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When “Playing Nice” Backfires: How to Lose Credibility While Trying to Accommodate Your Hiring Managers

Recently one of the recruiters I’ve been coaching shared a challenge she had with some of her hiring managers. She admitted she had probably created the situation when she started working with a new group of hiring managers, prompted by wanting them to be like her.

So in those first few weeks, she gave them special attention, often neglecting other hiring managers so she could spend more time on the reqs for the new group, let the new hiring managers do things that actually made her job more difficult, and stayed up late trying to source more and more candidates for them.

That had backfired big time.

Surprise! Now they expect that level of service all time, and when they don’t get it from her (or you), guess what? They are unhappy! They don’t say, “Well, we got special service in the beginning so it makes sense we don’t get that kind of special service going forward. But no problem because we really like our recruiter!”

At one time, probably all of us have tried building a business relationship by trying to be liked. So we learned first- hand that a few days or few weeks of special treatment is absolutely not the best way to build your reputation as a consultative recruiter.

How do you know where to draw the line? 

You know that feeling of “this will impress them” or “they will think I’m great when they see this.”? That’s your signal that you should not do it what you’re thinking of doing!

Have the courage to stay in consultative recruiter mode. Resist sliding into people please mode. You’ll be glad you did. Ironically, your hiring managers will actually be happy and more satisfied with you. They may not think to say no, but they are!

For lots more tips and techniques to become seen as their trusted advisor, check out my updated book on Amazon: The Consultative Recruiter.

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