If a recruiter is telling you she won’t work your search, pay attention. It could help you to learn a lot about what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong or could end up providing information about what your competitors or doing or the health of your market at large.
I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about recruiters but in general, I think most people understand we provide a valuable service that allow companies to get access to people who aren’t looking for jobs or who they wouldn’t otherwise see. There is value there. Others however see us as money-motivated flesh peddler which it to some degree true (we are money motivated like every sales professional is). The best of us however are focused on helping our clients- to conduct a thorough process, to avoid recruiting and interviewing pitfalls, to acquire the best talent and ultimately grow their business; and we understand that if we successfully deliver the best talent, those individuals will be hired and we will be paid. Simple. Most of the recruiters I know are focused in an industry or in a specific functional area as well, maybe both. We know the market- we are immersed in it every day, pretty much all day.
Additionally, recruiters like me, those who have tenure, have seen hundreds and probably thousands of interviews happen- we know the processes that work and that don’t work. We know demand levels for certain positions based on market timing and geography. Effectively, we know lots of stuff. But we also know how to evaluate client searches to determine if it is workable and realistic. So, when a recruiter tells you “no” here are the most common reasons:
- Your job requirements are unrealistic for the position
- Your comp plan is too low (if it is too high a good recruiter will tell you that as well)
- Your interview process will fail
- Your process will take too long
- The negatives about your company can’t be overcome successfully
- The position has been open too long with too many previous failed hires
- Your recruiting contract is awful- fees too low, guarantee is unrealistic, money back terms, etc.
- You have too many resources involved to make it worth my time
Regardless of the reason, when a recruiter tells you “no” you need to ask why? Only good recruiters will tell you “no” by the way. Bad or desperate recruiters will say yes to everything and anything. But if a recruiter is telling you “no” you can be relatively confident you are dealing with someone who not only is accomplished and proven but who knows your market and who knows something you probably don’t. It can’t hurt you to ask and listen to the answer. You don’t have to believe us when we tell you the answer. Unless the next recruiter you talk to tells you “no” too.