The Value of Honesty in a Down Economy

Scott Gordon

"I met with a recruiter several weeks ago. I thought it went well; but looking back at the meeting, I got pumped for leads but never actually heard back from them."

This is the number one complaint by candidates who have introduced a recruiter into their job search.

In one of the most difficult times in recent history, what are you doing to separate yourself from your completion? Too many times I hear the complaint above, as well as a plethora of additional "concerns." What’s the point of exerting effort to suit up, drive across town and spend hours in a room with a head hunter only to be given false hope?

Empathy is one of the most important things that is forgotten in our industry. We’ve gone blind focusing on the next hire instead of focusing on the relationship. And relationships are what enable our businesses to recreate themselves over and over. I’m constantly reminded of when I was in the job market and how much value I put into the person on the other end of the phone. If there was a hint of insincerity, the relationship suffered. I would still "allow" the recruiter to place me only because I needed the opportunity, but I vowed never to be that type of staffing professional.

We stress honesty for our candidates in their job search; in turn, they should expect the same.

If we only provide a smiling face and no follow up, we’ve provided no value, and thus no reason for an extended relationship.

The ability to answer the tough questions without sugar coating in an economy such as this is an art form, and—based on my day-to-day conversations with job seekers—appreciated and valued. We often think of "tough questions" as those asked about our end client. Provide information about your own company. If you are a third party recruiter, enlighten your candidates with your view of your relative market, the number of placements you’ve done as well as the increase or decrease in your business.

If you are ultimately unable to provide assistance through your own company, point them in the right direction. The only reason they are in your office in the first place is to find employment. If you can’t enable and assist, then you have provided no value.

Don’t be one of "the other recruiters." Be the recruiter.