10 of the worst recruiter habits hurting your reputation

In a saturated market, clients and candidates have a whole sea of recruiters to choose from. That’s why you need to rid yourself of bad habits and start bringing your A game instead.

Let’s face it, recruiters have a shocking reputation and there’s no smoke without fire. The good news is, you can turn it around! The first step in your road to recovery is actually recognising that you’re doing something wrong.

So let’s take a look at the worst recruiter habits that are killing your reputation (and that of the industry!).

1. Ghosting candidates

Recruiters have a habit of treating candidates like disposable commodities. It’s harsh, but it’s true.

But in reality, your candidates are just as important as your clients. In fact, without candidates there are no clients.

Mistreating your candidates will soon earn you a bad name in your market and come back to bite you where it hurts.

Moral of the story: if you miss a candidate’s call, call them back. If a candidate’s not right for the role, let them know.

2. Hounding clients

Yes, you want to have a close working relationship with your clients. But blowing up their phone 5 times a day is a little excessive, you know?

Recruitment is your full-time job, but it’s not your client’s.

If you find yourself needing to hound your clients, it’s probably because you’re not building up enough rapport with them in the first place. It’s all about cultivating a strong business relationship.

Spend more time building relationships and bringing value to your clients. It’ll soon transform into a two-way street.

3. Wham, bam, no thank you spam

Okay, let’s remove ‘copy and paste’ out of your vocabulary. Sending spammy blanket messages out to candidates is not the way to grab their attention.

Plus, candidates are much savvier these days. They can spot a blanket message a mile off.

If you actually take the time to personalise your LinkedIn messages, you’ll have much more success! Give it a try.

4. Bending the truth

It’s no secret that recruiters have a rep for telling porkies. But no matter what you’re selling, nothing beats a bit of good old-fashioned honesty.

No job is perfect, and all candidates have their flaws. Don’t be afraid of painting a realistic picture for your clients and candidates. They’ll appreciate the truth more than the dream.

5. Take take take (rinsing your candidates for leads)

The candidate-recruiter relationship is a two-way street. While it’s good to be on the lookout for new opportunities, you don’t want your candidates feeling like a database for your next lead.

Instead, focus more on getting to know your candidates and providing them with value on every call.

6. Negotiating rates at the point of placement

Yikes. If there’s ever a recipe for disaster it’s this. There’s nothing like reaching a job offer ready to charge a shiny 25% while your client is expecting to swipe a tidy 10%.

What’s the point in doing an amazing job finding the dream candidate only to fluff it up right at the end? All that hard work goes down the pan.

Get clear on the terms from the get-go. Don’t even register the role until you and the client have agreed the fee in writing.

7. Pushing too hard for the sale

No one likes a pushy recruiter.

Changing careers and hiring new employees are two serious commitments. If your candidates and clients feel like you’re trying to force the sale, they’ll soon run in the opposite direction.

Always put their best interests as your priority and you won’t go wrong.

8. Over-talking

Recruiters are no strangers to having a good chinwag. But sometimes this ends up working against you.

The key to being a good recruiter is to consult. You can try talking your candidates into a job all day long, but unless you’ve consulted with them, that placement’s not going to happen.

When you end up doing most of the talking in a conversation, it’s time to pause, reflect and pass the mic.

9. Pushing round pegs into square holes

There’s never a good time to submit irrelevant candidates for a role. This only ends up annoying your client and wasting your candidate’s time.

Instead, focus on delivering quality over quantity. If you’re struggling to find candidates that fit the bill, it’s best to communicate this to your client and discuss which parts of the spec they’re willing to compromise on.

10. Stabbing in the dark

When it comes to calling new clients, always make sure you’ve done a bit of research before picking up the phone. You don’t need to spend hours on this. Just spend a few minutes before you call to understand who you’re calling, what they do, where they’re based, and how you can help them.

Feeling enlightened after this post? Why not share it with the rest of your recruitment clan?

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