Have you ever wondered why your relationship with a recruiter has gone south? Or why the caliber of candidates they delivered was sub-par? It could be due to one of 7 common mistakes your organisation unintentionally performed.

Some people do not like to deal with recruiters; they believe they can do a better job without having to pay money for great candidates. There are many arguments for both side, and defiantly enough for an another article. However, for the people who have had dealings with recruitment agencies and either engaged them or spoken with them on the telephone, you might be unaware there are seven mistakes that can not only put a strain on the relationship, but also put an end to it if certain faux pas’s are not nipped in the bud straight away.

Here are 7 common mistakes individuals and businesses do not realise they are making, and though innocent, they could be damaging their chances of working with the right Contingency Recruiter.

1) Expect to negotiate fees well below market rate:

Being a recruiter is a tough gig, and not many succeed, yet oodles try. The role of a great recruiter is not the misconception to only post an ad online and wait for candidates. Their day is varied, hectic and there is never enough time to complete all their tasks in each day. Client meetings, sourcing new business, following up on past placements, reference checking, answering inquiries and networking with suitable candidates for talent acquisition pipelines are just a handful of tasks a recruiter can be juggling in an average day. Moreover, this is on top of interviewing candidates and assisting clients who want to make their candidates offers or have phoned in new vacancies. Before asking a Recruiter to go lower on fees ask yourself, would you lower yours to the same level if a client asked? Recruitment is a business just like any others, so remember if you go to low, you might be risking the chance of receiving the help from a well sought after recruiter over a few percentages.

2) Demand an update the day after giving a recruiter your role:

Everyone is keen to know progress, especially when your business is hurting and you are desperate for additional hands on deck. There could be the perfect candidate your recruiter has in mind for you when you first discuss the role, and if that is the case, they will let you know right then and there. If not, give them some time to put feelers out in the market, approach some candidates, verify they are worth perusing further, and then give them time to organise interviews that coincide with everyone’s schedules. These things take time. If you want someone immediately for a permanent job, it might be best to hire temporary staff until your recruiter finds you the perfect candidate. The last thing you want to do is rush the process, as all you will end up with is the best of a bad bunch, and then you will most likely be back in the same situation 12-18 months later.

3) Giving more than 2-3 agencies the same role to work

Clients like candidates, may not be given the recruiters full attention if it is known that they have pimped themselves out to everybody. A recruiter will rather work on a role that has less competition, and there is a chance of filling the role and making a placement, than chasing candidates for a position that they have a 10% chance of getting paid for. The recruiter may take the role on, however only in the case they come across someone suitable while working their other more pressing job openings. Keep in mind if you go out to 5 agencies, nearly all of them may have the same train of thought, and you may not get any worthwhile candidates.

4) Abusing & / rude to recruiters

If you have ever advertised a role online, you most likely have been approached by at least one recruitment agency to see if they can help you source the right candidate. Recruiters are not desperate for work, and troll through ad after ad desperate to find something to work on, they usually have heard about your opening through candidates, past or present employees or through the grapevine. When you get the call, do your best to keep the same tone, and if you are not interested politely decline. There is no need to either yell, swear or abuse the caller, who is offering to assist you. You would not act that way towards a pest exterminator who walked past your house and noticed a huge bee hive on in your yard and offered you their services. This is the same principle. Recruiters offer a service; you can either accept or decline, but being obnoxious and abusive only hurts your personal brand, not the recruiter’s feelings. Recruiters do not take it personally if you decline, and you never know one day you might need some help filling a tricky position, and that may entail hiring the services of a recruiter you once abused. If that happens, how much effort would you put in helping someone who once abused you?

5) Contacting candidates directly

I once had a client who wrote down the name of a candidate I asked him about to see if they had been presented to him by anyone else and was told no, but they do not want to see their resume. Thinking it was a bit odd, I was later phoned up by my candidate ecstatic that my client had contacted them directly and was interviewing with them the following week. My client not only lost a great recruiter, but also an excellent candidate whom I presented elsewhere and facilitated their acceptance of an offer before the sneaky client knew what hit them.

6) Not getting back to a recruiter

Not giving feedback on candidate interviews, not answering emails on resumes presented, or returning phone calls, makes a recruiter’s jobs not only impossible at times but can make you lose a powerful ally you might need in the future. If you have not had a chance to read the resumes or phone, someone, back, never just ignore them. Send them a quick email to say “sorry I am swamped, I will get back to you (in X time). Thanks for all that you have done so far”. It takes 30 seconds to write something positive and professional, and in doing so, you will keep your recruiter not only informed but on your side.

7) Pretending you already know the candidate, so you do not have to pay a fee:

Every recruiter has at least one story of a client who insisted they know the candidate personally, had interviewed them previously or already had their resume. A smart recruiter will ask the following questions to candidates prior to presenting them “have you applied to this company in the last 12 months?” & “Do you know anyone that works at Company (X)?”. Recruiters will have crossed all their T’s, dotted all their I’s and will know their candidate is a new prospect for your company before presenting their clients with the resume. If you do not want to have the awkward discussion about dishonesty, and sometimes legal ramifications, it is best you play fair and pay the fee if the candidate presented is hired by you.

I was once given a fabulous piece of advice, “Think of recruitment like a meal; companies are either on the guest list or on the menu”. Many recruitment agencies follow a similar train of thought, and if you as an individual or a company are known for some of the above points, you might end up at a disadvantage. Next time you have dealings with a recruitment agency, remember, they are providing a service, and if you accept, then you should play by the rules. Next time you are considering working with a recruiter on a Contingency basis, please remember they are doing their job just like you are doing yours.