Why recruiters are letting candidates down – and 10 things they need to get right

Find out why too many recruiters are letting their candidates down – and 10 things they need to get right.

When you’re a recruiter, it’s easy to see your job most clearly from your own perspective. You’ll have KPIs you need to meet, and will be focused on the activities that will get you closer to them.

But as career management coach and author Jane Jackson explains, if you prioritise being the best possible recruiter – for employers and candidates, your business will take care of itself in the long term.

Recruiters are letting their clients down

As a career coach and former recruiter, my clients, who are job seekers, tell me that what they enjoy most about working with me is that they feel valued, and their skills and knowledge validated when we work together.

My number one priority is to be there for my clients and to help them to be at their best for the next step in their career.

However, I’ve noticed a common complaint when job seekers work with recruiters. It’s to do with it what makes them feel valued during the application and selection process, and what frustrates them most when working with a recruiter.

One of the biggest frustrations that my career transition clients share with me is that many recruiters don’t answer their calls, and don’t follow up after an application has been submitted, nor provide support and feedback after a job interview.

Job seekers therefore don’t feel valued, and often the lack of communication from their recruiter makes them feel rejected during a time that is already quite stressful as they are in-between jobs.

Why recruiters need to prioritise their candidates

I know that most recruitment consultants are under the pump and don’t have time to spend on the phone with each and every candidate but that’s no excuse. A candidate is a potential future customer, so each and every candidate must be treated with equal respect and care.

There are some excellent recruiters out there (and reach out to me if you want to know who they are!) but there are many who are very transactional.

As a recruiter, the job is full on and often there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Of course, KPIs are important as targets must be met, calls (warm and cold) to potential customers must be made, screening calls for candidates, interviews, and placements must be made per week. There are multiple priorities screaming for attention at any given time.

That is still no excuse for not giving each and every candidate the timely communication they deserve.

10 things excellent recruiters get right

For all recruiters, relationships matter, and of course you develop strong relationships with your customers, But don’t forget that candidate relationships matter too.

To help you, here are 10 things excellent recruiters get right .

1) Get to know your clients

As a recruiter, it’s your job to understand the culture of the organisation, the culture of the team and the management style and expectations of the hiring manager.

Little nuances in communication may be missed over the phone, so face-to-face meetings with all your clients is essential.

Take the time to understand their needs and always read between the lines – often what is not said is as important as what is said. Learn to read body language so that you are able to fully understand what is being communicated to you.

2) Get to know your candidates

By the same token, spend time getting to know your candidates. Get to know their aspirations, and their fears.

The more you understand not only what they can do, but what they will do (their work preferences) and also the best cultural fit for any business they interview at, the better for you as a recruitment consultant.

3) Prepare your candidates properly

Prep your candidate so they know what to expect, the type of interview they will be attending, whether it is to be one on one, a panel interview, sequential interview, video interview, case study assessment, psychometric assessment, skills test. Help them to properly prepare for success.

4) Speak to your candidate before their interview

This will help  to put them at ease and let them know you are there for them. You can also answer any last minute questions, or reassure them on any worries. Encourage them to make contact to debrief after their interview, too.

5) Follow up after interviews

After an interview, follow up with both your clients and your candidates. Always keep your candidates in the loop whether they need to wait, they are progressing, they aren’t successful or if there are changes to the job specifications or expectations.

Open and regular communications is business etiquette and will auger well for you in the future.

6) Treat everyone with the same respect

Treating everyone you work with with the same respect, and putting the same amount of effort into every person isn’t just a nice thing to do; it makes good business sense.

Remember that your candidate may be a future client and return to you with more business in future. And if they have a great experience with you, they’ll also recommend you to friends and colleagues.

7) Follow up in future

After a candidate is placed, and for those who are not placed, set up a system so that you will follow up with them every so often to know that you are thinking of them.

This will help to develop strong relationships for the future and often result in new assignments and opportunities for you as you will become known as the recruitment consultant who cares.

8) Build your own personal brand as a top recruiter

As LinkedIn is the top professional networking platform, make sure that your own brand as a top recruiter is obvious.

Share posts and updates on LinkedIn that educate and add value to your customers and to your candidates.

Your customers will love you if you help them to position themselves as employers of choice through the valuable education that you provide in your posts and articles. And candidates will love you as they will learn how best to work with recruiters.

9) Post on LinkedIn

Post an article on LinkedIn that helps your candidates to understand the best way to work with you, as a recruitment consultant.

An article will stay at the top of your profile separate from the newsfeed. Your candidates will thank you for it. Educate them on the recruitment process so they feel supported by your thought leadership and generosity of spirit.

10) Keep listening and learning

Always listen, learn, encourage, support, and communicate, communicate, communicate.

If you’re a job seeker and want to learn how to work with recruiters, book a complimentary Career Clarity Chat with Jane Jackson. 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez