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The difference between a good recruiter and a bad

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Posted on 13th May 2020 at 1:13pm by Amanda Franks FIRP in Clients, Job seekers

Someone said this week that in their job search there are more bad than good recruiters. It got me thinking about what makes someone a good or a bad recruiter.

Having read lots of negative posts recruiter bashing there seems to be two very simple things that differentiate a good recruiter from a bad.


The hardest thing in the recruitment world is not having jobs for everyone. Today I interviewed a lovely lady who has a great work history but finds herself without an income. My husband was in the office with me whilst I was in a Zoom registration with her. Half an hour later he said “you will get her a job won’t you”? It was playing on his mind.

We are in a pandemic. There are minimal jobs out there and I could say of course I will find her a job but I have to be honest. I will do my best. I explained to her the type of roles available at the moment and the rates they are coming in at. I asked her to stay in touch.

The reality is that recruiters can’t make promises. Over promising helps no one. Currently we have high numbers of job seekers and low numbers of jobs. We can only do our best. The situation goes wrong when you don’t manage expectations at the beginning.

You can’t call 200 candidates every week to update them but you can ask the job seeker to drop an email or call you to keep in touch. Share the responsibility for the job search, don't say you will keep in touch because you can't promise that given the number of job seekers registered.

The second issue I can see that causes upset with job seekers is when recruiters forget they are dealing with people’s lives.


I find the best recruiters are those that remember how important a “job” is to their customers. Most people spend more time at their place of work than with their family. This means that changing jobs or being let go of from jobs is a massive deal! They come to a recruiter with all sorts of emotions. Anger, frustration, hope and desperation. Our job is to support the search, recognise the emotions and manage their expectation. Mostly our job is to see the human being!

Imagine the anticipation of going to an interview. You left thinking the future is a lot brighter than it was before that interview and you sit by your phone waiting for THE call and…………..silence. No feedback, no decision and no thank you for attending.


With every interaction or missed opportunity for communication that relationship is broken and it is not just you that are the problem, it’s the whole recruitment industry!

So good recruiters are those that manage expectations and treat their customers like people. That’s it! That’s my findings.

If you do these two things then our industry would be a much better place and our reputation would be where it should be; as a professional service provider.

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