The 5 Lies All Recruiters Tell
Depending on your experience, recruiters enjoy a reputation somewhere between estate agents and used car salesmen. It’s an issue of trust – we do an honest job, but dishonesty lurks closer to the surface than most of us like to admit.
In many cases, honesty does matter and we hope both candidates and clients benefit from the truth. However, sometimes there are judgement calls to be made, feelings to be protected and reputations to ensure. White lies are a necessary evil, borne out of kindness (honestly!).
Here are the most common lies recruiters tell:
Out of work candidate
They may have a valid reason for a prolonged period out of work and the experience they had previously may be impressive. For some clients (not all) the potential problems in reintegrating somebody back into work outweigh any benefits. Deciding it’s too much of a risk they often go with someone who can hit the ground running.
In most cases, the candidate’s confidence is already bruised and telling the truth that their lengthy CV gap has cost them an interview risks inflicting a knockout blow. Instead, a recruiter may advise them that a candidate from a more appropriate industry background has applied and the hiring manager feels they would take less time adjusting.
There’s no excuse for being late
It’s 08.45 and a candidate is due in for the interview at 09.00. The recruiter’s phone rings, it’s the candidate: “I’ve programmed my SatNav incorrectly and I’m over 30 minutes away, there’s no chance I’ll make it in time.”
The recruiter has no doubt spent weeks finding this candidate; he has the right skills, industry knowledge and salary level. They aren’t ready to lose out on them because they can’t type a seven-digit postcode. The recruiter will just have to explain to the client that the candidate has been held up by some unexpected roadworks. The candidate sends his sincere apologies and will be there just as soon as possible.
Client takes a dislike to candidate
A candidate goes for a test at a client’s headquarters. They perform excellently on the test and have a fantastic-looking CV. They finish the interview pleased and confident. Then the client phones up the recruiter: “The candidate did well on the test…but, he was just a bit… weird, we’re not offering”.
You can guarantee a recruiter won’t be reporting that bit of news back to the candidate any time soon. At least not in the same words! Perhaps the phrase “the client didn’t see the right dynamic in you that they were looking for” is offered.
Discrimination, it happens
A client often refuses to take on, or even interview, candidates are seen as too old or too young. They may have appropriate skills, expertise and qualifications, but the date of birth listed on their CV suggests they are either more likely to be proficient in Morse code than software code or perhaps they can actually name all the members of One Direction.
The recruiter will try to reason with the client, but sometimes they don’t budge. In this instance, both the client’s reputation and the candidate’s feelings need protecting so the recruiter advises the candidate that they were rejected in favour of someone with more relevant skills.
For the eagle-eyed reader, you may have spotted only four reasons given. Dishonesty has just broken the surface of this blog.