How to Recognize if Your Recruiter is Doing a Bad Job?

Not all recruiters are created equal

A recruiter’s job is to find the right candidate for the right position in the right company, or at least that’s what he should be doing. A recruiter, like any other employee, can be at any stage of their own development and may still be learning their trade or indeed already have years of experience. Neither of these on their own are an indicator of skill level. The eagerness and imagination of a fresh-faced recruiter can often times off set the haggard set in their ways experience of a seasoned pro. But the question is how do you know if your recruiter is doing a poor job?

Well, cost can often be an indicator of skill level, but not always. The more you pay the more experienced and skilful the recruiter will be. At least that’s the theory. But what if your company doesn’t have the funds to pay for an expensive, supposedly highly skilled recruiter?

Whatever your budget, bad recruitment practices can set a bad first impression for your business and say a lot about your company’s organisation and practices. But this brings us back to our previous question, how do you recognize if a recruiter is good, or, to put it bluntly, doing a shit job?

Well here are a few tips that can help you figure this conundrum out.

Their Telephone Manner is Poor

One of the biggest clues to the aptitude of any recruiter is how he or she handles themselves on the telephone. If they present a calm, polite and respectful manner that sets a good tone for your business then that’s a positive sign. If, on the other hand, he or she goes straight into interrogation mode and tries to pin an applicant down before they have a chance to breath then the odds are the applicant will go elsewhere.  

They Don’t Respond to Applicants

Another clear sign that a recruiter is poor is when they fail to respond in a timely manner to applicants by not calling when they say they will, or failing to respond to emails. What you have to remember is that most applicants will be applying for multiple positions. If your recruiter is slow to respond or, even worse, doesn’t respond at all then quality candidates could be slipping through your fingers.

They Ask Poor or Irrelevant Questions at Interview

Obviously, a recruiter at some point will need to check a candidate’s skill level and his personality. This is a skill that all good recruiters should have honed to perfection. The questions should be probing and have a specific reason. Some recruiters, however, believe that questioning is more a matter of quantity over quality so will ask a series of generic and superfluous questions. This oftentimes highlights a lack of skill in the recruiter and can show that he or she doesn’t really know what to do and is filling not only time in the interview but also your vacant position with anybody they can as quickly as they can.

They Show Way Too Much Confidence

Brash, in-your-face recruiters are okay if they can back that brashness up with skill. But in our experience, the louder a recruiter is and the more they brag, the bigger the chance is that they are fly by nights who will fill your vacancies quickly but poorly. Being overconfident to the point that they guarantee to fill your vacancies is a sure-fire sign that their business approach is probably pie in the sky. When choosing a recruiter look for the consultants that are honest from the start. This way you will know exactly what you are getting from the get go.

Remember There Are Good Recruiters Out There

There are some amazing recruiters out there who are both skilful in their trade and will find the best employees for your company. If you avoid those recruiters that display the bad practice we have highlighted then there is no reason why you cannot forge a successful and productive relationship with a recruiter, which in turn will help you find the employees you seek.


Meery Reisi

Recruiter and client success manager. Meery’s experience in organizing talent across different industries has helped many employers and businesses improve their recruitment and hiring.

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