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Part 1 of 2:  Tips for Staffing Agencies and Recruiters (Staffers) 


From time to time, people may want to find other opportunities and move from one company to another. As a Job Seeker, we try to keep our resumes up to date with the most pertinent information.  Then post them on Job Boards or hand them out at Employment Fairs.  For Staffing Agencies / Recruiters, you search the various sites looking for people who match the Job Descriptions that companies share with you.  Many Staffing Agencies / Recruiters also participate in local Job Fairs collecting resumes and talking with hundreds of potential candidates. Sounds pretty simple, right?


I’ve had the pleasure to speak with a number of people on both sides of the table.  This document was put together to address some issues that people complain about from both sides.  It’s here for refence to help people maintain a high level of professionalism as a Job Seeker and Staffing Agent/recruiter.


From here on I will refer to a Job Seeker as a “Seeker” and a Staffing/Recruiting person is a “Staffer”.


This is a 2 part Article.  Part 1 will deal with tips for Staffers and Part 2 will be tips for Seekers.

The intent of this article is to help the Talent/Staffing Hunters stay Professional in the way they approach the Job Seekers.  We’ve all seen how pushy some Staffers are.  We’ve also seen how unprofessional many of them are when approaching or interacting with a Seeker.  This article is also to help those Seekers deal with unprofessional Staffers and Staffing Agencies.

Sad to say, we live in an age that people from some countries are stealing Seekers information, ID and claiming to be someone that they are not.  How many times are candidates hired for a position that they falsified their information?  You the Seeker is in control of your Destiny and Career, Not the Staffer.  They are there to help you find a new opportunity, nothing more.

Part 1 of 2:  Tips for Staffing Agencies and Recruiters (Staffers)

1)      Always be honest and upfront with the Seeker.  Many Staffers employ various techniques that can be classified as underhanded.  Be honest and upfront, always.

2)      Do not store in your own site or database a Seekers resume.  There is a high probability that their resume will be outdated.  This is what the online Job Sites are for.  Use them for what you or your company pays for.  Stealing resumes from these sites is underhanded and you are ultimately doing a disservice to the Seeker.

3)      If a Seeker posts their phone number in their resume or on a job site, it does not mean you have access to this person 24/7. Cold calling a person with a new job opportunity can have adverse effects to the Seeker.

a)      If the seeker is employed and looking on their own time, you may jeopardize the seekers current job.  They could be in meetings or have a “no personal phone calls” policy in their position.

b)      Cold calling a seeker may wake them up if their current job is after normal business hours.

c)      Cold Calling a seeker who may be enthralled in a Family emergency, may be very inappropriate.  There's a LOT of inappropriate times to get a phone call.  I'll let your mind wander at those “other” times.

d)      Cold Calling someone who is driving may get them a ticket if they do not use any “Hands Free” devices.  Many States

e)      Cold Calling someone may get you ignored.  Many people who receive a phone call from unknown numbers, do not answer the call. You run a high risk of wasting your time when the phone number is ignored.

As the Staffer, email the person and wait for a response.  If the person is interested in the Job Description, they'll get back to you. Plan on that if the Seeker does not respond, they may not be interested.

Also, we live in an age that people receive prank, harassing or fake phone calls telling them that they are from a company when they are not.  Always best and Professional to email and set up the call ahead of time.

4)      If the Seeker has posted a Cell Number or you discover their cell number, this does not mean you have the right to text the Seeker (See the section on Cold Calling above).  Take the time to send them an email. If they are interested, they will respond and set up a date and time to talk.  Do not assume you have the right to text anyone.  This looks pushy and can be harassing to the Seeker.

a)      Besides, many people may not have unlimited Text Messaging on their cell phone and it may cost them each time you do this.  Be aware that your actions could be costing the Seeker money each time you text them!

b)      Only text the Seeker IF they give you permission to.  Do not assume anything.

5)      The importance of an email to the Seeker with the Job Description:

a)      Always include if available, the Job Description.  Let the seeker read it and respond.  If there is no response within a few days, move on.  Do not resend. It makes you look unprofessional.

b)      If there is no Job Description as that the opportunity is “hot off the presses”, in the email make sure you explain the situation. If the seeker is interested, they will respond to set up a time to call.

c)      Be honest and upfront with the Seeker.  Sending them the Job Description also cuts down on any miscommunication on your part.  Miscommunication or baiting and switching Job Descriptions is done by a great number of underhanded Staffers.  Just do not do this.  It makes you and your company look unprofessional.

