Here's the reasons we won't work with you
Alan Furley, October 31st 2023

A key message you’ll hear in many recruitment companies – get jobs on. And it’s a pretty obvious thing to focus on.

Jobs are a leading indicator of pipeline. They're the fuel recruitment companies need to grow their sales each month. So, you might think that that if you were to contact ISL Talent with some jobs you want us to recruit for, we’d happily jump into filling them as soon as possible.

If you’re a startup founder with VC funding incoming, looking for a talent partner to help you get ready to hire as well as find the key hires you need, there’s a decent chance we’d love to work with you.

I’ve got 20 years recruitment experience, and our team has plenty too, so we can help you hire most roles. But there’s some that we can't help with, or more accurately, would choose not to.

That might sound a bit arrogant, so let me know explain why some hiring situations won’t work for you as much as they won’t work for us.

What’s a sign it’s not going to be worthwhile?

You send us a job description and won't meet to explain what you're looking for

Two pages of A4 rarely describe exactly what you need in your next hire. Even the best job descriptions struggle to give a sense of what’s really important to you.

Also, they often leave out two key bits of information. Why you’re hiring, and why would someone want the job (not simply the basics like salary and job title).

If we don’t know this, we’ll struggle to find you the person you need and find it difficult to excite them enough to have a conversation.

You want CVs uploaded to a portal and there's no contact with the person hiring

Would you work for someone who you’ve never spoken to? Ok, we’re not going to be working for you. But if you want us to find someone who will, we need quality time with the person hiring for the role.

What do they really value? What would make this hire complement their existing team? What are they like to work for?

All essential information to make the right hire, and something that we need to talk to you about.

There's no visibility on your availability for interviews

If we put effort into finding you good people, we need to know when you can meet with them.

Yes, that’s partly for our benefit to avoid wasted effort. But creating a positive candidate experience is something that need to do, and frustrating with a lack of transparency and urgency on interviews will cost you here.

You can't explain why someone in a good job would see this as a great move

You can make hires through active candidates – people that are spending plenty of time looking for a new role and might not be in work right now.

But that’s only 15-25% of the talent pool. You want to hire the best talent in the market, not on the market.

So that means being clear on why your role would appeal to someone focused more on their current job than there next one, but who would engage if the hook is right.

You're not honest about why you're recruiting for the role

You might not want to talk about your retention issue, or the funding issue that means you’re having to take more junior resource.

The more transparent you are with us, and with the candidates you want to hire, the better chance you have of finding the right person. And keeping them, because they’ve accepted knowing the situation, not feeling the trust is broken because they only learnt about it weeks after they’ve started.

You're working with loads of recruiters as you think this is the best way to cover the market

Safety in numbers works sometimes, but we think you’ll find less is more when it comes to the number of recruiters you engage.

You might think going to 3 at the same time means you’ll get 3x the coverage.

But in reality, none of these recruiters can be confident they will get a financial return from their efforts. This means you’ll get a burst of activity, a handful of CVs that are within easy reach, and a transactional feel, where moving on quickly is the required behaviour to ensure they don’t over-invest.

Commit to one recruiter, and you should find that commitment is reciprocal. Safe in the knowledge they will take the time to find you the right person, rather than race to send you CVs before their competitor does.

As much as these are some of our non-negotiables, they're important to us with candidates in mind.

Get in touch

If you’re searching for a committed talent partner and are willing to play a part it making it work, we’d love to chat. Connect with me on LinkedIn, or drop me an email on

Scaleup Diaries

Learn more

Ready to learn more? Let's talk