Tag Archives: recruitment

Your voicemail just cost you the job

It’s true. You just missed out on your dream job because of your voicemail. It’s unfortunate because your resume was excellent and you really were a perfect fit. Unfortunately though, every interaction a recruiter or hiring manager has with a candidate is part of the screening process – even your voicemail!

Candidates often underestimate what a voicemail can say about them as a first impression. We’ve pulled together some of the most common and outrageous mistakes candidates are making with their voicemail:

No voicemail at all

We get it. A missed call is suffice. You see your friend called. You call them back when you can/want to. Who leaves voicemails these days anyway? But when you start sending your CV out to recruiters and hiring managers, we don’t want the phone ringing out or have a machine tell us to try again later. We want you to call us back when you can talk. A recruiter will want to know we have got the message through to you. We also want to hear your voice.

We’ll convert your message to text

Yeah, no. This doesn’t work. Ever. And a recruiter cannot explain what they want to say in 10 words. You are not a robot and we don’t want to talk at your phone like you are one.

Barely audible message

An unclear and crackly message or a loud background that we can barely hear the message is not selling you to us. If you cannot leave a clear and concise message on your own phone, how will you be communicating with clients and customers in your job? It rings alarm bells.

Inappropriate Recorded Message

“Yo Yo Yo – leave a ****ing message” – Sounds made up right? Unfortunately, not. This is an actual message of a candidate applying for a senior role within a corporate organisation (and on paper they looked good). PLEASE do not have an inappropriate or rude voicemail on your phone. It’s never a good idea. Ever.

Telling us your life story in one message

“I can’t answer the phone right now as I am busy at work and in meetings. I will however be available between 12pm and 1pm to take and return calls. Alternatively you can phone me after 5.30pm when I will be able to answer. If I still miss your call, I might be on the bus or on another call. Please do leave a message with your phone number and reason for calling. Let me know the best time to call you back and I look forward to speaking with you soon…”

While, incredibly polite and helpful. You lost us. Too many excuses and options and sounds kind of desperate…

The perfect voicemail is short, sweet and clear

It tells us you are efficient, professional and polite. Definitely a candidate worth speaking to!!

“This is Joe Bloggs. Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I can. Cheers.”

Hiring Managers – You Need to Work your Recruiter Harder

Hiring Managers, you might need to work your recruiter harder!

Recruitment is a competitive space in Sydney. Let’s face it – recruiters are a dime a dozen. Unfortunately, however, the good ones are not. Now is the time for your recruiter to be working hard for you.

If they are not working hard? You need to review your recruitment partner and either A. work them harder or B. find one who works hard without being asked.

Here are our Top Six Questions you should be asking to know if your recruiter is working hard enough:


1. They work on your role exclusively

A good recruiter will know the market that you are hiring in. They will know plenty of candidates in that space, but possibly not the best one for you….yet. Let them canvas the whole candidate pool and submit to you a shortlist of the actual best. If three agencies are working on the one role, most candidates will only meet with one recruiter. A recruiter cannot compare apples with apples if they are only seeing “some” of the current candidate pool. So go out on a limb and offer them exclusivity. You might find it’s in your best interests, not just the recruiter’s.

Furthermore, if a recruiter knows they have the role exclusively, they can prioritise finding you the best candidate. If a recruiter is competing against three other agencies, they might end up quickly scrambling and sending you whoever they have so that they are in the race. Without taking the time to ensure they are meeting your brief and sourcing you the best candidate.

2. They don’t offer you budget rates

You know the saying: ‘You get what you pay for’? It’s true for recruitment services too. If you are getting flat rates that seem too good to be true, they probably are. A good recruiter knows the value of the service that they are providing and they will work hard to earn that fee. If your recruiter is charging you full fees they should be worth it. This includes offering a true partnership with you, the hiring manager, to ensure that the hiring process is as seamless as it possibly can.

3. They know their candidates

Sending a hiring manager a shortlist of candidates is of course part of the job. However, a good recruiter who is working hard will have met with and know the candidates they are submitting. They will know what is motivating their search for a new job. They will understand their soft skills and hard skills. A good recruiter will understand what will be the right workplace culture for that candidate. They will know their candidates and be able to talk you through why they might be a good solution for your business.