6)      A Staffer should always do a Full Disclosure on where and who the Seeker will be working for.  There are various 3rd and 4th party agencies that do not disclose this stating “client X” and in reality, a Seeker will be working for 1 or 2 companies removed as a contractor to a contractor.  Full disclosure up front and not buried in a “right to represent” email should be shared.

a)      If your “Right to Represent” email has this hidden line or something similar embedded, this is a threatening statement to your Seeker. 

Any misrepresentation of information at any point of the process starting from Submission of resume, documents, interview and delivery/ offer confirmation is liable to be sued.

b)      The threatening statement should cause the Seeker to either withdraw or challenge this line. The Seeker should always be upfront and honest with you and they expect the same from you the Staffer.

7)      If a Job Site lists or tracks various email addresses from various companies that the Seeker has been employed at, only send an email to the 1 that is the most current.  The online job aggregator sites should not be tracking and keeping a history of a potential candidates email addresses from various employment.

8)      If you are using VOIP and masking your phone number that you are calling from or worse, falsifying the number to look like it is local to the Seeker, this can be labeled as fraud.  Do not do this if you are serious about placing someone in a job. Worse yet, it may indicate you are a scam artist or a Staffing Company that is being dishonest.

a)      Be aware that many Staffers may not be located within your Country.  For instance, the phone number shows up from California or New Jersey, but the caller is actually in India, Pakistan or some other country.  Be wary of these.  Many are frauds trying to steal your information.

9)      I deeply apologize for having to say this, but many of you deserve this.  Please read the Seekers Resume and background before you contact them for positions not aligned with their resume and Career Path.  How frustrating it is to get a job lead for a Janitor sent to a Doctor of Micro Biology or a Position for an Orthopedic Doctor for someone in IT Security. Please understand that your software or your reading abilities suck in this case.  Do NOT rely on your automated resume ingesting system.  They are all fallible.  Take the time to READ the resume also. 

a)      In the initial contact, request a new copy of the Seekers Resume.  It will help you decide if the position is a good fit or not.

b)      Also make sure that the JD is accurate and the latest.  Some companies change the requirements as the wind blows.  Let the Seeker know this.

10)  Do not send out a Job Description to any Seekers where you knowingly are aware that the Job is on hold.  If you do, please inform the Seeker of this up front.  You might be just gathering up names and resumes but the Seeker needs to be aware of this.  If you do not inform the Seeker that the job is “on hold”, this makes you and the company you are working for look suspicious and underhanded.  Remember, be professional in how you approach Seekers.  They rely on your honesty.

11)  Ensure that the emails you are sending to a Seeker;

a)      Are not considered spam. Do not email a seeker more than 1 time.  Sending multiple emails in a row makes you look like you are unprofessional, a scammer and a spammer.  You may get completely blocked by the seeker.

b)      Are not misleading. The Subject line can be used to mislead someone by starting with  “re:”  or “per our conversation” or anything else misleading.  You represent your company and your company does not want you to misrepresent them.  Stating that “we’ve already talked” when this is the first email contact is a lie and fraudulent.  Does your company want you to represent them in a fraudulent way?

12)  If you exchange emails and set up a date and time to make a phone call, please do everything in your power to keep that appointment.  It is very unprofessional to have a meeting arranged and not show up.  If you cannot make the phone call, email an apology and reschedule. 

a)      If you set multiple appointments to talk and miss all of them with no emails, be forewarned that you will be looked at as a scam. 

b)      If you are found to be purposely blowing off people that you supposedly want to connect with for a Job Opportunity.  The Seeker should know that there is a high degree of probability that you are not a Job Opportunity, but a telemarketer trying to convince or sell something the Seeker really doesn’t want to be part of. 

13)  If the opportunity that you submit a Seeker for is hot and the Seeker gives you great feedback, also explaining that the Position is ready to strike, learn to take advantage of hot opportunities.  The old saying of “strike when the metal is hot” means exactly that.  Push to get the Seeker to the next level.  Don’t be lazy and put off following up.  The Seeker looks to you to be their advocative. If you lay back and not jump on opportunities, you BOTH lose.

14)  If an initial response from the Seeker has questions, respond via email to all questions from the Seeker.  Missing them or only answering 1 can be frustrating to the Seeker.  If you are using answering only 1 of their questions to entice the Seeker to contact you, this is underhanded.  You should be honest and upfront with the Seeker and answer all their questions.

