I’m on the phone all day talking to candidates. The stories I hear about other recruiters blow….my….mind. Don’t get me wrong, hiring managers commit all kinds of atrocities. And candidates, you guys pull some doozies as well. Stay tuned for those mind boggles in future posts.
If you’re a recruiter, you’re #1 goal should be to build a reputation for being the go-to resource in your business when it comes to candidates seeking a career change. Too many of you make “closing the deal” your priority. That myopic, short-term tunnel vision is what has turned recruiters into bottom feeders.
Below are the top 10 complaints I hear about other recruiters. If you are a recruiter and recognize this bad behavior as your own, perhaps it’s time to take a long look in the mirror. After all, change starts one individual at a time.
#1: “I get five calls a week from five different recruiters.” There is an absolute over-saturation of recruiters in the digital media field. Many are in it because they think there’s “big money” in recruiting. What they don’t realize is that success comes with a deep knowledge base — and database — and that takes time.There’s a tremendous attrition rate in recruiting, and eventually you’ll know who has the right ethics and job opportunities that make sense for you.
#2: “Three different recruiters from one firm called me for different jobs in one month! Don’t these people talk to each other?” Agencies have database solutions called Applicant Tracking Systems. Recruiters should be properly logging in all of their calls and conversations into their ATS’, partly to avoid this overlap. Unfortunately, because many firms are only concerned with the volume of calls recruiters make each and every day (they often have a quota), the quality of the firm’s outreach is sacrificed and candidate satisfaction is compromised.
#3: “It annoys me when I think I’m going to meet with a recruiter about a job they have posted, only to find out that the job doesn’t exist.” Some recruiters will do anything to catch your ear and attention. Even lie. To garner respect and long-term allegiances, recruiters should say something to the effect of: “while I don’t have anything for you right now, I’d still love to start a dialogue for the future.” At least, then, you’ll go into the meeting with your expectations managed.
#4: “I’m happy to talk to recruiters but I don’t like it when they argue with me, telling me that I’m perfect for a job that’s clearly not a fit or what I’m interested in.” The recruiter’s goal is to get you in to his client for an interview. His hopes are that, once you go in, you’ll change your mind. You’ll be swayed into taking something that you know, in your gut, is not right. If you are absolutely sure you don’t want to go a certain route, then stick to your guns and the recruiter will eventually stand down.
#5: “A few recruiters have sent my resume out without my permission. Then, all of a sudden, they call me and tell me that one of their clients is magically interested in my background.” To avoid this, make sure you tell any recruiter that you choose to work with that you do NOT give them permission to share your resume without your approval.
#6: “Sometimes recruiters change my resume without my permission before they send it out.” Only send your resume to a recruiter in .pdf format. Once you’ve established a trusting relationship with one, then you can send them a Word version if you so choose.
#7: “I hate when I’m working with a recruiter on an opening and after I go in for a round of interviews, I don’t get any feedback. Emails and calls go unanswered. The recruiter falls off the face of the earth until he gets another job in that could work for me.” Recruiters who do this only care about one thing: their pockets. They don’t value you as a person and are not “in this” to have a long-term relationship with you. Beware. And recruiters who do this? You suck. Period.
#8: “I can tell when a recruiter is lying to me. I wish they would give me real feedback, vs. the bullshit.” Sometimes it’s difficult to be completely forthright with feedback, but honesty is the best policy, even if nuanced. A recruiter who wants to partner with you long term will tell you what you did wrong to make sure you don’t make the same mistake in future interviews. More recruiters need to know that the majority of candidates appreciate constructive criticism.
#9: “Some recruiters don’t know what they are talking about. They see my LinkedIn profile but have no clue as to what I do, even when I spell it out for them.” Make sure, when you talk to a recruiter, that they are specialists in your field. Ask them to list some of the companies they work with. See how many shared connections you have on LinkedIn.
#10: “I don’t expect a recruiter to know everything about the client they are working with, but some of them can't even describe the opportunities they have. It can be painful to listen to them struggle through their pitches.”
If you are intrigued at all by a company the recruiter is working with, and the job title, it’s probably worth an initial conversation, beyond the recruiter. Then, at least you can have the information needed to properly evaluate the opportunity. The recruiter is going to try to get you to do that anyhow, and it’s not a bad idea. But, yes, it would be nice, if recruiters took the time to do their due diligence before picking up the phone to dial.
Jane Turkewitz is the President and Chief Talent Officer at .comRecruiting — a firm that specializes in advancing careers in digital media, mobile and ad technology. If she could make a living writing posts like this, she would.