimited benefits and a stonking bonus, then there might be something fishy going on. This tactic is usually to get you in the interview process in the hope that further down the line when you find out what the reality of the job is and what the pay will actually be, you’re already too far gone to start again with another firm.

Feedback… Whether you’re currently in a position, in an interview process or even getting appraised at work, feedback is one of the most important pointers that help your performance and make you get better at whatever you do. At Oxford Knight, acting as a consultant for our candidates and giving them useful preparation and honest feedback is the way we think things should be done. As you know, that’s not always the case, particularly when some recruiters are just looking to make a quick buck. There will not be a client out there that just tells your recruiter “He/She’s a no” without any additional information. There will always be a reason for your rejection and it will greatly help you in your job hunt to know what this is. Even if you’ve been successful moving to the next round, suggestions on what you could work on and what they like to see from candidates will maximise your chances of success. If you’re stuck with a recruiter that gives you nothing, dump them. If they won’t help you get a job, don’t help them make their commission.

Instinct… My final comment on dealing with difficult recruiters on your job hunt is to follow your instinct. If your gut is telling you that sleazy Bob from Business XYZ is spinning you a yarn and wasting your time, you’re probably right. Your time is precious, even more so when you’re looking for a new role. Not many businesses value the integrity of their consultants’ behaviour as much as Oxford Knight do…just make sure that if they don’t, you don’t bother with them either.

Oxford Knight is a technical recruitment agency. None of our consultants have written a line of code... yet. We apologise if this article doesn’t keep some purist happy, but we’re trying to build a new generation of technical recruitment agencies…. We listen, participate, and deliver.