15)  If and when a call is scheduled with a Seeker, be aware that talking very fast may be normal for you, but not everyone does this.  Slow down and talk in a professional way not at 200 words a second.  You’ll find that most really great Staffers speak methodically in a rhythm to help make the Seeker at ease and comfortable.

16)  If you forward a Job Description to a Seeker and it contains a specific requirement (example Active Security Clearance) and the Seeker responds that “ my clearance has expired” or “I do not have one”, do the legwork to see if the Client/Job Opportunity demands this or if the candidate must obtain it within “X” days/months after starting.   There are some very specific requirements especially in the Government and Military job spaces that demand this.  Don’t waste the Seekers time without doing your homework.

17)  If the Client or Opportunity decides that they want to interview the Seeker, please provide them with the information they need to perform a successful interview. Wherever possible, please provide the Seeker with the following detailed information:

a)      Date, Time and location of the phone call / Interview.

1.      If the Interview is local, please provide the address and steps to gain access to the location.  This may include Floor Number, Room Number, or sign in at the front desk.

2.      Phone number of the Interviewer in the event that once on site, the Seeker has to meet up with the person.

3.      Phone number or conference number to dial in to.  Is this a Video Call or just a regular phone call ?  Inform the Seeker. 

b)      Ahead of schedule, the name of the Interviewer, Number of people with names that will be present during the interview.

c)      The LinkedIn links to each attendee.  Give the Seeker a heads up to research who they are ahead of a cold meeting.  The best interviews are when the Seeker is informed.

d)      The URL of their Client/Opportunities website.  Make sure that you remind the Seeker to examine the website to ask logical questions about the business and what they will be expected to do.

e)      A fresh copy of the Job Description.  Some Clients change the JD on the fly.  Make sure that you do not embarrass the Seeker walking in with an old JD when they talk about other things not in his copy.

f)       Make sure you tell the Seeker to bring a few extra copies of their latest Resume.  Sometimes there may be a delay in obtaining an interview and the Seeker may have already updated their resume.  It is important that the Interviewers have the latest  copy of the Seekers Resume.

g)      Give the Seeker a Pep Talk.  Give the Seeker information that you may have learned from other Seeker Interviews.  Make sure that they stay on target during the interview.  Let the Seeker be as informed as you possibly can.  An uninformed Seeker can lead to the Client not using your services in the future.

18)  If the Seeker has responded with “not interested” or some other text that indicates that they are not interested in the opportunity, please do not resend to the Seeker the same Job Description.  Take the time to understand that Not Interested means just that.

19)   When negotiating an hourly or yearly rate, be honest and up front.  If you look to undercut what the Client is willing to pay, this is not in the best interest of the Seeker NOR the Client, nor you as the Staffer and your agency.

a)      Example:  JD for Opportunity X is at $40/hr that the Staffer discusses at.  The Client actually is willing to pay $75/hr.

b)      Example:  The Opportunity X is for $80k per year.  The Client expects to get a great candidate and is willing to pay $140k per year.

20)  Remember at all times that you must build the trust of a Seeker.

21) If the Client accepts the Seeker, be aware of the risks of accidentally exposing PII (Personal Identifyable Information) about the Seeker.

     a) DO NOT send forms the Seeker filled out that contain PII filled out information through regular emails.  This is highly insecure and you risk exposing sensitive information about the Seeker.  Be Cyber Aware, Stay Cyber Secure!  Thus remember your Cyber Security Awareness training.

     b) Request the forms be filled out and sent back in a secure manner.  Either accept Fax (Point to Point) or password encrypted files that contain the forms.  Show the Seeker that you really care about their PII.

     c) Attaching Forms that are filled out to other entities (Background Check Agencies, etc.) within emails should not happen.  Be aware of the privacy of the Seekers PII.  Set up a secure transfer of the forms.

     d) Ask your Recruiting Agency to set up a Secure way to transfer documentation from the Seeker(s) to you.  Do not store these forms or request these forms be placed into public webs!  If you can see these forms, so can malicious people!  Ask the Agency to set up an internal Cloud that you can grant the Seeker access to for their own privacy.

     22) If the Seekers Salary/Hourly rate requirements are above what a Client is looking for, ask the Seeker if they are "negotiable on Salary/Hourly".  If the Seeker states "no", then move on.  Do not                 send a Seeker on an interview with a Client that will not meet the Seekers requirements.  It is a waste of time and degrading towards your reputation as a Staffer to send someone to a dead-end             interview.



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