Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Good Recruiters with a Bad Side

What makes a recruiter good or bad? While bad recruiters could learn plenty from good recruiters, you wouldn’t think there could be much that a bad recruiter could teach a good one. But you’d be wrong. While hiring managers and job candidates may cringe to hear this, there are some bad habits that even good recruiters should start implementing, according to

Recruiters have a tough job. They not only have to sift through resume after resume and conduct interview after interview but they also have to make two different parties happy with the end result. Essentially, recruiting can be overwhelming at times, but some “bad habits” help save on time and create a better experience for everyone involved. encourages recruiters to get rid of the resume piles. Say what?! — throw out resumes?! Many times, recruiters waste time on resumes that are complicated, like job candidates who have giant gaps in work experience or really evident job hopping.

The number one goal of a recruiter is to place job candidates with companies successfully, and that can be hard when a candidate just might not be a good fit anywhere. states, “A sign of a good recruiter and a skill that develops over time is a certain cold disregard for ‘difficult’ resumes.  It helps a recruiter wade through the piles and stay on the most efficient path to success.”

Another “bad habit,” according to, is turning away past job candidates who were difficult to place before. This implies that recruiters are lazy; however, points out that this applies to job seekers who had a bad attitude or treated you with disrespect. If you had trouble with a candidate the first time around, chances are you’ll have trouble with them again.

Finally, points out that whether you’re a good recruiter or bad, it’s always bad to leave a job candidate hanging. If an opportunity hasn’t worked out for them, don’t beat around the bush because you don’t want to tell them bad news. And don’t avoid it altogether. Rather, spill the bad news right away.

Now, here is where good recruiters sometimes act too good. They spend time with the candidate dissecting what went wrong and offering lots of false hope in saying that there are plenty of other opportunities out there somewhere. Here’s what says: “So with time, all good recruiters will learn to drop the bomb; professionally, but quick and clean. Then they’ll move on to the next one.”

Being a good recruiter with bad habits does not entitle you to get lazy with your clients or job candidates. Rather, these “bad habits” encourage you to get your job done in the most efficient and effective way. And when these become part of your process, you’ll find that you have what it takes to be a good recruiter.

What are some good and bad habits of other recruiters you’ve come across in the industry? What works and what doesn’t? Share now in our comments!

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.