Signs You Haven’t Chosen The Right Recruiting Firm

When you are looking to hire your next residential building products superstars, you need to have everything go as smoothly as possible. If you are looking for assistance, you might have hired a recruiter. Recruiting services can make all the difference – if you've chosen the right one. Choosing the wrong hiring partner will waste time and money and try your patience.

While a lot of how you feel about a recruiter can't be measured, there are definite things to look for. Here are a few ways you'll realize you might not have hired the right headhunter and how to avoid this scenario.

Not The Right Knowledge

If your recruiter talks in clichés and uses a lot of recruiting speak – they may not be the right firm for you. Make sure behind their words is a lot of knowledge – deep and wide. If you need a Branch Manager with Aluminum Siding experience and they send you bank branch managers – this is probably a good clue they don't get it.

Don't fall for someone who doesn't really know about your industry. Ask specifically how many placements they've made in the residential building products space. Find out how many positions they've filled with your exact product lines.

Remember a good recruiter should be able to speak at your level and keep up with your industry knowledge and references.

They Talk Too Much

Recruiters are naturally chatty – we have to be to succeed in this industry! But, there is a difference between talking at you and talking with you. If you barely get a word in edge-wise or your recruiter mostly focuses on themselves, it is a bad sign. At least in the beginning, a successful recruiter is going to want you to answer a lot of questions. It's how they'll get to really know your business and figure out your needs.

Great recruiters don't need to impress you with talking too much. And they don't need to sell you constantly on their services. Their experience, knowledge and past success should speak well enough for them.

If your recruiter goes on and on, you might want to check into someone else.

The Disappearing Act

Recruiting successfully depends an awful lot on communication – with you and candidates. If your recruiter doesn't pick up when you call or doesn't return calls, it can be a bad sign. If days and days go by before they get back to you, you probably aren't at the top of their list of searches. Or, they are avoiding you because things aren't going well.

Great recruiters answer when their client calls – no matter when it is. They get back quickly if they can't and they stay in contact throughout the process. Fantastic recruiters are pro-active. They'll tell you when there are issues or if you need to adjust something. They'll keep you up to date and give you reasonable timelines.

They Act Short-Sighted

Hiring is often fast-paced, but it is a long game. Retention is more important than finding a warm body. It doesn't do you or I any good if I find you someone fantastic and they leave in 6 months. Bad recruiters are short-sighted – looking just to fill your role and then walk away. If your recruiter doesn't have a list of returning customers, it is for a reason.

Talk with your recruiter about their longevity with clients and how long they guarantee their placements. Ask how often they end up replacing candidates or how often their candidates get hired by another of their clients.


If the recruiting firm you choose pushes you to accept offers you are not comfortable with, it means that they are not interested in your bottom-line, your operations, or how you will fare after you have made a hiring decision.

Bad recruiters will try to sell you on a candidate – over and over. I might tell you there is more beneath the surface, but I know pushing you to hire someone you have reservations about is a bad idea. Why? It rarely ever works out and I probably put myself in bad standing with you. I'd rather you don't hire my candidate than make a bad hire.

Ask your recruiter what they would do if they felt a candidate wasn't right for your role after you talked with them? Ask how often they pull candidates out of the mix if they aren't a true fit.

Don't let a recruiter push you around.

Lies And Exaggerations

This goes without saying but ethical recruiters don't lie – to you or candidates. They won't blow smoke and tell you your role will be super easy to fill. Good recruiters tell you when your pay is going to be an issue. They let you know if there are issues to overcome with your reputation, etc.

Smart recruiters are always honest and above board. They will not tell candidates whatever they want to hear to get them into an interview. They won't lie to you about a candidate's background or exaggerate their experience.

If you find any whiff of this, I would walk away. If candidates come into interviews with weird expectations, this can be a sign. Or if you interview someone you thought had experience or skills and it turns out they don't, I would look long and hard at your hiring partner.

Warning signs you've chosen a bad recruiter will come to the surface. Do your research before you hire a firm so you can hopefully avoid this. If you've already hired them, I'd terminate your contract and walk away. Losing a little money to find a better recruiting firm will be worth it in the long run.



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