Hiring candidates for a living can be a real rollercoaster of a job. No two days are the same in this profession, and while this is definitely a positive thing (most of the time), there are a few disaster situations we never want to see creeping up on us!
Here are just a few of the worst disaster situations you can experience as a recruiter, and most importantly – what you can do to prevent them from happening.
1. Speccing out an existing employee to a client
The situation: You’re canvassing for new business and come across a company that you know your star candidate would be a perfect fit for. You spec out their CV to the hiring manager… only to realise the candidate is already working for this company!
The solution: The key to ensuring this never happens is fairly simple, but it’s crazy how often recruiters still get this wrong: Never send a CV to a prospect or client without doing your due diligence first.
Slow down with your processes – we all have targets to reach but spraying and praying like this isn’t going to get you anywhere and accidents like this will sever relationships and damage your reputation. Avoid trying to do too many bulk actions without thinking carefully and considering the details you have in front of you.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re using your recruitment CRM correctly, this should never happen!
2. Losing a candidate to a backdoor hire
The situation: When the client goes behind your back and hires your candidate directly to avoid paying your fee. This is the worst thing that can happen to any recruiter, and when you think about it, it’s essentially a case of the client stealing money straight out your pocket.
The solution: It’s a tough place to be in, but the best way to avoid a situation like this is to accept that you have a role to play in preventing it from happening in the first place. Here are some tips on how to stop backdoor hires from happening to you:
- When you’re sending out a candidate’s details to a client or prospect, provide enough detail to spark their interest but not enough that they’d be able to track down the candidate themselves.
- Make sure your terms are signed and in place before interview stage.
- Stay close to your candidate and bring value to everything you do so the relationship is tight. And don’t be afraid to ask your candidate if you expect a backdoor hire is happening – here are some tips on how to approach the conversation.
- Build value in your relationship with your clients too – if your client has no qualms about going behind your back like this, there’s clearly no loyalty there. What are you doing to fix this?
3. Your candidate doing a no-show on start date
The situation: So your candidate has accepted the job offer, both parties seem happy about it and everything’s looking really positive. But then start day comes around and the candidate doesn’t show up!
Disaster situations like this will make any recruiter look really unprofessional and like you’re totally out of touch with your candidates.
The solution: Ensuring that your candidate shows up on start date is really just a matter of managing the notice period as professionally as you possibly can as this is a really volatile period for everyone involved.
It’s always important to establish early on in the hiring process if there’s any chance your candidate could be open to a counter offer and make the client aware that there’s a risk there. This way, you’ll at least protect your client relationship (and your reputation!) should things not work out.
For the candidate, correspondence from their new employer will be valuable at this stage, as this will make them feel like they’re already part of the company and entering an emotional contract with their new boss. You could even suggest that an arranged office visit become an integral part of the onboarding process at your client’s business as this is really effective at preventing drop offs.
4. Your candidate getting busted for lying on their CV
The situation: You send off your star candidate to your biggest client and you’re buzzing full of confidence that they tick every box the hiring manager has asked you for. But a few days later, you hear back from the client that they’ve busted the candidate for lying on their CV.
The solution: Candidates lying to get a job….never! Jokes aside, we all know candidates lie on their CVs, and whilst you can’t do much about that, you do have a responsibility to do your due diligence to ensure the information you’ve been provided at least matches up.
So, do your research! Don’t take everything you see on a CV at face value – do some social media stalking and quiz the candidate personally on their CV before you put them forward to your client. If your recruitment software has a candidate portal, this will be a space where they can provide proof of any training or qualifications they have that will be easily accessible too.
Avoiding disaster situations like this on a day-to-day basis is about developing positive daily habits that mean you're always a step ahead ahead of the game. Download the eBook below to find out what those habits are and how to bring them into your routine.
Alan is the Associate Director of Growth at Firefish. An agency recruiter in a former life, he loves helping recruiters find ways to recruit smarter.