As a career strategist I’m privy to conversation from job candidates who are at the mercy of internal and third-party recruiters. I say mercy because before they can sell themselves to the hiring manager, they have to get past the recruiter.
In the grand scheme of things there seems to be a misunderstanding of the importance the role job candidates play in the hiring process. They are the bread and butter of the process because they’re the ones who are going to solve the employer’s most dire need, the need to fill a position.
While we see many articles written on what jobseekers do wrong, rarely a word do we see on what recruiters do wrong. I personally don’t see the justice in this inequity of blame; and I’m not even applying for jobs. I’m just the messenger.
Some recruiters (a small number) are treating their job candidates like shite, Mate. This seems counterproductive to achieving the goal of hiring people for the jobs that need to get filled. And there are numerous jobs to fill. I know, recruiters are busy (#11 on the list of job candidate complaints) vetting candidates to present to their clients, but their lack of sensitivity, courtesy, and plain logic is sometimes baffling.
I realize there are some great recruiters and some lousy recruiters (the number favors the former); and the same applies to job candidates (ditto). But some of the behavior I’ve heard about recruiters is well…baffling. Without further ado, let me relay what my customers have told me over time.
- You told me I was your number one and then didn’t call back. Didn’t that make me feel cheap.
- You knew less about the job than I did. (Ouch.)
- You thought I was too old. Hint: don’t ask a candidate how old she is. One of my former customers was actually asked during a telephone interview, “Just how old are you?”
- You took the liberty to revise MY résumé. Imagine my surprise when I showed up at the interview to find the interviewers holding a different version of the résumé I sent.
- Do you really think what I did after graduating from college (25 years ago) is relevant? The last time I checked, no one was using DOS.
- You called me an hour late and wondered why I was pissed. I had to pick up my child from daycare, which by the way takes up most of my UI benefits.
- You wanted to connect with me on LinkedIn so you could have access to my connections. I’m not stupid, stupid.
- You sent me to the wrong interview. Imagine my surprise when the hiring manager started describing a position that I wasn’t aware of applying for.
- You overlooked me because I was out of work for three months. No, technology in finance doesn’t change that much in three months. Oh, I get it; I’m damaged goods.
- I may not be as beautiful as your dream date, but I can manage a project with my eyes close. Incidentally, you’re no looker yourself.
- You complain about being sooo busy. I’m not exactly sitting around watching Oprah and popping Bonbons. I am out beating the bushes.
- Really? “What is your greatest weakness?” Why do you ask idiotic questions like this? Do you think I’ll really tell you my greatest weakness? Besides, I have the answer memorized.
- I wasn’t a fit? Couldn’t you get a better explanation than that. I only want to know if I need to improve my interviewing techniques.
- Speaking of interviewing, couldn’t you have told me that I was going to be the oldest person in the building? I can rock with the best of them, but it would have been great to have a heads up.
- No means no. I don’t want to take a position that pays half the amount I was making at my last job. I know salaries may be lower these days, but doing twice the amount of work for half the pay doesn’t add up.
Many of the people I serve have had favorable experiences with recruiters, but the process could be a lot better if some of these common complaints are addressed.
Read the follow-up post, Dear hiring manager, 15 reasons why you lost the best candidate ever. There are 15 different reasons!
Photo: Flickr, Kev-Shine