Response to the Frustrated Recruiter Lady

While reading an article titled, “You are the Laziest Jobseeker Ever,” I felt sympathy for a recruiter who writes in near stream of consciousness describing lazy, apathetic jobseekers. From the sounds of it, she had certainly had enough of jobseekers who don’t give a damn. She is a frustrated recruiter lady.

I once wrote an article on jobseekers who actually care about their hunt and make great efforts, despite being rejected many times over. They are the people I meet on a regular basis in my workshops and coach them through the process, the ones who go about the search the proper way—networking, sending targeted résumés, using LinkedIn, etc. They are not the ones portrayed in this article from the Frustrated Recruiter Lady.

Frustrated Recruiter Lady describes in her article jobseekers I optimistically like to think don’t exist, ones I conveniently store in the back of my mind. They are the people over whom my colleagues and I pull our hair out. “Does this person want this job?! He won’t even return a phone call on a sure thing. The employer says she wants him,” we say with exasperation. But these jobseekers are far and few between.

Frustrated Recruiter Lady exasperatingly writes that when a jobseeker responds to her with a fragmented e-mail instead of a well thought-out cover letter, it is inexcusable and deserves her wrath. She writes, “THEY did not sign their names or include their phone numbers which means that I had to go back to CareerBuilder to look them up… well guess what YOU MOVE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST THAT WAY!”

Chill out, lady, I want to say when she overuses those all-cap words. Doesn’t she know writing in all caps is like shouting? But I can also  understand why she is misusing capitalization; she is frustrated, as I would be.

“So I am not going to dig back through Careerbuilder to find you again?” she continues. “Yes I most likely saved you in a folder or put you on my work list, but still, your lack of investment in the process makes me think you are flighty.”

This is how she reacts when she gets a response like, “I’ll get back to you.” I’ll get back to you? No, I think, you should answer Frustrated Recruiter Lady’s message IMMEDIATELY. (Yes, I’m shouting.)

I have to admit that my desire to help this type of apathetic jobseeker is minimal at best. The way it works with recruiters is that they are not working for the jobseekers; they’re working for the companies that pay them money to satisfy a very important need—filling a vacant or soon to be vacant position. They are not the jobseeker’s best friend, but by helping their customer, they are ultimately helping the jobseeker. They’re simply the middleman…woman. The jobseeker holds only one card, the card that tells them to put it on the line.

The recruiter is the person who won’t or can’t penetrate the walls of companies who prefer to engage in the Hidden Job Market.

I understand Frustrated Recruiter Lady’s annoyance, and it’s not because of the way she capitalizes the eleven words above. It’s the same way I feel when I’m leading a workshop and an attendee forgets to turn off her cell phone. And when it rings she doesn’t turn it off. She lets it ring until I mockingly say, “I like that ringtone. Where did you get it?” Many in the room laugh at my sarcasm.

Yes, Frustrated Recruiter Lady, it should be the way you want it to be, as long as you’re fair and honest and care one little bit about your next-body-to-fill-a-position person. When you think about it, the job of a recruiter can be difficult. So give her the respect she’s owed and pick up the phone or send a cover letter. That’s the way the game is played.

One of my jobseekers approached me the other day and asked if she should send a quick text to a recruiter’s inquiry or reply with a well-thought-out cover letter and résumé. I smiled and, of course, told her to play her card the right way.


3 thoughts on “Response to the Frustrated Recruiter Lady

  1. Andrea Brunet

    Bob McIntosh writes a thoughtful, poignant article about job seeking from a recruiter’s perspective. I have been on both sides of the hiring process and can speak to many memorable candidates; those who shined and impressed with their skill sets and professional demeanor, all the way to the candidate who arrived in filthy white sweat pants, a notebook covered with duct tape and a haranguing diatribe directed at me, the hiring manager, when I indicated to the candidate that the organization does in fact drug screen all potential candidates. Just for the record, she was not selected for the role.

    More recently I am a job seeker and am navigating these challenging waters. I have worked, in recent months, with some of the kindest, most helpful and professional recruiters. I have also worked with some dreary folks who have told me to give up the hunt for my next role. Perhaps they just didn’t want to help me or didn’t think I stood a chance in this harrowing market.

    A recruiter’s position is challenging, without any doubt. There are great recruiters and lesser so individuals in the industry. I do believe Bob’s article is spot-on as he clearly shows the perspective from a recruiter’s busy day and ultimate goal in assisting a hiring manager to fill a role with that perfect-fit candidate.


  2. americandreamrevised

    Bob, that picture does look like me! I have to say that I appreciate and agree with your perspective on my post. I am primarily a “no pressure” recruiter, meaning even though I know when I find the exact fit for a company and I want to send their resume at that very second, I still ask the candidate to sleep on it and email me the next day, just to be sure they haven’t come up with any questions.

    Recruiting is neither art or a science; it is people, living, breathing, people. One of my favorite sayings to candidates is, I am employed and happen to enjoy what I do and I know what that means to me and my household. It is not going to do me any good to send you for an interview or place you in a position you just are not sure about.

    Thank you Bob!


    1. Things Career Related Post author

      Thanks, Danielle. Your article shows your frustration; thus the name Frustrated Recruiter Lady. We experience the same thing at the career center. It’s like you can lead a horse to water….Keep up the good work, and a well written article.



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