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Ten Pet Hates from a Recruiter

02 April 2015

Ten “pet hates” from a Recruiter:

The views expressed here are entirely personal, although discussions over the years suggest that similar views are quite widespread within the recruitment industry. The emphasis and order may change but, by and large, they are universal.

The following was written with tongue firmly in cheek and should be read keeping firmly in the front of your thoughts that I love this business. I remain constantly amazed that people pay me shed loads of money to do something that I love.

So, what has my research thrown up as a recruiter’s pet hates.

  1. The “Lazy” CV. Containing absolutely meaningless words and phrases cloned from other people’s CV’s. Examples – “Highly….” this that or the other. Meaningless. “Work well on my own initiative or as part of a team”….Seriously? Choose, which one is it?

  1. Candidates who believe they are my best mate. Don’t try linking with me on LinkedIn. Don’t phone me and announce, “Hi Mike, It’s John……” then wait for recognition, like I don’t talk to anyone else, ever – “John who for God’s sake?”  Even that’s better than the demanding candidate who forgets that we are being paid by the client, not them. Don’t phone me and rant because you haven’t got an interview unless you want to guarantee that you never will!

  1. Candidates who demand feedback when the client won’t give any or what they give is so politically incorrect as to be unrepeatable without litigation. Feedback is fine when taken in the right spirit. Normally, sadly, too many people are spoiling for a fight and want to opportunity to argue with a client who has had the temerity to turn down their application. They seem to think that they can change their minds and get an interview or a job. Ain’t going to happen. Get over it – move on.

  1. Clients who suddenly change a whole group of arranged interviews for no good reason other than they need to go and pick their kids up from school. Candidates are psyched up for a time and date. Suddenly changing it is unprofessional.

  1. Tyre kickers. Clients who start a recruitment project rolling, accept CVs for a week….give no feedback at all, then go quiet as other priorities take precedence. Even that’s not as bad as suddenly coming back a month later and asking to see some applicants the next day and being huffy when the best ones have taken another offer.

  1.  Clients with entirely unrealistic salary expectations. We are a recruitment company not miracle workers or hypnotists. We can’t persuade an experienced Finance Director to join you for £20k less than they are being paid now. No one can. Usually, such clients have done the rounds anyway and have been looking for six months before we are given the chance. In employment terms “bargains” are “bargains” for a good reason.

  1. Ex-military personal who try to hide the fact that they were in the services. I understand that they are coached and encouraged to disguise the fact that they were in the armed forces and to slip it in the body of the CV. There is a tendency to apply civilian job titles to military careers.  You served in the Army – be proud of your choice. There are roles suited to you in civilian life – just be up front and realistic with your salary expectations because what you see as “transferrable skills” are often stretching credibility.

  1. “Transferrable Skills”. By and large these went out with Margret Thatcher. Often they are cited by people coming to the job market because they have been eased out of the public sector or from a large corporate insurance company. The skills they have picked up are specific to where they worked and they were financially rewarded accordingly. Things have changed and your skills are NOT transferrable. Only experience is transferrable. Being a “Manager” doesn’t make you a manager anywhere else.

  1. Appointing multiple recruitment “agencies” and getting desperate commission driven individuals to agree to anything. Nothing is achieved by attempting to pit recruitment companies against each other. All you get is watered down effort from individuals working for a fee that the employer has negotiated down to virtually nothing by playing one off against the others. Most of the High Street recruiters have all the same CVs in their cupboards anyway. They are in the cupboard for a reason….

  1. A discussion with a group of recruiters recently has led me to believe that what I thought was a personal issue is, in fact, universal. A request to search for an HR Manager by a client is a recruitment company’s worst nightmare. Succeed and the appointed person will immediately set about proving their independence to their new employers by steadfastly refusing to ever work again with the recruiter who put them in place. Sorry HR Managers – but you know it’s true.
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