8 Ways To Become An Unethical Recruiter

Ethics might build reputation and credibility, but being unethical might get you paid just a little bit quicker


Recruiters serve an important function in the business world. Some may argue that the finest recruiters are empathetic people who build relationships with candidates at a time when they are feeling the most vulnerable - whilst job hunting. They would contest that what we want are recruiters who ask us conscientious questions and take into consideration more than just our work history, but also our lives outside of work to help us find the dream job we didn't even know we wanted.

But we can all agree, that sounds like a lot of hard work. Morals get in the way of making money, I hear you scream. You have quotas, targets and you simply don't have time to build a relationship with every person you call. It's much more efficient to just throw names at the wall and go with whatever sticks.

So here's how you can become the most unethical recruiter you can be.

Call first, ask questions later

The good thing about platforms like LinkedIn is that everyone's profession is directly beneath their names. Save yourself some time by calling them immediately. Without doing any further research into whether the job you're trying to fill is right for them, it frees you up to approach them with the most generic approach possible. Plus, you can always just ask them a bunch of really basic questions once you have them on the phone. It's not like they have anything better to do...

Always ask them how much they earn

As we all know, people love discussing their salary with complete strangers. So ask them how much they make immediately, it will make your job way easier! If you just ask what their salary target is, it means you have to work towards their actual goals and not just what you can get them. Bonus points for keeping your client's salary range a secret; you want the candidate in the interview first and then wildly disappointed, not while they are on the phone with you.

Get their resume first, then figure out what for

Whenever possible, get your candidates to send you their resume immediately, before you even have a job in mind. This way, you can just send it out to all your clients and let them do the hard work for you. Only 'downside' is that the candidate might get a couple dozen irrelevant calls/emails a day, but hey...no one said finding a job was easy.

Be judgemental

So you've contacted a candidate who seems like they have a good bit of experience under their belt. There's even a possibility they might just find a job themselves given enough time. An ethical recruiter would show their worth by finding quality positions that resonate with their candidate. However, again, that sounds like hard work. A much more efficient strategy is to just criticize their work history until they have so little confidence in themselves they believe you and only you are capable of getting them a job. Any job! Or at least the job you want them to have. Remember...its all about you.

Ignore them

Once you've contacted a candidate and promised them the world, the prudent thing is to completely ignore them until you have something for them. The candidate might email you asking for feedback or a catch-up, but you don't have any updates so leave them in the wind until you do. Or don't. Either way, eventually...they'll get the message.

Send them to interviews before asking permission. They'll thank you later.

When you do happen to find a client interested in one of your candidates, just book the interview on their behalf. You cant risk them losing interest if you take the couple minutes needed to arrange a date with the candidate first. The candidate clearly trusts you to find them a job so they have kind of tacitly agreed to defer these kinds of decisions to you too. Yes, they might have plans, children to pick up, doctors appointments to keep, but the most important thing for them should be getting a new job. If they disagree, well, like that popular saying goes, 'the customer is always wrong'.

More interviews the better

Candidates can be lazy. They will come to you with a bunch of provisions they want their eventual job to fulfill. However, how will they ever truly know whether a job is right for them unless they interview for it? So the more the better - book interviews with every company that will see them. They will wear your candidate down, make them less complacent and more likely to settle for less than they hoped for.

Treat em' mean, keep 'em keen

Remember, while your client's goal is to end up in their dream job, you get paid dream job or not. So do them a favor and lower their expectations. Even if they are already pretty modest expectations, they can always be lower. Once a high-quality candidate is a bit more open to jobs they are clearly too qualified for, then it opens them up to so many more roles. Most people want to move up through a job change, however, its much easier to move them sideways. Again, extra points for regressing their career and making them accept something worse than they already have.

And finally, I guess the last note would be to completely disrespect their time, energy and talent. These candidates might have lives, goals, and dreams and you, the recruiter, have the potential to serve a small, but pivotal role in their lives. It can seem like just another day on the job for you, but your actions are far-reaching and extremely consequential.

So discard your ethics and maybe you will make your money a little bit quicker in the short term.

Or, you know...do the opposite?

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