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The Honest Truth

August 26, 2010

I had a baby recently; with that in mind I may have gained a few extra pounds which has taken me out of my normal clothing size into one I would rather not divulge at this time.  Recently I saw a top online and tried to order it via the phone, the very kind and brutally honest saleswoman explained that it does not come in such a large size and she couldn’t help me (serves me right for trying to buy designer when I should stick with the high street).  Although the message was delivered slightly harder than needed what I liked about this lady is she didn’t do any of the following:

  • Take up 10 minutes of my life trying to tell me the top would never fit in a subtle way
  • Tell me she would check to see if they had it in my size and call me back (then not bother)
  • Pretend she had my size and then never send it

I hope you see where I am going with this, candidate service is at the core of what we do as recruiters and most candidates just want to know the truth and quickly; most are big enough to deal with rejection if that is the case.  If the feedback isn’t good news all a recruiter does by delaying it is create false hope which quite frankly is mean.  I have heard and seen so many poor recruiters promise they will call back when a candidate has called in regarding a role and then never do so. I also know when of the main reasons our industry has such a poor reputation is for the way it treats people on the market and even more so through the recession.

So the fact is as recruiters we can’t help everyone, in a candidate heavy market as we have currently it makes it nigh on impossible to send a personal email to everyone that applies for a role.  Some of the roles I have dealt with in the last year have invited over 500 applicants, now I promise you I read every CV that hits my inbox but I have to make my decision from the CV so my advice to the jobseeker is make yourself stand out, then we can talk and then we can meet. 

For my industry I throw out the challenge:

  • Take calls if people take the time to call you
  • Tell people if you can’t help them – the truth may smart but people will prefer to know
  • Give feedback when you get it, for most people the waiting is more painful than knowing they have not been successful
  • Offer advice to both those you can and can’t help – you are a consultant, so consult.
  • If you can’t acknowledge every CV individually then create a useful automated response which stands out.

It’s that old famous line that your mum drummed into you – ‘treat others as you would want to be treated yourself!’

Blackmore’s final thought:

A friend of mine proofed this for me and asked if I was worried about competitors reading it and picking up tips.  In my opinion nothing I have spoken about is anything more than common courtesy and if more recruiters did the more my career choice would be respected and I could finally say the promised words with head held high:

“My name is Jane and I am a recruitment consultant”

Anyway I am climbing down off my soap box to go cuddle the baby the cause of my excess weight and this blog! Just so you know she is worth every extra pound (ahhhhhhhhh)

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