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Feeling The Candidate's Pain of Dealing with Recruiters

(Disclaimer: to all the great recruiters I have spoken with, and that I am waiting back to hear from, no, this doesn’t apply to any you. You all gave me permission to keep in touch, and have been great to deal with. You know who you are - and if you are reading this, THANK YOU!)

I always appreciate it when I receive a nice email from a candidate thanking me for helping them through the interview and on boarding process - or even when they just thank me for my time to send them an update as to where a position and their resume stands. I want to respond "No problem. Just doing my job!" but instead, I wisely reply back thanking them for their kind words and their time as well.

Most of the recruiters that I have gotten to know and respect the past few years view the candidate the same way I do: someone that deserves respect, until they give you a very good reason not to do so. And even then, at least be polite when dealing with them. I always thought that it was the exception rather than the rule to deal with recruiters that don't seem to communicate well. However, this past week, it has really been driven home that perhaps maybe there are a few more "bad apples" than we think.

Case in point: I recently uploaded my resume to both Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com confidentially. I just found out last week my position is being eliminated June 1st. The first response was to check with the local groups I belong to, talk with some of the local recruiters I know, and get a better feel for the market. I figured posting a blurb on Craigslist.com wouldn't hurt either.

I have received a few decent responses to my Monster.com resume and Craiglist.com blurb, as well as a blurb I posted on one of the yahoo groups. Sure, there were a few off replies from Craigslist and Monster, but no more than I expected. But then, I posted on Careerbuilder. If I get one more email about a warehouse job, appointment setting, commercial bathroom fixture sales, or selling insurance, I think I will scream. 90% of my replies are for selling insurance. At first, I started to reply back politely that I was not interested in any of these. And then I went through my Careerbuilder resume to see why they would think I was interested. I didn't see how they could make the connection. Apparently resumes are not being glanced over by human eyes even for a minute. Hey - I know the gig, fellow recruiters; I have been doing what you do for over 6 years. I think spending more than 30 seconds to look over a resume would be a good idea. Technology is supposed to automate the recruiting process, but not replace recruiting judgment.

I am pulling my resume off Careerbuilder.com this afternoon, as it just is not worth the hassle.

Another peeve of mine: Feedback. Not getting any is a bit annoying, true. However, my biggest complaint is when the recruiter tells me I cannot get in touch with them for feedback. I usually ask when they expect to have feedback, and when it would be appropriate for me to check in if I had not heard from them. Usually I am told please wait a few days, a week, etc. Sure, no problem – I send an email and/or leave a voice mail after that time frame has passed. Pretty simple. I was shocked when I had one recruiter tell me that I could not have permission to follow up for feedback. That the company would contact me were they interested. (This was a CORPORATE recruiter – not third party, which bugged me even more.) Let me get this right: I am sending you my resume, spent time explaining my experience, my salary range, what my “ideal” position would be, and I don’t have the right to send you an email or phone call just to find out if we can proceed further?

(There is an acronym for what I want to say in response. It starts with a W and ends with an F, but I keep it professional….)

A simple “I am still waiting for feedback – maybe in a week or two” or “forget it! The manager would rather line his cat’s litter box with your resume than interview you” would even be better than “Don’t call us – we’ll call you.” If the position is closed, just say so; if I am not right for the job, just say so – you are not going to hurt my feelings. It is not just a professional courtesy; it is just plain being professional. But then, again, maybe the company is using Recruiters that self distructed after screening?

Phew…I have vented. I guess I have dealt with much more of the good than the bad, but am shocked how many recruiters or so called “recruiters” are out in the field. You know the old saying “treat others as you want to be treated”? Well, to all Recruiters out there, both third party and corporate, remember this “Recruiter others as you want to be Recruited.”

Views: 17

Comment by BILL GALLOP on December 7, 2007 at 7:03pm
This was great, thanks. I recently went through the same thing. Every candidate I speak with is now treated with dignity and courtesy. Too bad a lot of recruiters and HR staff don't know how to do this.

I heard this one time years ago in my retail days... Treat every customer like they were your Grandmother. Our candidates are our customers.

Thanks for the post.

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