Here’s 5 reasons why I won’t represent you…

The recruitment industry is much maligned… sometimes deservedly so, but sometimes we’re as misunderstood as the Terminator… (in all movies after the original that is)… oh… and I’m not for a moment suggesting there are any similarities between the Terminator and the recruitment industry…

represent1Candidates don’t like – or trust – most of us. They believe that all we care about are placements and money. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a candidate complain about recruiters not getting back to them… whoops… that makes me look like someone that cares only about money… anyway… you get my point.

But sometimes you have to turn the mirror back on candidates. Call it tough love… call it an education… call it managing your time better. I don’t really care what you call it, just give me an Amen! Well… maybe wait on singing Halleluljah until you’ve read the post.

I’ve met with a lot of candidates over the past 20 odd years… and I received a shedload of applications. And guess what? I don’t represent all of them. In fact, I would guesstimate that I represent less than 10% of those who reach out to me… Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. I would bet my next placement fee that most of you have similar stats…

So this blog is a direct message to those 90% of prospective candidates that I choose not to represent. And… if you want to improve your chances of recruiter representation avoid the following – at all costs!

1) Not Qualified

Dress it up anyway you want, but I’m sorry… your 3 months experience at McDonalds in Timbuktu, whilst you were on your Gap Year from studying Mechanical Engineering does not… I repeat does not qualify you for my Nutritional Scientist role. It matters not that you took a keen interest in the dietary information printed on the wrapper of the 322 Big Macs you served each day. And the fact that you completed a Cert III in Responsible Serving of Alcohol just in case the Timbuktu Board of Regulatory Control approved McDonalds application for a Liquor License… you… are… not… qualified… for… the… role.

It is the bane of every recruiter’s experience. And I for one am sick of candidates complaining about not hearing back from recruiters, when it is incumbent on you to apply for roles that suit your qualifications and experience. I’m sorry but I am not going to disrespect my client by sending them someone who is clearly not right for the role.

2) You’re Late

No excuses… end of. It is your responsibility to turn up to a meeting with me on time. If, for some strange and horrendous twist of fate you can’t get here on time call me. Do me a solid and let me know. It’s not that hard… Think about this for a moment. If you are late for me… it makes me think you will be late for my client. And that means you’ve lost me.

rep23) What are you wearing?

No… seriously what are you wearing? I get that sometimes we may be a little confused with the dress code. Do I suit up? Do I wear my jeans? Here’s a thought Einstein… If you’re not sure… ask. And don’t get me started on bad breath, messy oily hair, dirty fingernails etc. etc. etc. You’re trying to make an impression… so make one, and make it positive.

4) Interview Technique

So I’ve invited you in to speak with me. What do you do next? Ummm… how about a little thing called preparation? I’m going to ask you questions about your experience. So, if you are in sales, know your sales stats… if you are in IT Development know a fair bit about the technology relating to the role… know what’s cutting edge in your field… know where the trends are heading. You need to be able to talk about your ambition, dreams and abilities. And you must be able to tell me about the client. Finally, please, please please don’t be arrogant. For a recruiter there aren’t many traits as unattractive as arrogance in a candidate… be warned.

5) Unrealistic Expectations

I’ve got more chance of suiting up in a baggy green for the next Ashes Series as you do of getting another $20k just to change jobs! Let’s get it straight. If my client has set a salary range $60-80k for a full time role, I’m probably not going to represent you if you demand $100k and 4 days a week. I will advise you that you are being unrealistic. I will counsel you on market expectations and I will politely ask you to realign your expectations with reality… but if you can’t be realistic… then I can’t be accommodating.

So… before you continue down the unrelenting path of recruiter bashing ask yourself these questions in relation to every role you apply for…

  • Am I qualified?
  • Did I turn up? On time, dressed appropriately, smelling and looking a million bucks, knowledgably and humbly…
  • Am I being realistic?

If you answered Yes to all of these questions… and the recruiter still didn’t represent you… bash away… by all means. But… if you didn’t, do yourself and the recruitment industry a favour… change.

Now’s the time for that Amen!

Craig Watson


3 thoughts on “Here’s 5 reasons why I won’t represent you…

  1. Charlie on Reply

    Number 1 is the biggest annoyance. I recently posted a role for an experienced recruiter/team leader, very clear on the background and experience required. Yet of the initial 20 applicants I’ve had only 2 have ever actually worked in recruitment. Why is it then considered rude for the recruiter to not respond to those CV’s when the person clearly hasn’t read the advert?

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