Tell Your Recruiter if You’re Not Interested in the Job

May 1, 2017


We’re doing a new mini-series on our blog laying out a few things you absolutely need to tell a recruiter before they represent you for a role. Not just to make your recruiter’s life easier, but to make your own life easier. Lots of people don’t realize that withholding certain information when working with a recruiter can scuttle the process and actually harm your reputation, especially in a tight-knit business vertical like Procurement and Supply Chain. It can make you look negligent at best, and dishonest at worst.

When it comes to working with a recruiter, honesty is the best policy. So what are the top pieces of withheld information that mess up our ability to represent an otherwise-great candidate again and again? 

Tell Your Recruiter If You’re Not Interested in the Job:

This statement seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people invest themselves in pursuing a role they’re not truly interested in. Of course it’s hard to tell whether you’re interested in a job at the outset. If a recruiter contacts you with an opportunity, it’s up to them to sell you on it. There’s no telling if, when you go for a job interview, when you see the office and meet the leadership, you’ll actually want to work for any particular company.

We certainly encourage candidates to give opportunities a chance even if they might not be interested at first. But it’s your right – and obligation – as a candidate to take the time to evaluate all aspects of a role, and there’s only so much a recruiter can tell you. Sometimes it takes until an interview. Sometimes it takes hearing about the role, or overall strategy, from a hiring manager. Sometimes it takes seeing if the office has the right “vibe” – is it a place with a positive culture? Does it have plants? Windows? Does this role offer an opportunity to grow? There are lots of factors to evaluate. It sometimes comes down to “gut feeling,” and that can be a tricky process, especially when a higher salary or bigger job title beckons.

But once you’ve interviewed, it’s up to you to be honest with yourself – and your recruiter – about whether you actually want the job. So many candidates seem to talk themselves into aspects of a job that truly aren’t working for them – location, for example. Don’t keep pursuing a role, and telling your recruiter you’re interested, if you deep down know the location isn’t going to work. Is it a high-pressure, highly entrepreneurial working culture, but you have very young children and value being home at a certain time? Don’t try to convince yourself that something will work if you know it won’t, and leave the recruiter and hiring manager holding the bag.

If you’re not honest about whether you want a job, and drop out at the offer stage, it can hurt your reputation. You might be seen as kicking tires with an opportunity and wasting a company’s time. Worse, if you take a job that you don’t truly want then leave in three months, you’ve hurt the recruiter’s reputation and added to the possibility of you being seen as a “job hopper.” 


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