DAV Professional Placment Group
DAV Professional Placment Group


Johannesburg +27 11 217 0000

Cape Town +27 21 468 7000

JOHANNESBURG +27 11 217 0000
CAPE TOWN +27 21 468 7000

The good, the ugly and the recruiter


recruitmentHow many recruiters have you worked with in your career, as a candidate that is?

Now how many stories do you know about recruiters? I’m sure there’s contrasts in facts vs. here say. I’m sure most of you know a story somewhere along the lines of, they didn’t do anything for me, they’re only interested in their commission…heartless people by the sounds of things. In truth recruiters are also human beings, trying to do their best at their chosen trade as any other individuals, and just like the general population, there are some that are really good at what they do, and some that aren’t as good, but try.

Recruiting is a highly involved people orientated business, as with any relationship orientated service, a difference will be experienced (or perceived) in quality of service, professionalism and courtesy

The first thing to remember when working with a recruiter, whether you feel they are good or bad, is that their allegiance will lie with their client. Please do not take this personally. A recruiters client, pays their salary, happy client equals placement equals commission equals happy recruiter. Whilst commission is the end goal for a recruiter, there are some telltale signs that will expose a great recruiter from an average one….

A good recruiter understands where you are coming from: a good recruiter listens to what you say, and don’t say. They take a keen interest in your career and personal life to assess if the decision you are potentially making is the right one for you. I have often reminded a candidate when facing the fear of change, why they wanted this in the first place.

One of my favourite placements was moving a lady from a cement plant to Johaneesburg, Sandton. Regardless of the increase in earning, her daughter was badly asthmatic and the change in life style would be better for her, her and her husband shared the dream to come to Jo’burg as they were working in different towns at that stage and seeing each other occasionally. These were the factors I reminded her of when she was about to turn the offer down. She was afraid and had lost sight of what mattered to her when we first met. 2 months into her new role, she called me to thank me for changing her life, for making her dream become real and helping her give her daughter a happier and healthier life.

A bad recruiter knows nothing about the job they are working on: bad recruiters are too busy with juggling assignments to care about developing a relationship. They do not know their client well, and most likely have not even met with the client face to face to discuss the role in detail. They will not understand if the company is a good fit you culturally and will not be able to explain to you how the clients company can add value to your career. Always get a feeling for how well your recruiter knows their client.

The good recruiter cares about your career: They understand their industry and the assignment they are working one. They know their client and what benefit they can offer in considering an opportunity with them. A good recruiter can advise you on what types of roles could be beneficial to your career, perhaps staying at your current company is sometimes the better thing to do and advising you on that. A good recruiter will be able to advise exactly which skills you might be lacking for certain positions and which ones a client might be looking for. This will help you in planning your own career and personal growth.

A bad recruiter cares only for the money and not the relationship: getting an understanding of how many placements a recruiter has made with a client will give you an idea of how they work. Happy client equals commission, but more importantly, happy client equals repeat business. At DAV more than 75% of our business is repeat business, and at least half of a consultant’s candidate’s base is candidates they have placed before and want to be represented by that recruiter again.

When selecting a recruiter, bear in mind they are human too, therefore if you feel you have not connected with that person, try another one. Not every recruiter will suit your need or personality as well. Recruiters get into very personal conversation spaces with you, so it is important you feel comfortable with them and trust them.

Happy recruiting for your recruiter!


About Brigitte Degener

Inspired by challenge and adventure, I’ll try anything once, well, almost. I have a love for anything fun and quirky and crave information and knowledge. Recruitment is my passion, for its diversity of people, situations and live changing opportunities. My team is a “pirate” crew, maximizes of potential and magnetic in personality... we exhibit free and independent thinking, saying no to "Zombism". Connect with me on LinkedIn

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