Don't Sell Me The Dream!

By Claudia Tosa

Have you ever had that inkling feeling that a recruiter was selling you the dream? Raving about that company, embellishing the role, spreading around the (already overused) term ‘amazing’ like confetti and making up career growth opportunities?


Well, I have. I have heard the spiel time and time again and - while admittedly at times there was truth in there, others, the role was not just matching my profile and the company was not that great.


Other times, I said ‘yes, I’m interested in exploring this opportunity further’ only to never hear back from that recruiter again, despite my polite follow ups. Ghosted. Ghosted like after a Tinder date.


When I started working in recruitment, I quickly learnt recruiters don’t have a good reputation. Always seen like hardcore, sales people pushing for the deal, the transaction, the commission. And what about the candidates? Well, they are just the ‘product’.


But like in most things, generalizing is never a good idea. Just because there are some bad apples out there, doesn’t mean the entire tree is rotten.






The issue with the recruitment industry is that it’s easy to get into. With no particular qualifications, training or license required, anyone with a computer and a phone can call themselves a recruiter and start today!


‘Cowboys recruiters’ are always lured in by the money, however they won’t last against those who practice their profession with integrity, ethics and the passion to genuinely assist both clients and candidates, rather than just making a profit.


Purpose should always go in hand with profit. At the end of the day, recruiters play in the people game and people have feelings, emotions never to be ignored.


Recruiters who treat candidates like the humans they are, will be those to earn their trust.




Seeking a new job, moving careers, getting a new role is no easy business. It's a delicate time making an impact on someone’s life. “Will I nail that interview?” , “Am I the right fit for that role?”,  “How long is the interview process?”. “Is this a good company?”.


Tons of questions and doubts clouding a candidate’s mind. It’s normal and it’s stressful.


That’s why it’s important for job seekers to be able to tell a good recruiter from a bad one, saving them time and energy.  What to look for:


      When a recruiter doesn’t give you enough information about the role and the company. They may have good reasons for that, but it still doesn’t fill me with confidence.


      A recruiter who only reaches out to you when they have a role that matches. A good recruiter should be able to nurture a relationship with a candidate and conduct regular check-ins.


      When they are too focused on salary. That’s not everything, other aspects are also important such as career opportunities, training and cultural fit. An holistic approach is paramount.


      A pushy attitude. A recruiter that does not allow you the time to make a decision, doesn’t have your best interest at heart.


I know it’s not always easy to spot the above traits. However, there are tools out there that assist job seekers assess recruiters. Case in point, Talentwolf is synonymous with transparency. Here recruiters are rated directly by candidate, so you know right away what you are in for!






Time is money, we all know that. Especially in the fast-paced land of recruitment. A 360 recruitment consultant has to juggle the following major areas:


-        Business Development i.e. Finding new clients with vacancies and getting that job on.

-        Resourcing i.e. Find the right talent (crafting job ads, reviewing CVs, screening, arranging interviews)

-        Relationship Management ie. Ensuring client and candidate satisfaction and cultivating a partnership to generate new opportunities.


All of this, mostly competing with X amount of other agencies working for the same client (if we are talking contingency recruitment). It’s a tough race.


With all that in mind, it doesn’t come as a surprise that recruiters are often rushed off their feet and have little time in their hands.

Recruiters who are able to MAKE time for their candidates are those who offer that extra value, somewhat rare to find. They spend hours on the phone with you to:


-        Advise you on personal branding and presentation

-        Offer you valuable insights on the company you are interviewing with and help you address the right areas they are interested in

-        Update you on market/industry trends

-        Build up your confidence


Ultimately, but perhaps most importantly, they listen to you. They don’t discount your concerns and needs. And when they say they’ll call you back, they will.



I can’t not end this article without mentioning my dear colleagues and friends at nVision Talent (yeyy self-promotion!). Here is where I witnessed a genuine and caring approach to recruitment (both for talent and companies), which is what inspired me to write this article.


In conclusion, to anyone who had bad experiences with recruiters, I hope this article reinstated some faith that there are definitely trustworthy recruiters out there helping great candidates get new jobs and companies find great talent.