SelectOne Blog

A Good Recruiter Will Tell You the Truth


We train our recruiters to tell candidates the truth.  And we only hire people that share our company values with integrity and transparency chief among them.  Yet we operate in an industry with bad recruiter reputations because corner-cutting, salary-fluffing, and misinformation are too often the norm.  A recent survey by Global Recruiter revealed 60% of people are put off by using a recruitment agency due to poor industry reputation.

How do good recruiters compete at a high level and overcome negative preconceptions when many are out only for a quick placement?

It’s simple:

Strong relationships are forged on mutual transparency.  We expect a lot out of our clients and candidates in terms of communication and honest, thorough, transparent, and timely information.  Since we expect a lot, reciprocation from our end is imperative, and we hold ourselves to the same standard.   

How does this impact both clients and candidates?  

Client jobs are represented accurately to the greatest extent possible.  Honest, unfettered feedback is provided – good, bad, and ugly, when it’s available.  When a client engages us on a search, they’re committing significant time and capital in our firm, and we do everything we can to validate their investment in us. This only happens if the expectations of the candidate and client are aligned, and it’s our responsibility to make sure we obtain the right information from the hiring company, and represent it as objectively as possible.

A good recruiter should know more about their candidate than just check the box information such as salary, title, and responsibilities.  They should understand aspirations, career trajectory, and what will be compelling in terms of a potential new opportunity and employer. Without these understandings, it's common practice for recruiters to disservice the candidates and place them in an unfavorable position:

  • A working director looking for an opportunity with a succession planning path to an executive leadership role shouldn’t be mislead and sold on a lateral move when no such intention exists.
  • An individual producer looking for better work/life balance shouldn’t be convinced a company notorious for working their teams to the bone will suddenly change their stripes.

It’s not to say either of these roles is inherently good or bad, it’s simply that convincing candidates of an alternate reality that does not exist will only serve to increase the likelihood of a bad situation for both the employer and newly hired employee.

Imagine accepting a new role and in your first week finding out that what was presented to you is actually not true… It would be pretty jarring!  The likelihood of a long and successful tenure would be low.  And everyone would suffer for it – the candidate, certainly the client, recruiter and search firm.

A good recruiter will tell you the truth; not only can clients and candidates handle the truth,  but they should demand it when working with a search firm to ensure the perfect placement. 


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