“Recruiters are…” It’s an interesting phrase to pop into Google. The predictive text responses are out of this world. And not in a good way!

In this episode I talk about why recruiters have a bad rep and how you can make the most of your relationships with recruitment consultants during your job-seeking journey.
Links I mentioned in this episode:

26. Let’s talk about recruiters… – Transcript

[00:00:00] Hi, there I’m Bec McFarland the host of the Pop Your Career Podcast. As a career coach, I’m most passionate about helping my clients to discover their own personal flavour of career fulfillment. In this podcast, we are going to be exploring ways that you too can feel more fulfilled by your work. So strap yourself in, get ready for the ride. The tips around here are fast and in abundance.

[00:00:29] Hello. Hello, It is Bec McFarland here helping you do better and be better in your career. And today I have got an episode for you that might be a little teeny bit controversial, and that’s because we are talking about recruiters. Now I just want to stipulate right off the bat that I [00:01:00]actually started my career in recruitment, right, in agency recruitment with one of the biggest multinational recruiters on the block.

[00:01:12] So this episode is definitely not designed to slate recruiters, to give them a bad name, to be talking smack, to be shady, anything like that? I’m not about it, Okay. But what I am about is helping you to understand why you might have had some of the experiences that you’ve had with recruiters and how you might be able to have a better experience with recruiters in the future, who’s in?

[00:01:47] Okay. What’s the big deal with recruiters? Why do they have such a bad name? I’ve just gone across to Google and in the Google text field I typed [00:02:00] ‘Recruiters are…’, and I want to tell you what some of the responses are. Recruiters are trash. Recruiters are shady. Recruiters are annoying. Recruiters are sociopaths. Oh, that hurts. And to be honest, I think that some of these responses are really very extreme. I don’t think that anyone out here wants to be claiming that recruiters are sociopaths. But why do we think that maybe some of these opinions are around so much so that they’re showing up in the suggested field on Dr. Google?

[00:02:49] What most people don’t realize is that the role of a recruitment consultant is actually sales. So [00:03:00] a lot of people believe that a recruitment consultant’s role is to help them find a job, and as part of that process to help them prepare for said job.

[00:03:16] But really a recruiter’s role is not helping you to prepare your resume or get ready for interviews. Their role, the thing that they are actually getting paid for is to fill roles. Now, you might be thinking that these two things are one and the same. They’re like two sides of the same coin. On one side, it is helping the candidate get a job, and on the other side it’s helping the employer fill the role with the candidate.

[00:03:50] And yeah, the two do go hand in hand. When a result is achieved both of those outcomes are reached. [00:04:00] However, it is really important just to put things into perspective and realize that the recruiter’s role is to fill the job.

[00:04:08] Now, most of us would not blame somebody for working smarter instead of working harder, right? We often hear this phrase, work smarter, not harder. Most recruiters, and the reason that most recruiters get a bad name and that this whole thing on Google exists is because of the fact that they’re working smarter and not harder. Now, of course, you might come across a recruiter who’s got a very kind heart and they want to go out there and help their candidates to find new opportunities, and that’s absolutely delightful.

[00:04:51] But most recruiters are paid on a commission, which means that their base salary usually isn’t that [00:05:00] spectacular. Things have definitely improved since I was in the recruitment industry, but overall, the bulk of their income tends to come from commission, and they get paid a commission when they fill a role with a client.

[00:05:14] So you can see that in order for them to achieve that commission, they’re going to take the path of least resistance, which means the candidates that they put forward for the roles that they have available with their clients are going to be the candidates with the really schmick resumes, the candidates who already present really well in interviews, the candidates who already have the confidence to sell themselves, right? When they find a candidate like that who already presents well as a job package, and they have the skills, abilities, experience, and capability that the client is looking for, as you can [00:06:00] imagine, they see that candidate with dollar signs over their heads. That’s the candidate that they’re going to prioritize the relationship with because that’s the candidate that is going to make them money.

[00:06:15] So I can understand for you, you might be feeling frustrated. Maybe you have submitted your resume to a large number of recruitment agencies, and maybe you’ve even been into a few of those agencies to register. Maybe you’ve had some success with recruitment agencies in the past, or maybe you feel like you’re banging your head against a wall, wasting your time going into these recruiters and interviewing with them and registering and doing all of their paperwork and everything, and then you aren’t getting anywhere.

