Back to the blog

Seven deadly sins

Let’s face it, recruitment agencies typically do not have the best rep. Many people see them as an annoyance rather than an asset. 

Here at Smart 1, we got to talking and put these down as the seven deadly sins of recruitment agencies:

  1. Salesman or Advisor

Many of the traits that make a successful recruiter can often be their downfall, confidence can turn into arrogance, tenacity can become pestering.

I recently heard someone likening recruiters to used car salesmen. Before I continue, I must say there is nothing wrong with used car sales men, but we are not selling used cars. A car salesman is selling you a product that you will then drive away and that is, 80% of the time, where your relationship ends. That is not the case with recruiting, the relationship is ongoing and therefore needs a different approach.

     2. Targets, targets, targets!

KPI’s and targets themselves are fantastic measures of success, IF used in the right way. Pure sales targets being the focus of your workforce force them to work on speed not quality.

Calls should not be made based on a dictated number on a sheet, but on client demand, and candidates should not be placed on ‘the off chance’ but on the understanding that they are right for the position. If targets exist within an agency, they should be targets for quality not quantity.

  1. Communication

With sales targets and endless call lists, it’s no wonder communication goes downhill. Many candidates suffer a lack of communication, no feedback after interviews and no progress updates. Clients often suffer the opposite with regular ‘catch up’ calls to canvas new roles. Communication needs to be honest, open and appropriate. Candidate and client communication is completely different and recruiters need to ensure they are switching their mind-set from one to the other to give the best service.

  1. Candidate value

Candidates are one of recruitment agencies most valuable assets, without any candidates they would not be in business. But so many agencies place very little value on their candidates, especially in the fast paced world of temporary recruitment where they can sometimes be seen as disposable.

Candidates should be valued and have their hard work celebrated, whether they are permanent or temporary. We’re proud to say that we were the first local agency to offer a ‘Temp of the Month’ reward scheme. A small reward, little recognition and a ‘well done’ goes a long way!

  1. Overpromise and under-deliver

Whether this be to client or candidate. Many recruiters will promise the earth and adopt the well-known phrase ‘say yes and figure out how to do it later.’ Expectations are always best met or exceeded so our policy is be honest and upfront about any issues or challenges.  

  1. It’s a people business

It sounds simple, but so many recruiters fall in to the trap of seeing jobs as simply places to be filled. There is nothing wrong with being driven and knowing you have ‘X’ amount of roles to fill for ‘X’ amount of clients, but it’s seeing them as just ‘X’s’ that’s the problem. This is a dangerous trap to fall into. Treating clients and candidates like people is the only way to get to know them and build a relationship with them. Building a relationship means you can offer better service and ultimately wins you loyalty and trust as a recruiter.

  1. Only recruiting recruiters

As with any profession, there is always a certain amount of focus on previous experience in the industry. But this could be where many agencies are missing a trick. A team with a mix of backgrounds and skills can make for a really successful team and be a refreshing difference for both clients and candidates.

We’re certainly not claiming to be perfect but we pride ourselves on a conscious effort to avoid these seven deadly sins.

If you are looking for a refreshing change to the stereotypical recruitment agency, we’d love to hear from you.