How a bad recruiter gives feedback when they’ve messed up


 By The Jerk Recruiter

We’re all human; occasionally we mess up. Here is how a bad recruiter handles it when they haven’t gotten back to that candidate; the candidate that was once their number one priority, until the Hiring Manager says “no”.

Let’s check if you have any shared traits with how a bad recruiter gives feedback. When you have to break bad news do you delay and do any of the following?….

  1. It’s all about you saving face at this point – all those comments you expressed on LinkedIn about Candidate Experience are now at risk now. Those grand tenets on your careers site about “candidate centric”, “world class”, “candidate is most important thing” are now looking like hollow platitudes.
  2. You quickly blame anything but your own actions – email, systems, voicemail, someone else – you grab on to one of those and make excuses; blame, blame, blame. Make sure you don’t let the candidate speak at this point, the last thing they need is for them to actually delve here.
  3. You give really unspecific feedback as to why they are a “no” for the role they applied or interviewed for. You say how close they were – often selecting “just pipped” as the phrase you use. If the candidate gave you any areas they feel are weaknesses they know they have, you use this here as it is credible in their mind. You say the successful person was slightly better in this area; the candidate will never know the difference.
  4. You move on quickly – it’s vital the candidate doesn’t really get to speak or process the BS you’ve just fed them as you make the transition to ‘the Upcoming Carrot’ role. The Upcoming Carrot is where you quickly move onto the upcoming job you may (or may not) have in the near future. The spec is not finalised or signed off yet though; god no, you’d have to share this fictitious job description if that was the case, but hopefully it’s enough motivation for the candidate (you screwed around) to want to keep you sweet and not point out the BS about why you never gave them feedback.
  5. You agree to keep in touch but are vague. You don’t want to go through this process again after all. You say you will be in contact when the ‘Carrot’ role is signed off.
  6. You hang up and move on. You never think of this candidate again until you need them.

We all make mistakes, how we handle them is what sets apart professionals.

Don’t be like the jerk recruiter!