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On Behalf of All Recruiters, I’m Sorry

Posted by Chrissa Dockendorf

recruitingRecruiters aren’t perfect. So many of us have a “recruiter” title, but what that means really varies and there are many recruiters that give the rest a bad name. Normally those recruiters are the ones who have irritated you as a candidate with spam emails or sales tactics or false promises. So when just ONE. MORE. RECRUITER. tries to reach out you think, “Hell no, I’m not doing this again!” You’ve been broken down and nothing this next recruiter says is going to help

So, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that you feel like a pawn in a game. I’m sorry your inbox has exploded with potential opportunities that aren’t anywhere near your background. I’m sorry your experience has been terrible.

The frustration is real

We have all seen this email:

Company: Confidential

Location: Middle of nowhere

Job title: something nowhere near related to your skillset

Rate: 20% less than your current salary

You see this email and before angrily pushing the delete button you want to scream. It is that much harder when you are really looking to find a new job or you have been hitting a wall in your search.

There are companies that outsource their recruiting overseas. Having been a candidate at one time, I understand being bombarded with emails from other countries asking if I’m interested in a job that I have never done. It is frustrating beyond belief.

There are recruiters that are churning candidates merely because they need to meet numbers in order to get paid and put food on the table. It is not an ideal situation, but sometimes the only job some people can get.

It’s hard out there for Recruiters too

It’s hard to get people to leave their jobs if they aren’t in a negative situation. We get rejected by candidates too and sometimes when we are required to meet numbers it becomes a scramble to try and get anyone to respond. As a result, your inbox gets spammed in the hopes that you might respond.

I have yet to meet a Recruiter that started out wanting to be a recruiter. No one went to college and got a degree in recruiting and the certifications that are available to us are more about how to find candidates, and not the whole experience. Recruiters have had to learn everything on the job. There are no schools or majors that teach people how to be recruiters. We learn from the people who came before and it continues down the generational chain, which ends up passing down bad ideas and poor techniques.

I read an article recently that was complaining about candidates and how they don’t make the process easier. The author obviously felt like that article needed to be written and maybe had some bad experience with candidates — yes there are bad candidates too — but the article was obviously not well received by candidates. At the end of the day that gets us nowhere. Reaching across the line to provide real positive feedback is hard. It’s even harder to read an article that bashes an entire group of which you happen to be a member. I get that, because I feel the same way when I read something negative about recruiters.

Let’s meet in the middle

In recruiting, we talk a lot about candidate experience. We talk about how we can do better and what we need to do better. But most recruiters don’t actually talk to candidates about their experiences. How can we fix the problem if we don’t listen to our audience?

I encourage you all, as candidates, to provide recruiters with your feedback so that real changes can start to be made.  It is really easy to complain about a bad experience, and sometimes that feels good, but I challenge you to instead lift up the recruiters who have provided a good experience. If recruiters can see what works for candidates then maybe real changes can be made.

What’s that saying about rising tides and boats?

We’re not all bad, I promise

It’s good to have standards and you should during your job search or when working with recruiters. Discount recruiters that don’t respect you, recruiters that are clearly just trying to meet numbers, recruiters who are overseas and don’t have real openings. But those recruiters that try, recruiters that are reaching out directly from the company or an agency that supports a real opportunity, give them a chance.

Recruiters, good recruiters, can be a valuable resource to you even if you aren’t looking for a new position. Recruiters know other recruiters and often we can connect you with someone who might have an opening that aligns with what you are seeking. Recruiters also have inside knowledge at the company that they support. If you are connected to a recruiter in a target company, they could help you get your foot in the door when an opportunity arises. If you take the time to form a relationship with a good recruiter then you could reap the benefits in the future. Even if you love your current job it may not last forever, and having a good recruiter in your corner could help make that transition easier.

But still, I’m sorry

Look, I get it, navigating a job search can be overwhelming and being inundated with emails for jobs that aren’t even in your wheelhouse can be frustrating. There are more recruiters that are worried about meeting numbers over forming relationships and they tend to be the ones that make candidates scream to the rooftops about how awful recruiters are. I encourage you to push through the noise and find a recruiter or two to keep in your toolbox for future endeavors.

Chrissa DockendorfChrissa Dockendorf is a recruiting resource manager and employment branding specialist for G2, Inc., supporter of transitioning military, a coffee addict and Mom to 4. Follow Chrissa on Twitter @MissionHired.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 08, 2018 5:57 am

3 thoughts on “On Behalf of All Recruiters, I’m Sorry”

    1. Thanks, Larry!

      In the recruiting world, we have terms like a unicorn and purple squirrel that describe a candidate that is hard to find and I will say that finding a, to use your term, “toolbox recruiter” is going to be a little like that.

      I know that I have made mistakes and I’m sure there are candidates out there who would label me a bad recruiter but there are also those candidates who I have been able to build relationships with. It is going to be a trial and error to find a recruiter that you mesh with.

      If you are having conversations with recruiters, feel them out a little, take notice if they are keeping you in the loop throughout the process or if they were honest with you, etc. And if so put them in your toolbox, even if you don’t move forward in the process.

      If you aren’t job searching or talking to recruiters right now you might also want to check out recruiters on Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook and see what they post about, what conversations they are having, what topics they are interested in. This might help you discern if they are a recruiter you might like. Then reach out, let them know you have similar interests and though you aren’t looking right now you’d like to start a conversation for future. The good ones will know what to do next.

      Hope this helps!

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