By Diane Delgado LeMaire, Accounting & Finance Recruiter, Creative Financial Staffing -

I often wonder: Why do recruiters have a bad reputation? I mean, we help people find jobs and we do this for free until we actually successfully place someone. So, what is it? Are we bad people? Are we not upfront? Do we not communicate enough with our clients and candidates? Well, I must admit, it is true that our follow up with the candidates is probably not the best, but when you speak with OVER 30 people a day and get over 500 emails in a week…this can bit a bit challenging to say the least.

Honestly, I think the problem is bigger than that. We have a lot of people that come in and out of this business very quickly. I am not sure what the turnover ratio is for recruiters, but I am sure it is almost as high as collections or customer service employees! It is very hard to establish relationships with candidates and clients, when you do you do not put in the time to earn their business. I am sure it does not sit well with many candidates or clients to get a call from one Recruiter today only to find out that they are gone the next.

Turnover is definitely an issue, but I think there is more to it than that. It seems that most Recruiters look at this profession as a “job” and not a career. On one hand you have the people entering and exiting the business at rapid rates. On the other hand you have Recruiters that just go through the motions and make their calls to say they hit their daily quotas. In addition to this, there does not seem to be much thought process behind what it is they are trying to accomplish today, tomorrow and in the future. In a booming economy that may work, but in a recession it takes a little bit more time investment than just working the numbers. Every connect we make has to count for something.

So, what can we have to do as Recruiters to be viewed differently? Well to start with we need to become masters of our domain. That includes taking pride in what we do and who we represent (both candidate and client). It also means sometimes walking away from a deal that “just does not feel right” or is not in the best interest of all parties involved.

Here are some suggestions for those, who want to become an expert in this wonderful world called RECRUITING:

Look at every contact as a long term investment.
It does not matter if the person you are working with graduated college yesterday or if they only have 5 years left in the workforce. Today’s candidate is tomorrows hiring manager. Today’s hiring manager is tomorrow’s candidate.

Educate yourself about your local business community.
If you are not reading your local business journal and newspaper business section you are doing yourself and your candidates / clients a disservice. You have to know what is going on in your local economy!

Constantly stay on top of new sales techniques
Start by subscribing to various newsletters online. We are all busy, but just pick one article per week. It will take 5 minutes of your time!

Become involved in your community.
Join the local Chamber of Commerce or volunteer for a cause that you are passionate about. Go out and meet the people! People do business with people they like and share commonalities with.

Read, read, and read!
Everyone should read Business Week, Fortune, The Economist or something along those lines. There are so many magazines that relate to your local and global economy – just pick one! At the very least check out daily. You need to know the highlights of what is going on to speak intelligently with clients and candidates.

Finally, be courteous, genuine, honest and ethical.
It is very simple: Karma! What comes around goes around!

As Recruiters we need to take our “Career” and not our “Job” seriously. We want to be known as the experts and becoming the expert takes a little more effort than just showing up from 8 to 5 and going through the motions.

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