4. They guarantee their work

If your recruiter won’t offer you a guarantee on the candidate’s placement, they are not working hard enough. It can take a good 3 months for a candidate to find their groove in a new job. Which is why businesses offer a probationary period. Your recruiter should be matching this with their guarantee period. Some recruiters even offer a guarantee of up to 6 months. Proof that they are working hard to get the right solution for you the first time. If they don’t, they’ll do the hard work for you again, without any cost to you or your company.

5. They do their due diligence

The recruitment process can be a little like match making. It’s not tinder though and a good recruiter isn’t swiping left or right based on a hunch! There is an initial telephone screening to get a feel if they are suitable. Then there is an interview process with the consultant, possibly even some testing and profiling. At some point in the process, there will also be detailed reference checks. This is not an additional service or a bonus performed by a recruiter. This is part of the job and part of a recruiter’s due diligence.

6. They partner with you

A good relationship with your recruiter is really important. You should feel that your recruiter is your partner during the recruitment process. You should be able to bounce ideas off them. Debrief with them after each candidate interview and talk through your concerns, ideas and objectives. You should trust their expert opinion. And trust they have you, your company and candidate’s best interests at heart. If you cannot trust your recruiter, it might be time to look at other options.

To sum it all up – a good recruiter should work hard for you to find the right candidate for your role. They should also work hard for their candidates. You cannot have one without the other. A good recruiter understands the importance of this and will work hard for both parties to find the best solution. If your recruiter isn’t working hard, you may need to look at why this is happening and decide what you can do to make sure you are getting a better outcome.

HIRING MANAGERS – The Counter Offer

It pays to always be aware of the potential for a counter offer. It isn’t always going to happen. But being aware and prepared will help increase your chances of not losing that ideal candidate at the eleventh hour.

It should be expected. If the candidate you want to hire is as good as you think they are, their current employer won’t want to lose them. Remember – good candidates don’t get fired.

So how do you prepare for the counter offer?


When you are interviewing your candidate you need to try to understand the motivator for them leaving. Try to understand if they are leaving for more money, a better career opportunity, or perhaps a change in culture or leadership. By understanding the motivator, you are able to navigate the interviews with this potential candidate. During that interview you can explain to them how your role can offer them the new opportunities they seek.


Now you understand their motivation for leaving. During the interview process you should be educating the potential candidate on how your role will meet their individual needs and wants.

Don’t forget that the interview process is about the candidate too. Now more than ever. We are turning into a more candidate driven market and the job needs to be right for the candidate as well. During the interview process, don’t take for granted that this candidate wants or needs your job. Along with interviewing the candidate about their experience, make sure you are educating them about the role, company and opportunities that you are offering. If you understand their motivators for leaving, you will be able to cover these off during your conversations.


If you are partnering with a recruitment consultant, this is where they will be doing a lot of work behind the scenes. The recruiter will be talking with the candidate and workshopping through their options. A good recruiter will know what is motivating the candidate’s need for change. The recruiter will be helping find the right solution and fit for the candidate and guiding them to make the right decision. Work with the recruiter to help the candidate and ensure they understand your role will meet their needs and wants.


You need to know what the role is paying. You should know what you can afford to pay before you start the interview process. Don’t waste time interviewing people you cannot afford or who have unrealistic expectations about the salary they are after. Equally, once you have identified the candidate and there has been a conversation around salary expectations, don’t lowball your offer if you are hoping to get them across the line.

When money is in play, it is important to be transparent and honest with the candidate. If you have verbally discussed a figure, make sure you are true to your word or you will paint your company and its ethos in a bad light.

It might be too late to negotiate if you’ve lost integrity by offering a lower salary than discussed.


How a candidate handles a counter offer is a valuable time for you to learn about that person. A little negotiation is never a bad thing. However – how a person conducts themselves during this negotiation period can be very telling. Occasionally you can find more out about a candidate before it is too late and have signed on the dotted line.

If the hiring manager assumes a good candidate will be counter offered, they are able to prevent a lot of stress at the final hiring stage. Most candidates don’t want more money. They have other drivers for leaving. But money can cloud people’s judgement. So be prepared and ensure that during your interview process, you are covering off any issues that may come up once the candidate is given that tempting counter offer.