Don’t Close The Door: How to Have a Better Recruiter Experience

You might know us as Recruitment Consultants, Recruiters or Talent Administrators.  Whatever the title, there are a fair few of us around.

As with any large sector, this inevitably means that, when it comes to ethics and practices, you get the good, the bad and the occasionally ugly.

It’s easy to put us all in the same basket, and we often find that people become unresponsive to recruiters generally because of one poor experience.

Or maybe you’re not responding because you’re simply not looking for another job at the moment.

Whatever your situation, it’s worth taking some time to consider how you respond when a recruiter does seek you out.  Doing so will set you up for a good experience when the right role – and the right recruiter – come calling.

Phone Calls

Yes, we will call you – often more than once.  If you’re not in the market, or you’ve had a previous negative recruitment experience, you might be tempted to ignore or block those calls.

The better approach?  Answer once and quickly let us know where you’re at.  Whether your not currently looking, about to take some leave, or only looking for the right fit, this approach lets you manage contact from recruiters while keeping your options open.

And after you take the call, remember the experience.  Was the call pleasant?  Did the recruiter listen to you?  Were they interested in what you had to say?  If so, save them to your contacts to keep track of the good eggs.


Recruiters may also send you emails.  Even if you’re not in the market for a new role at the time, they’re another great way to test the quality of a recruiter should your position change in the future.

When a recruiter email comes though, put in a dedicated folder.  It won’t bother you there.  But if or when a recruiter calls and says they’ve previously emailed you, you can easily check the claim and follow up on anything they’ve said in that email.


LinkedIn might be a newer addition to the job landscape, but it’s quickly become an essential recruitment tool.

One of the LinkedIn features used frequently by recruiters is InMail messages (i.e. messages sent to LinkedIn members that you’re not otherwise connected with).

It’s easy to dismiss these messages – and sometimes that might be the right response.  If the message is completely irrelevant or clearly sent en masse to hundreds of people, declining might be the right option.

But, quite often, this isn’t the case, and the message is from someone genuinely reaching out.

My suggestion?  Don’t burn your bridges.

Give the message a quick skim to weed out any spam.  If the message passes that test, accept the InMail.  If you’re not in the market for another role, say that in a quick follow up message.  It’s an approach that will make sure you don’t limit your options in the future if your circumstances change (and they almost certainly will at some point).

Yes, there may be some unethical recruitment consultants out there.  However, there are also consultants who do exactly that: consult.  They listen to you and can provide genuine insights, suggestions and opportunities that can be invaluable to your career growth.  You want these recruiters in your corner.

Like anything in life, the key is learning how to tell the good from the bad.  Keep an eye out for the indicators above, and you’ll be making the distinction in no time.


Jordan Farbridge – November 2017