The Pitfalls of Working with a Bad Recruiter

For busy companies, getting the right staff in at the right time can be a lifesaver and having access to a pool of talent through a committed and professional recruiter is an incredibly valuable asset.

Sadly though not all recruitment consultants are quite as good as we’d probably like them to be and there are one or two downsides to consider.

So how will you know that you are working with a bad recruitment company?

The problem with ‘cowboy’ type companies is that they rarely take a medium to long term view. Their focus is on getting a warm body into a seat so they can hit their target this month. The issue for companies is that this means that they either get unsuitable candidates or even worse unsuitable employees!

Good companies will tell you that they don’t have the right person on their books, will tell you that you are being unrealistic with rate or will tell you that you need to sharpen up the job description. They do this because they know that whilst they may not get a sale in the first place you’ll come to respect them and rely upon their judgement in the future.

For a poor recruiter, information is gold dust and sitting in a meeting with them feels a bit like being interrogated. To them, getting names of hiring managers means that they have some more ‘warm’ prospects that they can cold call. That seemingly innocent question about who you reported to at your previous company or which of your current colleagues are busy is simply a method of getting a prospect list together.

When your friends and colleagues start getting cold calls from recruiters mentioning your name then you won’t be the most popular person in the world.

Contrast this with a professional recruiter who will of course need a prospect list but is much more likely to be upfront about it. If they do a good job for you then it’s only fair that they ask for a testimonial and to be passed on to your colleagues but they’ll do this after they have worked with you and not before.

Bad recruiters will take a scattergun approach. You’ll discuss the job with them and then they will email through every single CV that catches their eye, whether the candidate has the necessary skills or not. This means that as a manager you spend your time going through a huge number of CVs just to make up a shortlist which is what you are paying the recruiter for in the first place.

A good recruitment consultant will sift their talent pool and present you only with people that match your job description and then only the best. They understand that they add value to your organisation by reducing the amount of time you spend looking through irrelevant information. A very good consultant will only send you candidates that are a match, even if this means that they only send one CV.

Bad recruiters can be incredibly pushy. When you are considering which candidate to hire then you don’t need a phone call every hour asking you which one you have chosen. They’ll push you to the most expensive candidate and will expect you to make a quick decision so they can get paid quickly.

A good recruitment agency will give you time to make a considered choice and, although they will be available to help you choose or give advice, will know that it’s not their place to be making the decision for you and forcing you to act quickly.

If you’ve ever interviewed a candidate where they seem to be asking slightly odd questions that don’t relate to the opportunity, or where their understanding of the company seems slightly off then it may not be the candidates fault.

Whilst the recruitment consultant is trying to sell the candidate to you, they are also selling the company and the job to the candidate. Bad recruiters will over egg, exaggerate and sometimes downright lie, just to get someone sat in front of you. After all they reason, you may hit it off and may ignore the fact that they are not a qualified accountant or have never worked in a systems role before.

Good recruiters realise that telling the truth is vital. Lying to a candidate just to get them to an interview is more likely to annoy both the interviewer and the interviewee.

You may recognise the name of the person on the end of the phone but thought that they worked for a different recruitment company. Bad recruiters tend to move quickly between jobs, outstaying their welcome and then moving on and contacting all of their prospects yet again when they have a new position. It becomes impossible to build a working relationship with the person concerned when they move jobs so regularly.

Great recruiters provide stability and you’ll know you can rely on them to be on the end of the phone when you need them and not swanning off to any company that will have them at a moment’s notice.

Working with the wrong recruiter can be costly for you. It will probably take a lot more time to get to the point of hiring someone and you can bet that there will be a fair few annoyances along the way.

You may find that you spend more time doing things that you think the recruiter should be doing and in extreme cases you could get the wrong person in place, which could be disastrous. In short working with a staffing agency will cost you time, effort and money.

The innovative method of engaging with recruitment professionals on TempAuction means that you can be sure you’re working with someone who is a skilled specialist in their field. Employers can check out the ratings of the recruiter they are considering before engaging them and can manage the relationship and even leave feedback, meaning that it’s in the recruiters own interests to be on the ball and professional at all times.

Find out how TempAuction works here.