• “Honesty is still the best policy”
      Written by Pri Sandhu, Associate Director – Information Technology
      2nd March 2015 

      Honesty as a virtue is fast disappearing from the market these days and its becoming increasingly prevalent in the recruitment industry, whether its clients or candidates. The core foundation of recruitment is relationship building and as clichéd as it might sound, it’s very difficult to build a strong relationship if it’s not based on open and honest communication. 

      Every recruiter in today’s market will tell you that in their career they have come across at least one candidate who hasn’t been completely honest in their communication – be it how actively they are looking out, what other interviews they have going on, whether they have already been represented for a particular opportunity, any developing personal issues or simply how keen they are on this opportunity that you have presented to them. 

      Now, there could be a variety of reasons why this happens – perhaps some candidates have faced a particularly unpleasant situation with a recruiter in the past, which leads them to behave this way with other recruiters. More often than not though, my opinion is that this happens because candidates undervalue the role that recruiters play. Most people see us as transactional, who are only interested in matching what’s on paper – CV to JD. Not only that, they also believe that recruiters don’t deserve the truth, because this information can’t possibly impact how we do our job. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and believing this can only hurt candidates, rather than help them. 

      The truth always comes out, whether at the initial stages or at the final stages. Damage control is more manageable at the initial stages, but when a recruiter finds out at the last stage that you haven’t been completely honest with them, I can assure you, whatever good you thought it would do you will be completely washed away!! 

      What’s the least that will happen? This recruiter won’t want to work with you ever again. What the worst? Recruiters tend to talk a lot about what happens during their day, the incidents with the people they speak to. Recruiters also tend to talk a lot to other recruiters in their field. Singapore is a small market, and word will get around. It’s not just this opportunity with this particular recruiter that you will lose (which may not have been the one you wanted anyway). It is also however, the potential opportunities with the other recruiters that you might miss, the ones you really wanted. If there’s one thing we recruiters don’t like to do is waste time and there’s no bigger waste of time than a candidate who isn’t being honest and truthful. 

      Don’t underestimate the power your recruiter has, but more so than that, it’s just nicer to be honest and truthful, because it helps everyone in the process. If you aren’t keen on an opportunity, for whatever reason, or you aren’t sure whether you want it or not, let your recruiter know. Ask questions, state your concerns, walk your recruiter through your thought process. Part of the job is consulting and the more honest you are, the more a recruiter can try and help you figure it out. What’s more, they will not only appreciate your honesty, they will also respect you for it. When this recruiter has an opportunity that is relevant, you can be sure they will call you, and this could be THE opportunity you were waiting for. Honesty pays!