by Team TMR | Oct 14, 2021 | BLOG
The world has changed, and it seems it’s not for the better. On top of the uncertainty and stress the pandemic has caused, people are stuck at home with the same people, doing the same thing day after day. It’s making people quick to anger, more likely to be rude and even turning some usually lovely people mean.
Whilst everyone is probably experiencing this shift, as recruiters we’re also bearing the brunt of a significant shift in power dynamic within the job market. For the first time in around 20 years, candidates are able to pick and choose who they want to work for and under what conditions due to a shortage of skills and applicants. This has been difficult for employers to adjust to, and we’re stuck in the middle trying to fill positions.
With all this in mind, we’d like to remind Employers and Job Seekers alike to try and be kind to your recruiter, or at the very least - don’t be a twat. We’ve compiled some tips for each group below.
Let’s get the hard one out of the way first. No, we’re not crazy or shooting ourselves in the foot to potential clients because *someone* has to say it and our clients already know we will be the ones to do so.
We find that many employers are missing the forest for the trees - obsessed with new technologies driving down costs, misinformed options about the job market, and largely ignoring the ultimate goal: making the best possible hires for business continuity and growth.
Recruiters have really, really good memories and tend to stick to their specialist industries so you’ll likely cross paths again in the future, here’s how to not burn your business reputation:
Working with a recruiter is a two-way street. We need you to provide us with as much information about the position, your company and ideal skill sets as possible - but we also need you to take on our advice about how the job market is behaving, what expectations are realistic and the best way to go about recruiting for the position. If we cannot build a solid working relationship of transparency and trust, your business may suffer through hiring the wrong candidate for the position.
Put in the time, effort and investment from the outset to make sure you have the best available pool of candidates for every job opening. Your business loses more than time, money and effort by recruiting, hiring and training people who perhaps shouldn't have been brought on in the first place. You must also deal with the havoc that the "wrong" employee can create: the business you may lose when that individual interacts with customers, the cost you incur when you have to repeat procedures that were handled ineptly and the pressures on other employees who must pick up the slack - not to mention impacts on staff morale and culture.
Recruiting people requires people skills. While data is important, a resume reading algorithm can’t tell you that while the candidate has all the right things on paper - it reads wrong or there is something not quite right about them. Recruiters with extensive experience are often extremely good bullshit detectors, something that can’t be derived from data, programmed or replaced by AI.
Recruiters attract, capture and vett candidates that could be joining your company in the future - so don’t be cold or abrupt to the candidates that get to the interview stage with you! Particular tones of voice or mannerisms can be held as proper business etiquette to one person, but seem rude to another person. It’s important to remember that these days we have a candidate shortage, so you need to work to ensure the candidate wants to work for you should you choose them as the successful applicant - otherwise we have to start all over again.
Backdooring is where an employer rejects a candidate through the recruiter, but contacts them separately and hires them without paying a recruiter. The recruiter does all the hard work in sourcing and vetting candidates, getting the very best options, and then the company screws them over and doesn’t pay the bill. You wouldn’t walk out of a restaurant without paying for a meal you ordered and ate, so it baffles us why some employers think it’s okay to do this to recruiters. It’s bad business, and given we work in industries where we may come across suppliers or potential clients of these companies, it’s a ballsy move thinking we wouldn't give the company a poor reference to others.
We hope the takeaway from this is pretty straightforward - whilst recruiters work for you, we’ll work much better if you treat us well, take a collaborative approach and don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your clients doing to you.
If you’re trying to find a new job, recruiters can be your best friends. They can match you with employers and roles that are perfect for your skills, interests, and values. The best part about a recruiter is that all you really need to do is be your wonderful and talented self!
Alternately, you can totally alienate them and make them hate you… All right, the word ‘hate’ is a bit harsh, but there are in fact things that job seekers routinely do that are total turn-offs to recruiters. Instead of getting hooked up with a great gig, you might end up ditched like a bad date.
