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

How to identify the good recruiters from the bad.


render of a resource recruiting conceptI’m quite shocked, being in recruitment myself, the amount of people I’ve spoken too who have unfortunately, had an experience with “bad” recruitment consultants. There seems to be an ever growing population that views recruitment as a dying profession.

They find recruiters to be greedy, selfish and more concerned with their commission than the candidates. In fact I’ve even heard of us being compared to used car sales men! Nothing hurts me more.

As a recruiter who I consider to be relatively “seasoned”, nothing hurts me, or can I say angers me, more. To hear people talk so poorly about a profession I have worked so hard at, and something I take so seriously, hurts.

At the same time, I personally have seen enough to get where these critics are coming from. I know that there are recruiters out there that are proving them right. I come across them myself at least once a week!

Anyone with access to Linked-In or PNET can call themselves a recruiter. I envisage these people to be working from their garages still in their pajamas’ at 14h00. There is no degree to get into the field.

This means that most times you receive that first call from a recruiter, you are either about to work with someone who can change your life, or waste 20 minutes of your time.
I want to try and direct you to filter out the good from the bad.

  1. Bad recruiters don’t give a damn about long term relationships. It’s all about immediate results.
    A well-known fact: Recruiters are paid, by their clients, most of the time only when the candidate starts. So essentially, we work for free (not always but majority of the firms out there). As such, the loyalty lies where the money stream flows. As a result of this they couldn’t care less about your greater career path, they will get you on the phone, determine if you are a fit and move on. The good recruiter sees the bigger picture. They will make sure that they are gathering the information that is important to your career. If that info matches the job, than great, it could be a possible match! If not, well that’s OK too. Now we have more information for future opportunities. I have no issues telling my clients after an interview “you know what, based on our conversation this role is not right for you”, I’ve done that and my candidates can vouch for that. It’s not going to benefit our reputation in any way if we try and “fit a square plug into a round hole”, we need you to make a difference and thrive in your new role. You make us look good!
  2. How much do they know about the job?
    Honestly, anyone can get a job description, in fact give me 5 minutes on google and I can download 10 for you! Believe me, it’s not difficult. But what do they really know about the job? More importantly, about the company, its’ culture. Sure, some information is just hard to get as a recruiter. A good recruiter will dive deeper anyway. We need to understand WHY the position is open, is there high turn-over in that department? How many people are on the team, what skills are essential and what personality traits are important to the manager? If a recruiter is just reading off of a job description and hasn’t done their homework, look out. They couldn’t care less about what management style you would thrive under.
  3. They get you
    Another complaint from candidates is that recruiters don’t understand their industry. That’s why, at D.A.V. we specialize in certain areas, across the company. Recruiters aren’t Web Developers, Engineers or Forensic Accountants. They are recruiters. However, a good recruiter should do an adequate amount of research on what they are hiring for and they can become experts in trends in industry. They should understand what current trends in the market are and who key players in your area are. Most importantly, if they DON’T have the knowledge they should say it. If I’m presenting a candidate to a colleagues’ position I’m upfront and honest and I’ll say “I’m not too familiar but I can find out”.
  4. No Follow through
    Hmmm, this perhaps is the BIGGEST gripe that candidates have. They never hear back from recruiters. I know most recruiters don’t like to give feedback if they themselves don’t have any. However, one thing I’ve learnt is that ANY communication is better than none at all. If you go several days without hearing from your recruiter, and they will not return your calls, that’s a concern. If however you just haven’t heard anything, CALL them! More times than not they are just caught up in a sea of matters and haven’t had the time. The recruiter should be keeping you up to date on whatever it is that’s going on, even if it’s absolutely nothing.

I understand the decision to lump recruiters in the same bucket when even one poor experience can ruin your outlook on the entire profession. I’ve even seen one person’s bad experience have an influence on the whole company. Recruitment, on both ends, is all about your connection, your relationship. If you decide to work with recruiters, find one who has been referred to you and works with the major employers you want to work with and build a relationship. I’ve had the pleasure of placing the same candidates a number of times throughout their careers; this is something that gives me more joy than anything. To find a recruiter who cares about the person and NOT just the sale is the type of person you want to align yourself with. Even if it means you may not get placed through them this time, to know that the consultant is on your side and has your best interest at heart is what matters the most. Ensure they are the type of recruiter that understands your career goals and can align you with the right hiring managers.


About Rebecca Badrodin

An executive recruiter, a current affairs fundi and a wanna-be chef. My biggest source of joy comes from helping others be it in their careers or in their personal lives. New adventures drive me and I’ve lived in the USA, UK, Caribbean and 3 different African countries! You always need a new challenge in life to drive you and there’s nothing more in life that drives me crazy then being stagnant and doing nothing. My energy and drive comes from positive people and there is nothing in life I believe you can’t achieve, as long as your heart is in it! Connect with me on LinkedIn

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