When a candidate scolds a recruiter

  • Post published:24/08/2016
  • Reading time:5 mins read

You be the judge. A candidate forwarded me this email sent to a recruitment company where she was interviewed recently. She is well aware of my frank and candid opinion of those third party and in-house recruiters who still to this day have an air of arrogance in the way they treat applicants and candidates.7810_mailbox_blackLow

I have not heard from you for a few weeks since the last time we talked. I am wondering what the status of my candidacy is. I assume that you are either super busy or my candidacy is not making it to the next step.

However, I expect a big professional recruitment firm has the courtesy to send at least an e-mail to the candidates who didn’t make it to the shortlist.

After all, I spent a good amount of time with you and your team. It would be highly appreciated if you could enlighten me on how the shortlisted candidates are treated here.

All in all, thank you for your time meeting with me. Hope to see you again some time, since the local recruitment industry here is not very big.

4546_spray_bottle_pink_greenThis most certainly would have been a wake-up call for the recruiter in question, this time someone working for a well-known recruitment company. You tell me if this comes down to being lazy, ignorant, arrogant, an attitude problem, or simply not realising how “word of mouth” can easily spell disaster in a middleman and service oriented industry like recruitment and executive search?

Word of mouth advertising, also known as WOM Marketing, is only a click away in our digital world. Think Glassdoor.com, TripAdvisor.com or our local popular Thai-language website and discussion forum, Pantip.com. Marketing, branding and advertising experts say that recommendations from friends and family are more important than all other forms of advertising. Marketing executives believe that word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing.

  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
  • A typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers.

Source: “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner2854_mortar_board_purple

  • News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.
  • For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent.

Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs

True recruitment and executive search partners, those who help their clients find, assess and seduce candidates, consider both hiring companies and the candidates as clients. A recruitment company with clients but no candidates, or for that matter the other way around, will not stay in business for long.

When candidates or clients share their experience, they’re not just sharing a frustration. They are actually teaching you how to make your service and business better.

Tip to recruiters and hiring managers:

10753_single_music_note_lowRemember the saying: He Who Says A Must Say B.

The A here is: If you invite a candidate to meet with you for an interview, the candidate has most likely taken a day off from work. For many in Thailand, that’s typically one day of their 10 days’ annual leave.

The B: Treat others as you would want them to treat you. This concept occurs in some form or another in nearly every religion and ethical tradition. The law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. Have the courtesy to inform the candidate of what’s happening on a regular basis during the weeks or months of your search.

Tip to candidates:

Be blunt with the recruiter who has invited you for an interview as part of their process to find the few best candidates for their client. After all, you have taken time out of your schedule to meet for an interview.

Towards the end of the interview, ask the question when and how the recruiter will be giving you updates; make sure you politely make it clear that you will not accept being ignored and never kept informed.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.