7 months ago by Lesley Clydesdale

The importance of reputation in recruitment

CMD recruitment reputation in recruitment

The recruitment industry often gets tarnished with a bad reputation, so how can you be sure you're working with a reputable recruitment consultant? Our Senior Recruitment Consultant, Lesley Clydesdale, discusses the importance of a good reputation and more importantly, the fundamental respect, honesty, and integrity needed to make long-lasting relationships.  

Let’s face it any candidate can apply to a job advert these days with a quick click and any client can upload their jobs in the same way so why would they ever need a recruitment consultant?  

Well ….

Tried cutting your hair over lockdown or landscaping your garden? And what about home schooling? I bet you really respect hairdressers, builders and teachers now you know what they actually do.

And I bet you wouldn’t try and sell your house without a solicitor or feel confident about your accounts without an accountant, would you?

Yes, all of the above we CAN do ourselves – some of us better than others admittedly but why would we when there are trained professionals to do it for us?

And when you are seeking out a professional online or by word of mouth, I warrant you’ll be looking for those important 5 stars aren’t you?

So, it often surprises me why people gamble with their future career when they don’t need to especially when our services are free to candidates. Yes, FREE!! 

Yet, candidates still often don’t use recruitment agencies and that I believe is because of BAD REPUTATION and a belief that a lot of us don’t add any value and simply don’t care.  

Sadly, that reputation is often deserved as some recruiters do give us all a bad name.

Negative image and bad reputation are not good – we need our candidates and clients to trust us and want to work with us.  

Here is what some candidates say about their experiences. Sound familiar?  

“The recruiter who called me never sent me the job description and I never knew the employer till I was at the interview stage”.

I am never tempted to rush a candidate or withhold vital information on the role.

I am patient. I provide all the information and allow them time to review the job description, research the Company, and make an informed decision.

“I never get a response from an agency so what’s the point of applying?”

Some roles do attract a lot of interest and recruitment is a fast paced industry so it can be difficult to respond immediately but I always try to manage expectations at the outset in terms of timings and when they can expect to hear back. I will send a polite regret email which can be done quite easily using software available today. Any candidate who has been interviewed I will always provide constructive feedback. Ignoring unsuccessful candidates is counter-productive as these are likely to be future placements.

“The recruiter never listened to me” 

One of my key strengths is to listen and make notes and to be honest about suitability. Often a candidate needs to talk especially if they have been made redundant or is out of work. Give them as much time as you can.  

“The recruiter didn’t understand the role or have the relevant information when I asked”

One thing I learned very early on was to take a detailed brief from the employer– often a job seeker won’t take a job if there’s no parking or if there are shift patterns for example. Knowledge of other details as well as the job itself and the market is key to gaining and retaining trust.  

“I don’t recall giving the recruiter my permission to represent me for the role”

One of my pet hates and one sadly a lot of agencies don’t ask for. I always do. It’s polite for one thing and also makes me GDPR compliant. A CV has a lot of private information on it so it’s important the candidate knows where it’s going and what it’s being used for.

“I felt the recruiter was arrogant and just in it for the money”. 

I understand there are recruiters out there like that - not me though.

I’ve never worked in a tougher industry to make money and I don’t do it for the money. I genuinely care about placing candidates into roles in which they will thrive and supporting the charity and third sectors who can only afford very low fees. Anybody who has worked with me knows my fees are very competitive.

“The recruiter said they’d keep in touch but never heard from them again – once they got their fee, they forgot me”.  

This is where I guess I’m different – I remember my candidates and they remember me. I build a relationship that lasts decades.  

Believe me when I say not all recruiters are bad. 

My advice would be when seeking help in recruitment to look for the title of recruitment consultant above any other and an agency with good five-star reviews.

I know some of us use different names like “Recruiter”, “Recruitment Consultant”, “Recruitment Specialist”, “Talent Acquisition Partner “, and my own personal favourite, “Recruitment Evangelist”! (ugh !!)

But for me, the clue really is in my title.

I am proud to call myself a Recruitment Consultant and all that goes along with that title because I genuinely believe in the value of the consultation process for both clients and candidates.

Working in recruitment can often feel like more of a sprint than a marathon and quite frankly I leave that kind of recruitment to those it suits – it’s not for me. That’s not to say I can’t work to a deadline or that I am slow but if a job is worth doing it’s worth doing properly and it has lasting results. My candidates feel valued through the process and not rushed into making the wrong choice which in the end will result in a bad hire for the employer.

 My expertise if I unpack it is that I am interested in people. Genuinely interested. And I am knowledgeable about my sector.

I believe that if you invest time in your candidates then you are much more likely to place them and if you don’t, they will remember you and recommend your service to the organisation in which they do move to as long as they have had a good candidate experience.   

I have won a lot of business that way without having to even pick up a phone.

RESPECT for your candidates goes a long way in my experience and I remember candidates I placed over ten years ago as if it were yesterday.

 In recruitment, remember it’s not only the client that is important but the candidate too.

As a result of my way of working I am not always the first to submit a candidate and it certainly will never be the same day but all of my candidates will have been provided with a first class service, will be fully briefed on that role and more importantly I will know exactly what they are looking for so I can help them if they need me in the future and they will come back to me.

 A relationship has been built by providing a positive candidate experience.

A positive candidate experience makes candidates 38 percent more likely to accept a job offer.


81% of candidates will share a positive experience with their direct network.

I’m proud of my reputation in the business and know I’ve helped a lot of people find their dream job - sometimes placing them in jobs they’d never have considered or even knew existed.  

The take away message is really to treat your candidates with respect and in turn, they will respect you and trust you to represent them and will tell others. a GOOD REPUTATION has been built.

To all my lovely network of candidates reading this, a big “hello” from me.

To any prospective candidates reading this who currently work in work based learning or welfare to work or who have a transferrable skill set “please get in touch”.