Recruiters - 5 Red Flags You Must Never Ignore

  • Date posted: 10 Mar 2017
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Sometimes it's easy to ignore the warning signs. 

The warning signs that you’re in the wrong firm and that you’re fighting a losing battle.

The signs that say no matter what you do – you just won’t be successful in your current firm.

Over the last 18 months working as a Rec2Rec Consultant, I have got to know literally 100s of Recruiters at all levels. While they all have their own individual reasons for seeking new roles, I have come to realise that the reasons Recruiters move on are often very similar.

What’s more, most of the Recruiters I have placed have all seen the “red flags” fairly early in their employment, and all share the same regret that they should have acted on them earlier.

So what are the warning signs that you have barriers to success?

What are the RED FLAGS Recruiters should not ignore?


Before I share this with you please know that I have been there personally. I base this on my own personal experience as well as 100s of Recruiters I have got to know.  

I personally know what it’s like to feel totally bewildered about how to reach my goals. I know the frustration of not being able to achieve what I want in my personal life because I cannot get my earnings to the level needed. I’ve doubted my own ability to be a great Recruiter. I’ve felt the crushing pressure of missed targets and I almost, almost, left recruitment completely because of it.

Luckily for me, I found a role in recruitment with the right focus, training, methodology and people to make success possible. I’ve gone from misery to loving coming to the office every day, billing at the highest level that I ever have, and gaining promotion after 12 months. I’ve loved every minute – even though it has possibly been the most challenging role I have ever had.

So my fellow Recruiters, take action. Don’t ignore the warning signs.

If you recognise any of these, it may be time to start putting together your escape plan or talking to us about how we can help. I can assure you an alternative reality exists if you’re brave enough to take action.


Poor communication with management 

Lack of communication with management is never a good thing. If you don’t know what the future plans are for the company or what your opportunities for progression are, then what are you working towards? Without this vision to motivate you and a set of clear goals, you don’t have a career, you have a job.

Leaders that don’t share their vision either don’t have one or don’t see you as a part of it. This can be the start of the downward spiral in the breakdown of trust. If you’re truly valued by a company, management won’t keep you in the dark, and will be completely transparent as to what you need to do to achieve your next promotion and how you can play a much bigger part in their future.


Lack of investment 


Have a think. When did your boss last invest in a training course for you, or in some new tools, or even a new hire?

Does your boss understand the need for great a web presence, investment in SEO, video marketing, LinkedIn upgraded licenses, html email marketing design, events… the list goes on.

If your boss still thinks recruitment is being stuck at your desk 24/7 on the phone, calling through a database and spec calling clients for jobs then you really are falling behind what modern day recruitment looks like.

Maybe your boss knows all this but just doesn’t want to spend the money. Either way it’s going to be much harder to be successful here than in other firms.



Others leaving 

Are your colleagues dropping like flies? Why is that? What are their reasons?

How is their leaving affecting you? Is this putting your boss into panic mode?

Are you having to pick up more work without additional reward? Does this now mean you are under scrutiny? Or are you suddenly getting the attention you should have had before, but because of them leaving, you have false love from the boss?

Maybe, as a result of other people leaving, you have gained a promotion. But how valuable is a promotion to manager when half of the team has left, and your first taste of leading a team is that of crisis management?  Because now the responsibility for rebuilding is on you!



Moving goalposts 

You’re over the moon. You’ve just confirmed the deal that will hit your promotional target, and can’t wait for the salary increase, more senior title, and
everything else that comes with your promotion. But in your next 1-2-1, you’re told you have to wait. Perhaps you’ve been told that you now need to hit a larger target. Or maybe your promotion or pay rise is on hold because the overall branch or business isn’t doing very well?

This has to be one of the biggest red flags of all.

As soon as this happens once to you, it will happen again. It’s a blatant break of trust and it’s totally demotivating. It’s a short-sighted cost saving tactic that out-of-touch managers employ to keep you on a lower salary for as long as possible and it WILL continue to happen.  

As soon as you let it happen the first time, your boss knows they can get away with it. Know your value and don’t tolerate it.



Personality clash

You love your job but hate your boss. Sound familiar? 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how much you love your role, if you are fundamentally at odds with the beliefs or management style of your boss your work life will never have balance.

Sometimes the honeymoon period of your new role disguises the clash but pretty quickly it becomes obvious if your Manager’s communication style grates on you. If they micro-manage you and won’t let you breathe it can be exhausting and not to mention confidence destroying. Annoyingly the very same people are often absent when it comes to actually helping you when you have a problem.

A great boss will, of course, push you to perform at your best, but they should be a great role model that will give you the mentoring and coaching you need to be your best. If you share similar beliefs it’s far easier to respect and listen to your boss and for them to understand and motivate you.


So take 5 minutes to think about where you are and how you feel about it. Do you feel valued, inspired and invested in? Do you feel in sync with the people around you? How many of these red flags are waving frantically at you?

Take action. If you need help, get in touch.

If any of the above issues resonate with you, give me a call 01223 792 193.

Can't talk in office hours? I'm also on live chat


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