In the world of professional recruitment services, not all methods are created equal. Every company has an idea of the recruiting world and what all that entails. Unfortunately, due to a lack of quality, many companies have formed negative opinions about recruiting as a whole and no longer utilize outside help anymore because of these experiences. The truth is this is a misjudgment of how recruiting should be and the reality of what it is. In this article, you’ll find examples of techniques that low-quality recruiting firms take, what sketchy situations arise, and be able to identify quality recruitment services.
High Volume vs. High Quality:
In essence, there exist two perspectives on recruitment strategy: high volume and high quality. One of these is the right way and the other is not. Many recruiting firms in the IT industry regrettably choose the easy way out and focus 100% of their efforts on volume; the thought process here is that if they throw enough candidates at the wall, eventually one will stick. Here is an illustrative example of the multitude of emails we receive daily, providing a clear picture of the approach in question:
The Telltale Signs of Lazy Recruiting:
The right approach is not to market every available candidate you have to clients whom you don’t even know if they need these assets. Professional recruitment is about exact precision, careful consideration, and providing your clients with 2-3 candidates that are a perfect fit. The essence of recruitment is building and curating relationships with clients and that is only achievable by giving them exactly what they want – not this mess that you are now asking them to unpack.
Respect - The Foundation of Successful Recruitment:
Another common shortcoming you’ll see evident is just a general lack of respect for the end client. Why would someone want to review 40+ subpar resumes for a position that they have open? By constantly and consistently sending inadequate fits for positions, they are signaling to hiring managers that they do not value their time at all. Another example of this is when emails, calls, and texts like this are sent out (and this is another one we get multiple times daily):
Considering this message, what that tells me is “Hello, I don’t know who you are or what jobs you’re working on, but can you send them to me anyway and I’ll send you a ton of candidates?” Asking if I have any, “Open IT position for today” tells me that they haven’t conducted any research at all into what I am looking for; if they were truly interested in what jobs I’m working on, it will take less than 5 minutes to find that out. Go to the company’s website, look on the company’s LinkedIn, and look for a specific job that they know they’d be able to help with.
Not to mention, most of the time the job description is available and you can see exactly what specifics clients are looking for. But that format doesn’t work because these companies don’t care what jobs clients have and are instead copying & pasting this email and sending it out thousands of times a day – again, just throwing everything at the wall and seeing what will stick.
With Respect Comes Commitment:
Sticking with the lack of respect theme is similarly a lack of commitment. I’ve gotten hundreds of calls from other recruiting agencies asking me to partner with them and it usually is a phone call along these lines:
“Thank you for calling PeerSource, this is Rob, how can I help you today?” “John” “No this is Rob, but what can I do for you today?” “Do you have any open requirements needing recruiting help?” “Typically no. However if you have a quality candidate…” hangs up
I wish I were exaggerating but that is exactly how these types of interactions go. When they realize that I’m not going to engage with a company of their reputation, they hangup, and then continue to call all of my coworkers asking the same thing and continue to send hundreds of emails in the following weeks and months. From interactions I’ve seen, it just seems like there is a lack of interest, politeness, and professionalism. I’m 100% serious when I say if a client of ours was broken down on the side of the road 100 miles away and called me for help, I wouldn’t hesitate to help as fast as I can; these relationships with clients are the lifeblood of recruiting and need to be treated with the respect they deserve or simply put, you won’t be able to attain new clients or keep the ones you do have.
Attention to Detail:
A big issue, and an easily avoidable one, is a lack of attention to detail. To simplify the problem, if a client is asking for A, B, and C, it only harms you to consistently submit X, Y, and Z. This is a simple mistake but one that reflects deeply on your understanding of the job. If a client is asking for example a software engineer, experienced with C#, React, Python, REST APIs, Azure services, and at minimum needs to have a Bachelors Degree, it does nothing but harm you to submit an entry-level help-desk technician – and yes that is a real example of a submittal I received for that job. When I said no to that specific candidate, I got this email response:
Not only was this person 0-for-3 on candidates, but now I’m seriously questioning if they understand what it is I’m looking for – and that damages their reputation which damages their recruitment capability. In the future, do you think I would be more inclined or less inclined to utilize this resource for candidates? It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to ensure candidates are the exact right fit for the position. That means conducting several interviews (not just a 5-minute call), diving deep into skill-match, capabilities, understanding a candidates strengths and weaknesses, and only moving forward with the best of the best.
The Growing Threat of Plagiarism and Fake Profiles:
And lastly, a mistake that is 100% avoidable, is issues with plagiarism and fake candidates. This issue has become more and more prevalent, and it is so easily identifiable. It is never a good idea to copy & paste large portions of a candidate’s resume from other LinkedIn accounts or any website. All of that is easily discoverable and has just completely tarnished that candidate’s trustworthiness; a resume is supposed to reflect one’s past and current experiences, skillsets, areas of expertise, and so on. How can that be hard for candidates to write about themselves? The answer is that many times recruiting companies are composing the entire resume for the candidate and just filling it with filler-sentences, and highly plagiarized material. Those situations are a real shame as well because the candidate is the one ultimately paying the price for that decision. As a recruiter, our role is to be a coach, a helping hand, but never to create content, tell candidates what to say, or in some cases, even have other individuals conduct the interview for them. That’s all very sketchy activity that everyone can see and will run away from. If a recruiter has a candidate that they know has the skills you are looking for, it is not too much of an ask to have them create their own resume or edit their resume with relevant information. And if they aren’t willing to do so, then they are not a candidate worth moving forward.
Time for a Change:
All of these issues are avoidable for those that at the bare minimum are willing to put forth some effort. Recruiting is not about making a quick buck; on both sides of the coin, for the client and candidate, we are assisting people in making life-altering decisions and that needs to be treated as such. This profession can be incredibly rewarding when done right, but it is frustrating when companies have a certain look on recruiting because of those that don’t put forth the effort. I hope this provides some clarity for those looking for recruitment services in identifying quality firms and help other recruitment firms that are making these mistakes. Let’s make the industry as a whole better for all of us, and for our clients, turn out nothing less than excellence.
PeerSource - Our Commitment to Excellence:
PeerSource is committed to this mission and committed to being the best in this industry. Every candidate we send to a client is thoroughly screened, interviewed several times, met virtually, and well-prepped. Our candidates consistently outperform competitors for these very reasons: We put in the effort, we value every single client, and we do things the right way – the ethical, moral, and correct way. There’s no funny business here and we’re all on this team with the same goal in mind. Numerous clients initially approached us with a tentative 'Let's give them a try' mindset, evolving into a sustained reliance on our services as their primary resource year after year. This is the kind of relationship recruiting firms should strive to build. Those relationships are what make the difference between finding success and crashing & burning. Do the right thing, make an actual difference for clients and candidates, and never forget that quality will always trump quantity. In the dynamic world of recruiting, it's evident that quality isn't just a metric — it's a commitment.