Give politicians a break, four reasons people hate recruiters

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Recruiters, as we all know, tend to have a bad rep. We are bunched together with politicians, traffic wardens, and estate agents as being the most unpopular of professionals. But where does this lack of respect come from? And is it justified?

The market is saturated with cowboy recruiters who do not display the level of integrity that most of us do. How can we educate people that we can add benefit to their recruitment processes and their job searches?

The best way we can get to grips with this is to understand what makes a poor recruiter and then show both candidates and clients how we differ…

So, what are the biggest boo-boos a recruiter makes?

1. They try to push square pegs into round holes and just try to get bums on seats

You have a role, you have a pool of candidates but you know they do not fit the brief or have not particularly impressed you during initial registration.

Do you send them anyway because you don’t want your client to be annoyed that you haven’t yet sent anyone, and are scared they will go elsewhere?


This will only come back to haunt you when they are completely wrong for the post and the client loses confidence in your ability. Instead, perhaps we should say…

“I don’t have anyone who has that particular skillset, but I am trying some alternative methods to attract the right candidate.” Or give them full details about anyone else in order for them to make up their own minds.

2. Lack of communication with the candidate

Lots of recruiters forget how valuable their candidates really are, putting more value on the relationship with the client. They will register them, then not return their calls if they haven’t got anything appropriate for them at the time. They may send them to an interview and then fail to get the feedback. To be used and disposed of in this manner is not how any of us would like to feel in our personal lives, so why would this be acceptable on a professional level?

Keeping up good contact with candidates can be hard work but it is vital. That unsuccessful candidate may be successful elsewhere and even may become a future client!

3. They don’t know their client – or understand the job brief

We have all had that client that won’t give anything away. They might not engage in conversation at all over the phone, and just email you a generic job brief that actually tells you nothing. Without this information, we can’t sell the role or the company to the candidate. If we don’t educate our client on this it will continue. A good recruiter will have mapped out the business and the role, ideally face to face, explaining the importance of this information.

4. They are not transparent from the beginning

At times recruiters move so quickly that terms may not be agreed and fee discussions avoided. When it comes to the offer stage and the fee rate comes as a shock to the client, the fun will really start. With our dedication to social responsibility, we make sure we send terms and discuss fees from the outset; avoiding nasty surprises or complications later down the line.

Thankfully not everyone hates us, and every client and candidate we win over is a victory in its own right. By showing we can be honest, fair, and consultative in our approach, hopefully, the haters won't continue to hate.

Written by Natalie Harrison, Senior Recruitment Consultant, Clarus Education.