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How to Spot a Good Recruiter from a Bad One

There are incredible IT recruiters that will do everything to help both companies and job seekers to find what they are looking for, but there are also a ton of folks who just want to close the deal. Nowadays, it’s easy to become a recruiter, so some people are not taking this job seriously. You can call yourself a recruiter right now, but you have to earn people’s trust through your words and actions. To become an IT recruiter, you don’t necessarily have to come from HR backgrounds. Some of them may have experience in design, marketing, customer service, coding and a variety of other fields. IT recruitment companies hire recruiters who care about people and have the skills to find the best match for the job position. So, what makes a good recruiter and how can you recognize the bad one? Let’s find out!

Signs that you have to break up with a recruiter

First, we have to ask ourselves why are there so many bad recruiters that ignore candidates, don’t get back in touch with them, or even lie to them? Well, nobody likes to tell people that they didn’t get the job, and junior recruiters probably don’t know how to handle this situation. However, there should not be an excuse for this kind of behavior. So, if you notice behavior on the list below, you should seriously consider finding a new recruiter:

A bad recruiter:

  1. Asks you standard questions without trying to connect
  2. Doesn’t listen to you
  3. Doesn’t send you a rejection letter or feedback
  4. Ask intrusive questions
  5. Doesn’t call you unless there’s something to report
  6. Bully you into taking the first job offer
  7. Doesn’t give you feedback after an interview
  8. Lies to you
  9. Keep canceling their interviews last minute
  10. Ignores your email

That is not the person to be your representative. Now, let’s talk about good recruiters. First of all, they don’t use your vulnerabilities to get you a job you don’t really want. They are trying to build a long-term relationship and they are patient with you. But let’s go into details. You will easily notice if it’s time to break up with your recruiter.

Good recruiter…

✅ 1. Tries to get to know you

Good recruiters won’t brag about other candidates they placed into jobs and talk about them. On the contrary, they will ask you questions about your experience and career path, what do you want to do next, and what do you expect from a company and a job. While a bad recruiter may talk over you, a good one will listen to you carefully. Further, they should know a lot about you before they even call you. Your resume, LinkedIn profile or blog will help them get to know you before even talking to you, so you better update your profile and portfolio.

✅ 2. Keeps communicating with you

Yes, recruiters have to reject more candidates than they hire, but that doesn’t mean that they should just stop communicating with you. They should find a way to turn rejection into a relationship. Sending a post-interview rejection letter should be a must, but it’s even better if they send you a personalized email. If they do so, stick to them because they are trying to build a relationship with you and to stand out from others. Any suggestion they give you can be helpful. You should appreciate these details and use them to improve your skills for a next interview they schedule for you.

✅ 3. Doesn’t ask intrusive questions

Why would you tell anyone who you barely know personal things about your life and career? A recruiter has to earn your trust, so if they ask you about your relationship, kids, or current salary, just stop any contact with them. However, they can ask you for your target salary. When we switch jobs, a slight increase in pay is a good deal.

✅ 4. Engage past applicants

Good IT recruitment agencies know where to find experienced candidates, but they also keep in touch with past applicants. They don’t just wait for a job opening announcement to start looking for candidates, but they send you an email once a week to check on you. Even mail message that lays out your terms for engagement can be helpful for potential candidates. Engaging passive candidates is very important for creating a strong network. Remember, they represent you, so they should care about you!

✅ 5. Respects your expectations

To understand job seeker needs means putting yourself in their shoes. So, a recruiter who talks down your expectations is not worth your time. If you have high expectations, they will explain if they aren’t reasonable. However, they shouldn’t bully you into taking the first job offer you get. No matter how desperate you feel about finding a job, a recruiter is here to help you find the job that suits you the best. Good recruiters need to really dig into hiring managers’ needs to understand candidate requirements. After all, a recruiter should send only a few resumes instead of tons they have received. To thoroughly research each role they recruit for, recruiters should do more than just read a job description or get a list of desirable skills from the hiring manager. They should know more about the IT department and the extra qualities they should be looking for. So, if they have all these skills, they can advise you about your expectation.

✅ 6. Plays multiple roles

There are so many roles a recruiter have to handle. Sometimes, they are marketers who post compelling job ads, sometimes they act as salespeople or PR who boost their company’s employer brand, but more importantly, they should know a bit about psychology to better understand candidates’ reactions. They have to interact with so many different people with different needs every day. Not everything is about finding a perfect person for a job. Recruiters have to interact with clients, job seekers, they participate in the onboarding process, and get frequent feedback from new hires. A good recruiter is able to handle all of these things on a daily bases. More importantly, they are able to stay calm and friendly to job seekers, although sometimes this job isn’t easy and stress-free.  

✅ 7. Leads you through the process

How many steps in the recruiting process will you have to go through? How to prepare? A good recruiter should inform you about all the details. If there is an issue, they invest their time to help you solve it. After a job interview, they will give you feedback. If they don’t do so, or if they say that the employer won’t return their calls, something is wrong. They should use all these qualities that made you trust them in the first place in order to find you a job.

✅ 8. Speak the truth

The truth can be hard to swallow, but that doesn’t mean that a recruiter should lie to you. Sometimes, they will tell you that a job is not right for you. Don’t hate the recruiter for telling you the truth. However, a great recruiter should be able to speak the truth in a way that is not offensive, but that will clearly convey exactly where candidates stand. After all, they had handled a number of applications and they know what both you and a client wants. Nevertheless, if an IT recruiter tries to shine you on for weeks, telling you that they are still waiting to hear back from the client, they may not know what they are doing. So, dump this recruiter and find someone who behaves as professionally as you do.

✅ 9. Build long-term relationships

Can you rely on your recruiter when making hiring decisions? A good recruiter should have consultative skills, but they should also send you relevant job offers. Just as consultants deliver advice based on their knowledge and expertise, great recruiters exhibit the same behavior.

Bad recruiters will just drop your resume after the first rejection, but the good one will stay in touch with you and let you know about other jobs at their client organizations. You will easily notice the great recruiter because you will keep returning to them whenever you want to change the job.  

You’re not just a number!

Let’s be honest, dealing with recruiters can be time-consuming, and sometimes exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be! A recruiting process is a great journey if recruiters treat you well. You have to value yourself, so don’t let some stranger ruin your career path. Professional IT recruiters can help you find the perfect job, so let’s find the new job opportunity together!