Reputation and Recruitment

After all these years being involved in the business of recruiting Programme and Project Management practitioners, it still astounds me how people fail to recognise that their reputation is put at risk every time they enter the fray.

I am not just talking about candidates here but potentially more interestingly organisations who may have so much more to lose.

Typical scenarios are:

The Unengaged Candidate:

In this group, we have candidates who apply for a role, expect their CV to be put forward to the client and do not want to engage with the recruiter.

Wake up and smell the coffee! As a recruiter, I have my own skin in the game and I am very aware that my reputation is on the line with every candidate I put forward to my client. As a recruiter, I am the gatekeeper and if you don’t impress, show some enthusiasm or are generally unengaged, I am not going to put you forward. You may be the best match on paper to what my client is looking for but personality, approach etc are all part of the profiling that falls within my remit when selecting who to progress.

The Angry Candidate:

There is generally one guarantee that we can offer to candidates who are looking for a new position and that is that there are more disappointed people in the process than happy ones.

Just think about it. A typical recruitment process may attract 60 applications, we may talk to 6 of those after reviewing the CV’s and then submit only 3 to the client. The client will go through their process and hopefully make an offer to the lucky one!

So, you start with a 1 in 60 chance if there is only Arras People working the role, it could be 1 in 240 if there are four agencies involved in the process! As such, the possibility of being rejected is quite high from the outset.

At Arras People we always close the loop with candidates, unlike the majority of recruiters; so getting angry when you are not successful is not a great move. You have shown your hand and there is a high probability that any subsequent applications will be rejected.

The Fishing Client:

Clients who are fishing to see who is available in the market without having a genuine role to fill are the bane of everyone involved in the recruitment process. The ultimate timewaster who chews up time and effort for the position to mysteriously disappear once they have some CVs and indications of how much that level of practitioner would cost. The double whammy is when they disappear off the face of the earth and refuse to communicate, leaving us to tidy up the mess they have created.

The Self-Important Client:

The self-important client is one step on from the fishing client in that they take time wasting to the next level by calling candidates in for an interview, before disappearing off the face of the earth. Not only have they wasted our time as the recruiting agent but more importantly the candidates have taken time out of their diary to prepare and attend an interview and covered any associated costs before being hit by a wall of silence. How that can be seen as fair on any level is hard to comprehend, they probably also have a corporate slogan about “people being their most important assets”!

So, wherever we sit in the recruitment chain, it is essential to remember that people are much more inclined to tell others about a bad experience than they are to tell about a great one. In our office, an encounter with a bad candidate gets high exposure (partly to get over the frustration) while the majority of good experiences go uncommented.

For clients in a market where candidates have increasing levels of choice, your reputation could have a significant impact on your ability to fill open positions as we move forward.

Whatever the scenario, think on, your reputation is always on the line.

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