Every recruiter knows that they will hear certain lies or at least exaggerations when they meet most candidates.
1) I am not actually looking
When I call candidates, I often hear this phrase. But I also know that if someone agrees to come see me, they are not only interested, but they are indeed “looking”. After all, they have agreed to come see a recruiter.
2) I am in no hurry
I hear this constantly. It is often amusing, especially, if the people come to see me a day or two after they are contacted. Or they call or email me for a status report almost every week. Actions speak louder than words.
3) Things are good here
I often hear this from candidates who are about to be fired or whose accounts are about to go into review. For some reason they think a recruiter will work harder for them if they tell this lie.
4) I am only interested in….
When I was first recruiting, I learned almost immediately that candidates will tell a recruiter what they will or won’t do or where they will or won’t go. They frequently do the opposite.
5) Money isn’t as important as opportunity
I have seen hundreds of candidates who do just the opposite and take the first job that offers them what they believe is an appropriate salary. Often these are dead-end, career-killer jobs and that is why they pay well.
6) My current salary is….
It is an unwritten law that salaries get exaggerated. Recruiters often accept the statement without question. Candidates often include (possible) bonus into their salary; bonuses are always discretionary and are often not paid in full, no matter how stable the company. In the long run, we often discover during the process that the salary given is a lie. In fact, the truth almost always comes out.
Years ago, on the television series, “L.A. Law”, the Jimmy Smits character is counseling a person who is about to testify. He tells him or her (I can’t remember which), “Tell the truth. You will never get into trouble during cross examination.” Or as Judge Judy (I am addicted to her) wisely puts it, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to have a good memory.)
When people lie or exaggerate, the tendency is to tell different people different things and it becomes impossible to remember who you told what.
Good recruiters can handle the truth. If you think your job is in jeopardy, they may be able to help you deal with it. If you think you are being paid too little, they can help you handle it. If you are looking because you need money, say so (the best I ever heard was one gentleman who told me that he did not have enough money in the bank and his daughter was entering college in a few months).
It is not an embarrassment to be underpaid, it is common for the best of executives to run into roadblocks. Even good and effective presidents get fired. Telling the truth can only help you.
If you do not trust your recruiter, find another. A good recruiter can be your best ally.