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When did recruiters stop being ‘nosey parkers’?

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*A special guest post by Angela Cripps from Connemara UK

When did recruiters stop being ‘nosey parkers’?

For those of you that haven’t come across the term before, then a nosey parker is someone that is ‘an overly inquisitive person’. You know, that person who wants to know everything about you… and your family and friends and pets.

For me, a recruiter needs to be a bit of an investigator/researcher, if they are going to be successful. It’s all about not accepting the initial answer to one of your questions, but pushing on – sometimes through the awkward pauses – to find out the real in-depth information that is going to make a difference.

Information is power

We hear this in every walk of life, but I don’t think we take enough notice of it in the recruitment industry. By knowing all about your client, their company and the role in question, you can begin your search to find the ideal candidate for them… or in this current global candidate-driven market, the opposite is just as likely to occur, whereby you know all about your candidate and go out and find them a role in their ideal company to work for.

So why are we not asking the in-depth questions anymore?

My view is that the advent of technology, speeding up the process for us, has meant that we are taking short-cuts in areas where a detailed conversation is required. It’s not best practice and just means that an ideal match is unlikely. Clients are going to be interviewing the wrong candidates and wasting everyone’s time in the process.

Now I’m not one for ‘bashing’ recruiters, I always try to find the positive in every situation and everyone, so I did ask this person for their permission to use our interaction in a post. I hope that you and they, see it as a learning experience.

Here are the details of our conversation, after I accepted a connection from the owner of a recruitment company on LinkedIn last week:



Thank you for the connection request. Was there anything specifically that you wanted to connect with me for? I’m always happy to help a fellow recruitment professional.

Kind regards, Angela

Owner: (2 days later)

Hi Angela, thanks for accepting me. I wanted to see if you were looking for any new opportunities. I have a 9 month fixed term contract in X town paying around 40k......


Hi ABC. A 9 month contract for what? Angela


Hi Angela, it is actually a fixed term contract for an HR Manager.


Ah, so it’s a role I’ve never done before and have no skills or qualifications for.

It’s a 2 hour each way commute for me - if the motorway is kind.

I own my own company and have done for 15 years.

I charge that for less than a months work. What specifically made you approach me for the role?

Kind regards, Angela

Owner: (5 days later)

Hi Angela, no problem at all. Have a great week.

So in summary, this person was looking to put me forward for a role and I really don’t think that they’d even taken a seconds glance at my LI profile. I don’t have HR on there anywhere, so not sure how their search led them to me either. What if I’d said yes and they’d spent the same amount of time screening me and putting me forward to their client?!

Now, I love trawling profiles and seeing where people have worked before, what others have said about them on their recommendations, how they sell themselves in their summary and the general presentation… and I’m just looking at whether I’d like to send a connection request or to connect with them when I’m going to be training them.

I spend a lot of my time training consultants on the art of being a great recruiter and one of the key elements is that you need to be ‘nosey!’ By asking that one extra question each time, you can really get to the bottom of things. One of my favourite ‘extra questions’ is “What else?”

What else do you think I should know before we move on?What else would be helpful to be able to sell your role to a potential candidate?What else would you like the client to know that’s not on your CV?What else can I help you with, whilst I’ve got you on the phone?What else have you not mentioned as yet, that you were hoping to talk about today?

In whatever way you say it, ultimately you’re being a ‘nosey parker’ and thank goodness for that!

Keep being nosey recruiters… it’s one of the ways that we’ll beat AI.


More about Angela

Company: Connemara UK Ltd


Phone:+44 (0)7789 966209

Skype: angelacripps

Follow Angela on Twitter here.