How to spot a bad IT recruitment agency

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bad IT recruitment agency




Understandably, some candidates and employers have reservations about using an IT recruitment agency. The recruitment industry as a whole has been tarnished by agencies that rely on aggressive sales tactics such as cold calls, spam emails, lack of transparency etc.


These strategies show a complete lack of regard for both candidates and clients. And they’ve clearly had enough. People are sick of being sold too. Adblocker and spam folders exist for a reason. Nobody wants to work with an IT recruitment agency that will harass them at any given opportunity.


But it’s important to note that not all agencies are the same. Those that work hard to tailor their service around what customers actually want are now going from strength to strength. The best IT recruitment agencies are customer-centric rather than sales-centric.


So when weighing up your options, how can you spot a bad IT recruitment agency? Here are a few warning signs to look out for.


Poor communication from the start


This probably goes without saying. But it’s so commonplace that it needs to be said. If you receive an email out of the blue saying you would be “perfect” for a UX Designer role when you’ve actually been working as an Android Developer for the past four years, make note of the agency the email came from and avoid them. Giving them a second chance will likely end in your time being wasted.


They offer buzzwords instead of substance


“Amazing client with massive plans for growth,” everything is “agile”, “innovative”, “cutting edge” even “bleeding edge”. Everything is perfect, you’re perfect for the role — and the recruiter has not spoken to you yet. There is always going to be a level of ‘buzzwordery’ going on but the recruiter needs to give you something of substance before you give them your time. If the fluffy buzzwords persist into the initial telephone screening, alarm bells should start ringing.


They know surprisingly little about the IT industry


If your recruiter is truly an IT specialist, they should have no problems providing you with some industry level information. Are they up to date with current tech news and trends? Can they give you up to date salary gradings for someone with your skills and experience? Do they know who the leading innovators are in your industry at the moment? If they can’t answer these sorts of questions then its a red flag. Obviously they don’t have to know as much as you do about your industry, but some level of market insight should be a minimum requirement before agreeing to work with them.


A pushy attitude


If you’re working with a recruiter who seems a bit sleek and “salesy,” this isn’t necessary a bad thing. After all, recruitment is essentially a sales role. But take caution if your recruiter starts overly pressuring you to go in a certain direction, whether as a candidate or client. IT recruitment agencies that can’t handle you saying “no” are to be avoided. A good recruitment company will listen to your needs and place those as the priority, guiding you to make the best decisions for your career or your company.


You’re always working with someone new


If you always end up dealing with someone new every time you call the agency, that’s a problem. Good recruitment agencies know that making genuine connections is key to doing the job well. When working with an IT recruitment agency, you should be assigned a dedicated consultant who remains your point of contact throughout the whole process.


Are IT recruitment agencies worth it?


Not every recruitment agency uses these tactics. We don’t. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out our reviews on Trustpilot.   


Shifting our focus away from targets and profits in favour of doing a good job ethically and passionately is helping us stand out in an industry that has stagnated. Putting candidates and clients first is helping us achieve our goals organically.




Time for a new tech job? Get in touch with one of our specialist consultants today.