Recruiters: Friend or Foe?

Recruiters: Friend or Foe?


When the Boss looks over to me to say “Garth, it’s your turn to do a blog” I am sometimes at a loss of what to write. In the recruitment industry, particularly the Salesforce Recruitment area, so much content has already been written aimed at clients looking for great candidates and candidates looking for that next great opportunity to further their careers.

Rather than write another post about the Salesforce market, the lack of resources in APAC, the pros and cons of working for an end user or partner, or why Salesforce is a great career choice (we’ve already written all of those – check out our other blogs!), I thought I’d turn the topic of recruitment on its head and put the focus back on us: the Recruiter.

It’s no secret to recruiters that some of us have given many recruiters a bad name – we get it. Remember, we’ve all been candidates ourselves and some of us have been the client on the hiring side working with recruiters. I personally have worked with some amazing Recruiters who took the time to understand what I was good at and what I wanted and would send me to the right opportunities – these are the guys who I would trust to advise me about my career path and which opportunities to pursue.

 Sadly, this is not always the case and like most things in life, it only takes a few bad apples to bring the rest of us down. I’ve heard all kinds of war stories from clients such as recruiters posing as “bad” candidates in phone interviews to make the only candidate they have look better, to sending fake CVs through to clients and pretending the candidate got a better, higher paying role elsewhere, to machine gun firing out a resume to every client on their books to make sure they get the finders fee. 

From a candidate’s point of view, the experiences sometimes haven’t been a lot better than this – recruiters sending out their information to companies without their knowledge, putting them forward to unsuitable roles to fill quota numbers, and by far the worst, trying to talk them into a role they aren’t sure about and will not serve them in their career simply because it’s an open job they are working on.

As a recruiter in a niche market, great relationships are everything so this topic is of great interest to me. Over the last few weeks, I have made it my mission to have as many conversations as I can with candidates and clients to get their biggest complaints about recruiters out on the table – air that dirty recruiter laundry – so we can make the experience better for all involved. In the recruitment cycle the candidate experience is one of the most important things and all three parties, client, recruiter and candidate need to work together to make it the best possible experience

While a little less dramatic than the examples above, the main grievances I have from Candidates are:

  • The Recruiter didn’t know the market and/or didn’t understand what the job was really about.

  • The Recruiter never provided feedback, and in many cases they never heard from them again after an interview.

  • The Recruiter didn’t seem to care about what the Candidate was looking for.

From Clients:

  • The Recruiter did not understand the role

  • The Recruiter seemed to understand the role but flat out just sent the wrong candidates

  • Receiving fake CVs

  • Unsolicited floating of CVs

Over the last few weeks I have heard many stories but very interested to hear more!

Feel free to comment on the blog or message me directly and would love to hear from candidates, clients and recruiters. What are thoughts tips advice that you would give to people out there, some of the questions I have been asking are:

  • What do you think Recruiters could be better at?

  • Do you work with Recruitment agencies as a Client or a Candidate? If so, why? If not, why not?

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by Sam Smeaton