Recruiters behaving better?

Those of us involved in the recruitment game sometimes get criticised for the way we operate. Failure to acknowledge receipt of applications, misrepresenting the role to be filled and lack of feedback throughout the selection process are all common complaints.

I proposed a very simple code of conduct for recruiters 2 years ago. Here’s my update:

  • Make sure the job ad accurately portrays the role you’re trying to fill – you may need to be assertive with your client to paint a realistic picture of the Company and the advertised position
  • Avoid jargon and euphemistic phrases in your job ad
  • Makes sure that you aren’t unintentionally discriminating against possible applicants by your choice of language
  • Always acknowledge receipt of an application within 24 hours
  • Leave at least 30 minutes between interviews
  • Take notes during interviews and use them for feedback
  • Provide timely feedback to both successful and unsuccessful candidates
  • Prepare a brief for your client listing the short-listed candidates and your reasons for presenting them to the client – show clearly how their background and education are a good fit for the role you’re trying to fill
  • Get useful feedback from your client as to why someone wasn’t successful
  • Offer to meet unsuccessful candidates to properly debrief the process and share the feedback you got from your client
  • Do at least 2 reference checks on the successful candidate but only after your client has chosen that particular person. Reference checks should never be used as a way to differentiate between candidates
  • Recommend to your client that they do a background check (and, in some cases, a police check) on the successful candidate. There are  a number of good companies out there who can do this work for you
  • Follow up regularly with your client and the successful candidate once they have started their new role
  • Make sure your client has regular reviews with your candidate, particularly during the first 6 months of employment
  • Keep in touch with unsuccessful candidates you particularly liked – you may be able to place them next time.

Do you have a horror recruitment story to tell? Please leave a comment below.

Showing 2 comments
  • Sandra Bowden

    Hello David!

    Thank you for writing this list. How amazing would it be if this process actually happened in the recruitment world.

    My experiences with recruitment have been very negative. My most recent experience was with a gentleman from Mars Recruitment. No acknowledgement of receipt of my resume, and when I followed up with an email, and then a phonecall, I was left feeling totally dismissed, and a waste of his time.

    Unfortunately this happened with two other services as well. I have found doing the job search on my own, and seeking the support of my professional network, is much more beneficial.

    I know I am not alone in this experience. Working in the area of mental health, I am acutely aware of how my clients are often impacted by the way recruiters treat people trying to find employment after retrenchment or redundancy. It often ads to their already low self esteem, self doubt, and motivation to keep going.

    The recruitment industry needs to pay attention to these issues, and your list is a great baseline.

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide a comment.

    Sandra Bowden

  • David Wurth

    Hi Sandra,

    Unfortunately, I’ve heard these types of stories many times over the years. I’ve also experienced it first hand, like you have. The strange thing about it is that the perpetrators aren’t necessarily bad people, just occasionally thoughtless and uncaring!

    Your point about trying to find work post-redundancy is poignant. It gets worse as one gets older and apparently less employable. Here’s hoping we all live long enough to see significant change in this area of life that affects most of us at some point in our lives.

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