Wondering what you can do to avoid being ditched quicker than shit off a shovel? Here’s how to avoid the dreaded ‘tw@t’ label:
Though a recruiter is not the hiring manager, you should still prepare to have an interview with the recruiter like you are presenting yourself to a hiring manager. Be professional, courteous and communicate with your recruiter as you would with your employer. After all, we are not only the gateway to your employment - we are human beings just trying to do our job. If you are disrespectful in the early stages, we won’t even bother to shortlist your resume as you’ve given us a strong enough indication of a bad attitude and lack of respect.
When it comes to working with a recruiter, it’s extremely important to be open and forthright with us. Not only are recruiters pretty good human lie detectors, there are a few ways we can sort the wheat from the chaff. Back-channeling for references is one of the ways recruiters gather more information about you - it refers to reaching out to mutual connections in order to get their honest opinion of you. If we get a sniff of dishonesty from a candidate, this is an easy way to find out the truth, with online databases or via LinkedIn or similar professional social media channels and even other recruitment agencies in the same industry over Friday drinks.
Just as you wouldn’t walk into a job interview and ask about salary in the first five minutes, you should show some restraint with your recruiters as well. The good news is that compensation will almost always come up after you’ve told the recruiter a bit about yourself, and the recruiter has described the various positions available. Just be patient.
If your recruiter can’t reach you to schedule an interview or to deliver an offer, you can kiss your chances of landing the role goodbye. After all, we are often evaluated by how quickly we can fill positions. Be sure to tell your recruiter your preferred method of communication (phone, email, text, carrier pigeon…) and stick with it. Also be sure to check periodically so you don't miss any updates. By being slow to respond, you aren’t doing anyone - including yourself - any favors.
Keeping the lines of communication open even after you’re hired is important, too. When your recruiter helps you land a role and checks in to see how things are going, be responsive and keep them in the loop. If things are going well, we want to hear it. We help hundreds of people move up in their careers over time through positions that aren’t necessarily advertised. If you’re a good fit, we’ll remember you.
Another common mistake that job seekers make is contacting the employer directly when they’re also working with a recruiter. Part of our job is establishing a relationship with the employer, and then presenting you in the best way possible. Let us do our job. Many long term clients will tell us straight away when a candidate has attempted to apply direct, so all you will have achieved is having your application binned.
Recruiters are busy people, working with many potential candidates and trying to fill multiple positions for several clients simultaneously. As such, they might take some time to get back to you. While it’s completely fine to politely follow up with us if you haven’t heard back in a few days, multiple calls and emails per day is obnoxious. You are not the only person on the planet and we do not work for you, so nagging at us will only get you on a fast-track to nowhere.
Your recruiter has a lot of insight and knowledge when it comes to resumes and interview techniques, so don’t take it personally if they give you constructive feedback. Having a thin skin or taking offense to a recruiter’s advice will not help you in the long run. In many cases we have had someone interview at this company before and may be able to steer you in the right direction. Additionally, we often specialise in certain industries and can assist you with positioning yourself for the best opportunities - so take advantage of the insider information and grab onto any feedback you get!
Whilst we get a buzz from helping people’s careers grow, at the end of the day are you paying us? No you’re not. We’ve got to make bread, and our paying clients are the companies with job openings. It’s wise to be on your most professional behavior. Mind your manners, offer decent answers to questions, and respect our time and efforts to find you a job. After all, if you can’t be bothered to make a good impression at this early stage of the process, why should we bother to pass you along to our clients?
Now that you’ve learned how to not be shitty to your recruiter, go forth and grab success!
At TMR Recruitment we hunt for top talent. We don't wait for it to come knocking. Like a predator circling it's catch - we hone in on the best. We tempt, we tease and we plant the seed. We kick arse and not lightly! This is what makes us stand out and why our customers keep coming back.
Whether you’re looking for your dream job or your dream employee - we’ve got you covered, contact us today.