LinkedIn has an abundance of recruiters who use the site relentlessly. Most of them are good at their jobs and help to strengthen the reputation of our industry. Unfortunately, there are also lots who aren’t (aka Cowboy Consultants). These individuals tarnish our reputation and make life difficult for the rest of us.
At this point I imagine a lot of you are rolling your eyes and thinking ‘this is another consultant-bashing blog’ – well this is far from it! I want you all to know that this isn’t a complaint, nor is it a dig at all recruiters.
Sadly recruitment consultants don’t have the best reputations – this is entirely due to the fact that a lot of people have had negative experiences with them. As with all walks of life, it’s the negative parts that stick in our minds.
I have highlighted some typical things that I believe ‘Cowboy Consultants’ are guilty of – I’m sure the majority of you will agree with me:
<-Sending impersonal invites:
How many times have you received an invite on LinkedIn from a consultant that looks just like this? If they can’t be bothered to type your name and a personalised message; then it is evident you are just a statistic to them.
Spamming potential candidates:
This is linked to my first point. If you send impersonal messages or unwanted messages then you will normally be ignored. Regardless of what your sales targets are you shouldn’t send impersonal messages to any hiring manager you know:
‘Good morning Sir/Madam
I have found a candidate that I believe would suit you perfectly. They currently work at___ and I believe they would fit into your company perfectly.
Let me know if you’re keen ASAP; as lots of other clients are interested!’
Please stop doing this! Any potential client would be rightfully annoyed if you don’t know their name, but assume you understand their business and what they need! Take the time to learn your clients and candidates, and make considered suggestions.
Getting angry if a candidate isn’t interested in the role:
As a consultant you may believe you have found the perfect role for your candidate. Therefore when you are informed they aren’t interested this can hit you hard. DEAL WITH IT – it’s part of the job.
You mustn’t try and convince the candidate to do something they aren’t comfortable with. They will rapidly lose trust in you and probably want the commission to go to someone else!
Not meeting the candidate before sending them out:
It is so important to meet your candidates. This is an intimate and personal job and you have to get to know your candidates so you can carefully consider which companies and roles they will suit. A lot of companies will ask the candidate which consultant they met, what they told them about the company and what their experience with the consultant/agency was like! If you haven’t met them it’s you that looks bad, not them! Meeting candidates is beneficial for your reputation, the candidates’ chances of getting the role and maintaining your relationship with the client.
Worrying about KPIs too much:
Despite popular belief, recruitment is not a numbers game. The saying ‘throw enough s**t and some of it is bound to stick’ is not a mantra to go by. It’s not about volume of calls; it’s about the quality of the candidates and the suitability to the roles you are sending them to. If you don’t work carefully and methodically you will ruin your personal brand and your credibility. A capable recruiter should be trusted above all else – you will never be trusted if you send candidates relentlessly without checking if they suit the client or the market!
I hope I have done my bit to highlight some of the negative and harmful techniques that are actually giving our industry a bad name. As I said in the opener I sincerely believe that not all recruiters are bad – I don’t even think that most of them are. However, there are a small percentage of Cowboys ruining it for the rest of us!
You may not have even realised it was you until reading this – so please be more considerate and ethical in your approach towards recruitment, and we can rapidly start to rebuild our reputation again!
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