“Everyone lies” – that’s the motto of Dr Gregory House, the anti-hero of hit US series ‘House’. Clearly, this isn’t true, or the world would be a much more difficult place. But recruiters regularly talk to candidates who either withhold information or outright lie – often because people think that the omission or lie will help them with the recruiter. But does it actually help, and if so, what do you gain?
Any business relationship must be founded on mutual trust. Your relationship with your recruiter is no different. Trust cannot be forged if one party feels that the other is withholding vital information, and if you withhold vital information (or tell a big whopper) it’s: a) certain to be uncovered at some point, and b) when it does, your relationship with that recruiter will be harmed.
One of the most common deceptions that recruiters hear from candidates is that the candidate has no job offers or interview with other companies, or that the job on offer is “definitely the one I want”. Many candidates like to give this impression because they feel that the recruiter will put more effort in to finding them a job if they think that the candidate has nothing else in sight. Whilst it may stop a recruiter from working with you if you’ve had a verbal offer that you are planning on accepting, in all other cases it will harm your efforts to secure a new job.
Why? If a recruiter knows that you have other potential jobs on the table, they will work with their clients to speed up the process – you’ll be interviewed sooner, or an offer will be extended faster than it might otherwise be. If you have concerns about a job, or another position seems more attractive, talk your recruiter through why that is the case – explain that it’s closer to home, is offering more money, or offering you the chance to work part-time or have flexi-time. You’d be surprised how flexible companies can be if they want to have you on board their team – but if these things are important, your recruiter can’t help you if you don’t talk them through the process.
Some people disdain talking with recruiters – they want to know the brief details of the job on offer and how much it’s paying, and nothing more – but this approach rarely pays off, as it frequently signals that people are not really looking to move jobs. Small talk can yield essential information – one software engineer that we have worked with is a keen glider. We put together a map of gliding clubs around the UK, and used it to plan with him where he would consider relocating to. If Mike had hidden this driving passion of his from us, we couldn’t have helped him find a job five minutes’ drive from one of the biggest gliding clubs in the country.
In the UK, money is perhaps one of the last taboos. People will discuss their sex lives and health far more openly than they will discuss their salary, but when you’re looking for a job, it’s vital to be open about it with your recruiter – both in terms of your current salary, and what you are looking for. Sometimes, they may tell you that you are looking for too much – they won’t be trying to con you out of any money, but will be trying to help you with your expectations. It is important though, for you to honestly convey both the salary that you would like, and the salary that you would accept, as they can be two very different things! Without knowing both, it is very difficult for a recruiter to negotiate on your behalf.
Ultimately, a relationship with a recruiter can be one lasting the lifetime of a career. At AltoVenus, we have relationships with people that we’ve been helping since the early 1980s. Those relationships have one thing in common – we are trusted by those people to help them with their careers. Google may put a price on information – we don’t: we know it’s priceless.