Let’s lift the lid on bad recruiters

We have been thinking lately about the differences between a good recruiter and a bad recruiter. Now we are not saying that bad recruiters aren’t trying hard at their job, but as we have said in the past, not all recruiters are made equal. So, what are the tell-tale signs of a bad recruiter?

Social media is a great tool if used correctly and can really help your message reach further, yet a lot of recruiters seem to misunderstand its uses. Advertising open job roles in a scattergun approach across all social media is a sign of a bad recruiter. It is spam and it is a waste of time. A targeted approach should be adopted, prioritising research and real connection as opposed to generic messages. Also, creating content with real value is a neat way to boost credibility.

Speaking of generic, generic emails are another area in which the bad recruiter excels, and we don’t mean that in a good way. From the outside, the bad recruiter is using their time productively. Sending out generic emails means the message will hit a lot of inboxes. The problem is that unless the message is tailored and candidate-centric, this approach is likely to alienate prospects. The message is clear: I don’t spend much time on my emails so I won’t spend much time on you. And for most candidates who are looking for work, they will have witnessed those two things align more than once in the past. Having an understanding of candidates, and which candidate would fit the role perfectly, is a skill not all recruiters possess and having the time to craft that email which will show them that they matter, is the mark of a recruiter with time management skills and real business acumen.

A recruiter is essentially tasked with communicating the needs of the business to the candidate and communicating the suitability of the candidate to the business. One must be adept at communication but bad recruiters fail in this task again and again. The bad recruiter, once a candidate is found to be unsuitable, will likely drop them like a hot potato. No follow up email or call. No feedback on areas for improvement. No please, no thank you, just silence. And in fields such as data, where the skillset required is so specific, this attitude makes zero sense. Once the candidate has outlived their usefulness to the bad recruiter, they are cast aside. This one-sided relationship is infuriating to the job seeker and it is completely understandable why recruiters get a bad name because of it. The bad recruiter does not empathise and put themselves in the shoes of the candidate. It is made clear: this is transactional and you could just be anybody. Aside from being quite cruel, it is also a very short-term mindset. Treating people with respect can pay dividends in the future, it just takes a little more of your time. Companies are missing out on the perfect candidate because of this course of action. If you were a candidate who was treated like nothing by a specific recruiter in the past, would you bother to answer their call or email next time?

Adding to the lack of trust, the bad recruiter works in fakery and falsehoods. This can come in the form of fake job ads, telling lies and false social media communication. An obvious trick that they employ is posting a fake job ad in order to capture new prospects for the future. Companies are impressed by a large database of potential hires but how many companies ask the question about how the bad recruiter came by these prospects? At every turn, the bad recruiter erodes trust. Every action is driven by short-term results. Similar to the fake job ad scam, is the fake Linkedin connection. Claiming that a mutual connection recommended them, the bad recruiter gains another name for their database, but how many do they lose by being quite obviously shady? Lying to a candidate about their suitability in order to deliver a set number of candidates and meet a target is basically a double lie, once for the prospect and once for the client. At every turn, bad recruiters are covering their inadequacies, their lack of organisation, their short-term mindset, their lack of empathy, their poor people skills. We know what this means for those seeking jobs, but consider what this means for companies who just want the best candidates to fill their job vacancies.