Maybe it’s time to give recruiters a break?

For every decent recruiter there seems to be at least two bad ones. We’re quick to point out the flaws and defame the behaviour of the recruiters who fail us whilst completely ignoring the positive efforts of the ones who do an excellent job.

I have been a contractor in the past and have dealt with a number of recruiters, both good and bad. There was a time when both me and my sister were signed up to the same recruitment agency. Despite having different names, different phones number, different work experiences etc there was one recruiter who would always get us mixed up leaving voicemails for a job that was intended for the other. That just showed a lack of attention to detail and professionalism. Though they did manage to find employment for my sister I wasn’t so fortunate so moved onto different recruitment agencies.

Saying that I have also met some good recruiters who have always been polite and tried to put you forward for suitable positions and speak to you after the interview. These were also the ones who if you weren’t successful would pass on feedback from the interviewer.

Like any industry there are good and bad workers. With unemployment being as it is and the number of people applying for positions some recruiters have developed a god like attitude but let’s not forget the ones who do try and help.

I came across this LinkedIn article, ‘My history of abusive, co-dependent relationships with recruiters’. The author discusses his own experiences with recruiters. What got my attention more than the article was how recruiters would reply to the article and share their own negative experiences with candidates only then to be vilified by other commenters. It may have not been the best place to respond in such a manner but it did raise the question, why shouldn’t we also point out the flaws and disrespectful behaviour of candidates? Am I being led to believe that every person who has gone to a recruiter has been the epitome of excellence and behaved courteously?

As a candidate I did my fair share of chasing recruiters, finding out the status of the jobs I had been put forward for or jobs I had applied to online. With the number of people applying for the same job and depending on if your CV contained the correct keywords it was always a good idea to speak with the responsible recruiter to at least get your CV looked at least once by them!

Before those who have had one too many unpleasant experiences with recruiters jump for my jugular, I am not defending those type of recruiters, nor am I defending the equally negative behaviour of candidates. Just as a recruiter can adopt a holier than thou attitude so do some candidates, who think a recruiter should be grateful to have someone as sought after as them on their books. I’ve seen the behaviour of some candidates via social media and their response to postings. If an advertised job isn’t suitable for them then why do they feel the need to leave a negative comment, don’t apply. Yes a company maybe in a difficult location, they are offering a salary that is lower than the market rates and for the experience, but that is the hiring manager’s choice and no amount of childish behaviour is going to change that because there are those who will apply for the job.

Yes there are companies who take advantage of candidates by offering, in some cases, pathetic rates and preying on the desperation of peoples need to be employed but this is not necessarily down to the recruiter. Recruiters are not only dealing with candidates but also hiring managers. If a hiring manager is dragging their heels, being difficult, then unfortunately it doesn’t bode well for those who have been put forward for that particular job or the recruiters reputation.

There are many things wrong with the behaviour of some recruiters such as falsely telling a potential candidate they have a job they would be perfect for or posting fake job adverts all just to add a new CV to their database.

Don’t forget some candidates are no angels. Candidates who at one point wanted to be put forward for a job are suddenly unattainable or don’t even bother showing up to an interview.

The relationship between a recruiter and candidate is meant to work both ways. Just as a bad recruiters should be held accountable for their unpleasant behaviour so should candidates.


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