[00:06:48] What I want to say to you is the best way for you to build a relationship with a recruiter is to become one of those candidates with a dollar [00:07:00] sign over their head. So instead of going into a relationship with a recruitment consultant, expecting them to, in inverted commas, ‘do their job’ by helping you to get your resume sorted out and get ready for interview and all of that kind of thing, take a moment to realize that that’s not their job. That’s not what they’re in business for.

[00:07:22] It’s actually your job to make sure that your resume is scmick and that you are ready to go in and absolutely sell yourself silly in an interview. And if you don’t already have those skills, then my friend, it’s actually a career coach that you need to be building your relationship with first. I just want to take a moment to let that sink in.

[00:07:47] This episode is brought to you by the Career Clarity Quest, my absolutely free, seven day program, which is designed to support you in getting so much clearer [00:08:00] about your next steps. Find it at PopYourCareer.com/quest.

[00:08:07] When you need to improve your resume, you’ve got a couple of different options. You can absolutely go and you can pay your resume writer and they can write your resume for you. And I’ve done an episode on this already and I really think that is a great idea.

[00:08:21] Alternatively, if you want to write your resume yourself, then there are career coaches like myself who help people and empower people to do that and to do it really well. If you are not already in a place where you feel really confident about going into an interview and selling your skills and experience, then a career coach can help you with that as well. Interview preparation is something that I do all of the time. I have a tried and tested method that I’m sure I’m going to talk about on this podcast. That’s where you’re going to [00:09:00] get the help that you need from a career coach and not from a recruiter.

[00:09:05] Now, do I think that recruiters could be more empathetic? Well, as a generalization, potentially yes. I think a lot of the time, maybe they get caught up in the fact that it is a sales role and that they are looking at those dollar signs over people’s heads, and some of them tend to forget that they’re dealing with humans and that humans have feelings, and that it doesn’t really cost you too much extra to just have a little bit of empathy and compassion.

[00:09:39] But we also need to acknowledge that recruitment consultants are incredibly busy. They’re often working to really strict KPIs for the number of telephone calls or meetings and things like that that they have to do. And this may mean that they aren’t necessarily super on [00:10:00] top of some of those other administrative tasks that might be part of that whole package of keeping candidates up to date and checking in with them, and all of that kind of stuff that I know a lot of candidates really appreciate.

[00:10:17] So, as I said at the beginning of this episode, I’m not here to sledge recruiters at all. I do definitely think that there are recruiters out there who come to the industry with heart, and there are others who have no heart and they’re purely hustle. And that’s great. They’ve each got their own different approaches and they will each get their own different results and good for them.

[00:10:41] That’s not what I’m here for. What I am here for is to help you understand the role of a recruiter and the fact that perhaps what you thought their role was may not be exactly what they’re focused. So once again, just to [00:11:00] reiterate, the recruiter’s role is to fill a job with their client, and the best way for them to do that is that the path of least resistance to work smarter, not harder.

[00:11:11] And if you want help getting your resume together, preparing yourself for interview, and making sure that you are presenting as one of those candidates with the dollar signs over your head, that the recruiters will be excited to meet and sell to their clients, then a career coach is where you might want to go, and please feel free to come knocking on my door.

[00:11:37] We will make sure that the link to book your free 15 minute consultation with me is in the show notes. I hope this is giving you a little bit of clarity and that maybe you understand why you are not necessarily getting the best results from your relationships with recruiters and hopefully it will give you the push that you need to become the candidate that [00:12:00] the recruiters are really excited to sell.

[00:12:03] I hope you’re having an amazing week, and I will see you on the next episode.

[00:12:08] Thanks so much for listening to the Pop Your Career podcast. I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s tips and that you found value in what I’ve shared with you. If you like your career advice quick and entertaining, I would love for you to subscribe. Also leave me a rating and a review. If you want to continue the conversation, come and join me over on social media. You can find me everywhere at Pop Your Career. I’ll see you soon.


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About the author 


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.