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4 Tips for Dealing With an Unreliable Job Seeker

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Most of us have had the experience of when a job seeker lets us down. Perhaps this person does not show up to the job interview or their first day at work. And it’s a little bit embarrassing. Especially when we’ve built a good relationship with the employer.

Unlike marketing a product which we know almost 100% how it will operate, marketing people is a different ball game. Many times, we can’t control how they will behave and what they will do. So, we must let go of control and perfection. At the end of the day, we're not puppeteers. However, there are a few things that we can do to be able to minimise sending unreliable people for jobs. As well as to be able to deal with it better when it does happen.

Here are a few tips:

1. Prepare mentally

So what that means is when it happens, don't let it shock you. Expect that it's part of the role. You are going to get some people that are not going to show up for the interviews. Even in high-end recruitment, there are people who don't show up to job interviews, and sometimes they don't even show up to the job. It’s usually because they've had a better offer. So, this happens in recruitment all across, not just in employment services. We need to accept that some things are not within our circle of control. Use the experience to reflect on what went wrong and what we can do better next time.

2. Pre-screen well

There are some job seekers who are going to give you a great performance. They might look you in the eye and declare, "yes I want to work!" But then we find out that they were playing us. But it's crucial to look out for red flags. The more experience that you have, the more that you're going to be able to recognise if this person is genuine or not. Sometimes, it's just looking at someone's body language, but other times it is seeing their patterns. Are they active with their job search? Do they answer their phone? Do they get back to you? Are they consistently keen? Do they always show up to their appointments?

3. Don’t push people into the wrong job

Consider whether you pushed that person into a role before they were ready. Because if you're pressuring somebody into a job when they're not ready, or it's not the job for them, don't be surprised that they might let you down. And many times, if they do pass the job interview and survive their first few weeks, it’s not even a sustainable job. Therefore, it’s essential to pre-screen well. Ask yourself these questions, does this person want the job? Do they match the job? Are they mentally or vocationally ready for the job? Don't focus on short-term wins as they are often unsustainable.

4. Build great relationships

If you build a good relationship with an employer and you make some mistakes, they are more likely to forgive you. Even with the mistake of putting the wrong person into a job, or having a job seeker do a no-show. Add value and go out of your way for them. Acts of service are critical components of sales. But more importantly, set the expectations and don't oversell. And finally, communicate well with your job seeker and build good rapport. If you build good relationships with your job seekers, they are more likely to be honest with you.

Remember that it’s important to stay resilient and not let people’s behaviour deter you from reaching your goals or helping all those genuine people who need your help.


Come join our Business Development for Employment Practitioners Workshop to learn how you can gain access to hard to reach recruiters and hiring managers.


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