The Unplaceables - 8 candidate types that Recruiters will never place

  • Date posted: 19 Feb 2015
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As a busy rec2rec agency we obviously come into contact with 100's of candidates every week and we know that we're not alone when it comes to dealing with candidates you just can't place. Experienced Consultants quickly develop the ability to identify the candidates that they just won't place.

Here's our round up of the top 8 candidate types you probably won't place as Recruiter and we're pretty sure they apply to most sectors of recruitment!


The Bullsh*tter is literally the best thing since sliced bread, or so they think!

They've produced better results. They think they are better than everyone else they've ever worked with and they usually have a story for everything . They also have a nasty habit of telling you whatever they think you want to hear.

The problem with this type of candidate is that as good bullsh*tters they know how to spin you a line. It's only after you've committed to a meeting that their "stories" start to unravel and before you know it you've landed yourself a candidate you know you won't place.


All Recruiters have met this candidate! 
They usually have a series of short-lived roles, each and every one has a "story" behind it and wouldn't you know it, each failed role was someone else's fault. 
One of the most common excuses offered by this type of candidate will be that their last job was "mis-sold" to them.

The Victim is stuck in a self-perpetuating cycle of failure because good firms just don't buy into this line excuses and would never introduce such a toxic person to their team.
Inevitably each time "The Victim" messes up the next batch of prospective employers becomes weaker and less promising.


The Wishful Thinker usually thinks they're worth a lot more than they are and usually applies for roles much too senior for them. 
They expect well over the average salary and rewards with little to justify their demands. 
Watch out with these candidates, they usually have a list of requirements as long as their arm too! 
Unless they respond well to a really firm no-nonsense response to their ridiculous demands you won't place them. 
Frustratingly though they might pop up, at a later date, at the salary you told them they should expect with one of the firms you could have placed them with had they been realistic.


You know this one right? 
That candidate that looks fantastic?
They call with you a very convincing reason for wanting a new role and leave you feeling excited about what you can do to help them. Then NOTHING. 
They literally just disappear! No calls. No emails. No response whatsoever. 
Watch out for this type of candidate. They've usually just had a knee jerk reaction and they've oversold their situation in order to get commitment or detail from you and are now embarrassed. Stay friendly and leave the door open – they could come back!


These candidates really clog up your inbox. 
They have a relevant job title but WAIT....once you actually see the CV You see that they have applied from another country. 
Not always a problem but WAIT – with barely any relevant experience, this candidate often expects to secure a role BEFORE even travelling and has no real knowledge of the market or location. Not only that they have unrealistic expectations regarding their value.
You've been warned – you could be about to waste a lot of time!


Ok, so Bigamist might be a strong term....

But this candidate leaves every Recruiter thoroughly deflated after an initial surge of excitement.

This candidate is PERFECT.

They tick every box, have all the right experience, and what do you know, they're immediately available but WAIT... oh no!
They already have 10 interviews arranged. Their CV is everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, and yep they have applied to EVERYTHING.
Yours is the last in a long list – there literally isn't a client of yours that they haven't applied to. 
Walk away now!


You've met an ok candidate.
They're not as strong as other candidates but they could probably be placed and they are nice and they really need your help. 
The only problem is that now you have shown empathy and committed to helping them they are now your new best friend. 
They literally STALK YOUR EVERY move....hourly calls for updates, liking EVERY status update you release on LinkedIn and even friending you on Facebook ! 
Watch it with this one – they'll be following you home!


This one is a pet hate for all Recruiters. 
The Commitment-phobe shows no respect for your role as a true Consultant and wants a very one-sided relationship with you. 
They talk like they want a job but won't commit to meeting, registering or sharing a CV. 
They won't tell you where they have already applied but conversely expect you to dish out your entire list of vacancies. The real killer here thought is that throughout the conversation they usually demonstrate real cynicism about your role as a Recruiter .... Some even go to far compare you to Estate Agents! It's only going to end one way guys!

So that's our round up of top 8 "unplaceable" candidates. How many have you met? Let us know if you have any to add!


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