Why recruiters have a bad rep, and a specialist recruiter could be the answer

A good recruiter will funnel applicants and help the absolute best rise to the top.


Not all hiring managers and talent like us recruiters. Usually, frustrations stem from their rejected applications or are angry because they never hear back, or some simply believe recruiters become a gatekeeper throughout the whole process. Whilst we accept that it’s part of the job, it doesn’t need to be something that's a given.

How can we change negative opinions into positive ones? The gap between specialist recruiters and the general recruiter has been made very clear. With more specialist roles arising that require serious know-how for a recruiter to place effectively. They look past items listed on the CV and also educate hiring managers about talent in the marketplaceHere are some reflections on what recruiters do and why we aren't all bad.   


Why recruiters get a bad rep

A dislike for recruiters might not sound like a new thing, but we want to take a stand as good recruiters (and humans). We think bad recruiters fall into the three following behaviours...

  1. They may not have enough experience

Recruiting is not easy but it isn't rocket science either. Finding the right people, with the right attitude, skill sets, and experience to fit into the right company, culture and team, can sometimes feel like a needle in a haystack. Unfortunately, some recruitment companies hire a lot of their people who have never worked in recruitment roles before, meaning they struggle at efficient sourcing, building a network of relationships which is a byproduct of sourcing and reaching out to top talent to make the most effective and long-lasting placements.


2. They treat recruitment like sales

Some recruiters see themselves as a salesperson - they want to place talent to make the sale. This gives recruiters a terrible name, why? often they end up mistreating people. Recruitment is not sales, and when you treat the people you’re working with as the product, it raises ethical questions. 

Adriana Borg Cardona, a recruiter of eight years at Boston Link says “with all the terrible tales (we’ve heard them too!), we know that a lot of recruiters have treated people like a number, when in fact you should be approaching the relationship long term and like a friend. Follow up with them, thank them, when you say you will call, call. ”


3. They don’t listen to people

Many recruiters don’t actively listen, so they then don’t understand exactly what the best match is. They do this mainly because they don’t receive formal training and therefore may not understand the importance of listening to the client’s needs and trying to fulfill them. When recruiters don’t listen to someone's values or aspirations, it's more difficult to guide honest expectations and think out of the box to help someone evolve their career. 


Why work with a specialist recruiter?

Working with a recruiter can be an amazing opportunity to access top talent and match both hiring managers and talent who can both win in terms of growth. Whilst many of the above comments may feel negative, there are way more positives to work with a good recruiter, here is why. 


1. Specialist recruiters are selective and focus on quality

Whilst most hiring managers focus on crawling through keywords to find their new hire, a good recruiter has a complete network of those.  They go for quality over quantity. They are highly selective before they send any CV’s to hiring managers.

According to Adriana "a good recruiter should only send three CV’s max".

Contrary to belief, recruitment is not a numbers game, it’s about finding the right person that matches the role. When you work with a good recruiter, you know that the CVs being sent through are only top candidates from their years of building a network of relationships; not only good at sourcing and headhunting, they’re good at qualifying and interviewing. 


2. Specialist recruiters will listen, communicate and adapt

This is especially true when the role is more specialised. Without this ability to listen and adapt, recruiters will fail at finding the best for the company.  We know, as a candidate, it’s infuriating to be shown a job by a recruiter that has nothing to do with their tech field, and these kinds of instances are what gets people saying “argh another recruiter”. A good recruiter should assist candidates throughout the whole recruiting process, from communicating at the application stage, reviewing and improving a CV, and giving interview feedback.

A recruiter will also educate hiring managers on the talent in the marketplace. Whether you are a larger or smaller company, you can avoid setting up ineffective recruiting processes and lists of crawling keywords. A good, experienced recruiter can transfer processes they've observed and learned, they are good at assessing and identifying patterns (in qualified profiles or candidates) and use an effective system of sourcing.

Ultimately, a good recruiter positively acts as an advocate for both. 


3. It can lead to better talent acquisition as they set the tone for the organisation's culture

Specialist recruiters do their job not just to make a commission, but because they love it. They love finding top candidates, helping people find their dream roles, and creating long and meaningful connections with clients and candidates alike. These connections can grow into amazing networking opportunities as recruiters act as an extended brand voice. When recruiters speak highly of a company this can help set the tone for how the candidate's experience will be and a good indicator of the organisation's culture talent acquisition and brand reach. 

Adriana explains:

“For me personally; it’s not just about making money and a placement, it’s beyond that. There's a lot of recruiters constantly messaging good talent all the time trying to get candidates to switch roles, but it's important to make career progression. I think it's about time we humanise recruiters because specialist ones make good placements and find good people.”


4. Specialist recruiters want the right person, not just the right CV

Specialist recruiters know their clients inside and out, and they know that the job description is not the be-all and end-all. The right CV isn’t everything, and personality and culture fit can count just as much.

Because of this, good recruiters make more of an effort to get to know both the business and the candidate, to truly understand what makes them tick. It doesn’t matter how highly skilled someone is, you have to get along and form a solid team. This is where personality and company culture can sometimes be more important than the actual CV.


Use a specialist recruiter to find top talent

At the end of the day, a good recruiter CARES. They are people's people and they care about the people they are recruiting not only to place them into their dream jobs, but when they’ve been hired, ensuring they're happy.

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