Does Your Recruiter Need a Recruiter


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We don’t want you to shudder when you think of professional recruitment agencies, but we also understand that a bad experience can leave a company feeling distrustful of the whole operation.

We posted an article several weeks ago (“Not Everyone is a Recruiter – Skills and Experience are a Must”) that dealt briefly with the issue of problematic, inexperienced recruiters. We’d like to give you a few key warning signs to watch for so you can know if your recruiter is a pro, or if they could use a professional recruiter themselves to help bring them up to par.

Let’s start with the first and most potentially-dangerous sign of a too-inexperienced recruiter, desperation.


Many new recruiters work only on contingency, and this can lead to a bad case of desperation.  Or maybe you’ve seen recruiters stuck in the frantic search for a huge client and immediate payout, again resulting in desperation. The desperation doesn’t bode well for company, candidate, or recruiter. Desperation causes recruiters to act unwisely, cutting corners both ethically and professionally.

If you see this in your recruiter, it’s probably time to look for a consultant with more experience. Chances are, the desperate recruiter is either going to run into trouble by acting unethically, burn out from the frenzied pace they’ve set for themselves, have trouble sourcing and developing candidates because of their demanding or pushy demeanor, or cause a company to tire of their regular pressure to accept candidates who don’t meet the job requirements or who aren’t in the company’s budget.


We aren’t slinging mud here; ignorance is what preceded understanding for every now-experienced recruiter. New recruiters in this category could become great recruiters if they find someone who can help them learn the practices of effective recruiting. That being said, with the future of your company on the line, you may not want to be the guinea pig.

Here are some telltale signs of a recruiter lacking knowledge.

You may notice that the recruiter is struggling to locate qualified candidates, or if they are finding candidates, they are the same candidates who are readily accessible in a basic online search. This recruiter may be lost, not knowing where to go for more sourcing options, and unsure of how to begin networking.

Or maybe the candidate list you receive is lacking. The candidates aren’t qualified, and the recruiter is either missing important information you’ve given them regarding qualifications or is unknowledgeable about the specific industry or position you are hiring. They may not be able to tell from resumés and phone calls who could be a fit for the position, because they don’t really understand the position itself.

You could also be confused by a recruiter’s lack of understanding about the style and pace of professional recruiting. Maybe your recruiter is hard to get in touch with, is slow to update you on progress made, or misunderstands his or her role in your hiring process.

If you find yourself training your recruiter, regularly educating him or her on the particulars of your industry or his or her position as a recruiter, it likely means that he or she needs some extra training and experience before he or she is able to be useful to you.

While these warning signs could point to a recruiter lacking experience, they could also point to a recruiter who has plenty of experience, but is just not a good fit for the job. A great recruiter or agency will be a huge help to your company, so if you find you are working with a desperate or unknowledgeable recruiter, consider looking for someone else.

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