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Memory - A blessing or a curse ?

Published about 8 years ago by Elkie Holland
CREDIT: Photo from Flickr 

Being in the recruitment industry in a very niche market (ours being MultiValue databases) for over 25 years can be fantastic. Your clients respect your knowledge and you get to know your candidates extremely well.  In fact sometimes a little too well which can mostly be a blessing, but sometimes a curse. 

Ok, ok I can hear you. “A curse? Why would it possibly be a curse to know your candidates really well? After all isn’t that your job to get to know people well?” 

Well the answer to that is yes, but on the flip side it really can be a curse. The reason being is that we have memories, and memories can be a bad thing when it comes to making decisions. If all agents were honest, they'd all have them:  The Repeat Offenders - Candidates who time and time again reveal their real selves.
  • The Invisible Man - the candidate that repeatedly cancels interviews, just doesn’t bother to turn up to interviews, or even worse fails to turn up on their first day of wor
  • The Blamer - the ones who always blame their ex-employers for their inadequacies or failings and never seem to last beyond their trial period.
  • The ‘Jekyll & Hyde' – the candidate that says one thing to you and the complete opposite to the client during interview 
  • The Mr Nice Guy – the one that has a great CV, but just can’t quite cut the mustard 

These "Repeat Offenders" however will always get work as they move around the industry and avoid the recruiters who know them that little bit too well. Until however they run out of luck and their reputation catches up with them. 

So you see the reason it’s a curse for us at Prospectus because we choose not to place these candidates but have to sit back and watch as other agents do put them into our clients on a one-off type relationship. 

We can't tell our clients why we haven't submitted these individuals, all we can say when asked is: 

"oh yes, we do know them"     or      "Oh right, it's great that you've filled the position, I was aware that X was on the market"  or some other innocuous phrase. 

Let's face it, even though we are known for our "tell it like it is" honesty, if we ever spoke our opinions on things like this, we'd probably be in court or just look like a bad agent with sour grapes. Instead, we just have to sit and watch. 

Finding quality candidates can sometimes take a little longer but is worth the wait !

Clients then wonder why we call them 3 months later to check how their new recruit is doing, but very often it’s the clients that call us to give us back the vacancy to work on. So, we often call this the ‘Mopping up Phase’ when we pick up / mop up after the other recruiters who don’t have the memories and candidate history that we do. 

It can be frustrating but we have been providing quality candidates to our clients for over 25 years, so why would we want to ruin that reputation now? Well quite simply put we don’t. We're called many things and in these instances, we're happy to be called Mrs Mop !
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