The good, the bad and the recruiter

The good, the bad and the recruiter

Hi guys! This is Cesc Derrill and welcome back to my newest article!

When looking for employment you will have to deal with recruiters. There is no way around it. It will be more or less painful, but be sure that it is the easiest and most comfortable way to hear about opportunities that may not be listed or that you have missed.

In this article I am going to give you some advice and tips on how to deal with them and how to make the most about the relationship.

The first thing you must know is that not all recruiters are bad. But not all recruiters are good either! Now it is difficult to know when you are dealing with a bad or a good one.

But there are some signs that can help you:

Signs that you are dealing with a bad recruiter

Questioning your salary

Nobody should tell you how much you are worth. No one! Recruiters earn a commission based on the salary you get. So the more you get the more they are paid. However, bad recruiters will rather have you consider a lower salary so they can have a higher chance for you to be recruited. They prefer a low win than no win. So if you get pressure from a recruiter to lower your salary expectations you should show them the door honey!

Giving you wrong information

If you want to really know what the conditions of the job are you should never rely on your recruiter. Bad recruiters deal with far too many positions and applications as they prefer quantity over quality. As such, I recommend taking with a pinch of salt whatever any recruiter tells you as you will get the best information from the source if you get the chance to talk to the company trying to fill the position.

If you get to have a phone interview you will be able to compare the information given by the recruiter vs the one given by the company. If there are mayor gaps then I recommend checking everything again with the company as this position may not interest you.

Not showing interest

There are many levels on how a recruiter could not show interest in you: they could call you one day and take ages to communicate again, they could disregard your skills and capacity, they could ask you to make a much bigger effort than what they are willing to do, they could continuously mix up your application with others.

If you are willing to go through it painfully then go ahead with that type of recruiter but as you get more mileage you will probably prioritise your time and decide to ignore them.

Be nice to good recruiters

If you are dealing with what I would call a proper recruiter then you are safe to proceed. You still need to be careful but at least you know they can give you relevant information and advice.

There are lots of things you can learn from a proper recruiter. You can ask them about the company as most of proper recruiters have been working with the same companies for years and know a lot about them. Whilst on one hand they can sell you the great benefits, they can also help you prepare your interview well as they will know the process well.

Make sure to be thankful and to always be polite. Be responsive on your emails and make sure to keep them up to date and politely chase them if needed. You want them to do the same with you. Once you go through an interview make sure to prepare with them and let them know how it went after it finished.

Recruiters are not your friends

This may sound harsh but it is not. Your relationship with a recruiter is just transactional. There is some level of synergy in which you benefit from a new job opportunity and the recruiter benefits of a monetary incentive.

I am not saying that your conversations have to be tense and discomforting, but it is in your best interest to draw a line and defend your interests.


Ideally you will be in a position where your live does not depend on obtaining that job position. If a recruiter asks you if you are currently doing other interviews be honest. This way you are basically telling them that you are in a more comfortable position to negotiate. If at the end they make you an offer lower than what you expected you can a) tell them that you have another offer, or b) tell them that you cannot afford to change jobs for that level of salary.

Some recruiters will put pressure on you and say things like: there are other candidates we are looking at, you can start with this salary and then easily get an increase in a year, you won’t find a position with these benefits. Unless we are talking about the company of your dreams, this is just b****** honey.

Of course, try to be realistic when negotiating. If the difference between figures is more than a 15% then this is not a negotiation this is a misunderstanding.

You should know how much you are worth and you can use tools in places like Glassdoor to look for salary ranges per job title and area. The number of years of experience does not mean anything just look for the position that matches your skills and experience independently of the time.

Once you know how much you want and think you can ask for I recommend you say you are looking for a salary around x + 5%, meaning that if you want £50k you should ask for that plus 5% rounding up, i.e. £53k. This is because the norm with recruiters and companies is that they will offer you always less than what you initially asked and you need some margin to negotiate.


Ok guys, this is it for now. Now if you have any questions or comments so please leave them down below and I will try to answer you the best I can.

Have a lovely day and until the next article!

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