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I Hate Your Guts but I'll Represent You, You Stupid Dick.

I am finding that one of my biggest challenges of late is finding and having to represent the most abhorent, rude, arrogant, pompus, skilled, intelligent, well-educated, experienced jerks with inflated senses of self-worth. Originally when I came across these people I parked them in my database and said, "the hell with you, you stupid dick! I hope you never get another job again." However, I realized that my approach is immature. In real life I can decide to cut jerks out of my life (and do, regularly) however, in my career, though I may really, really not like certain people, if they are well skilled, experienced, and hiring managers love them (as is often the case and I can add "manipulative sociopath" to the list of their terrible personality traits) I need to just suck it up and do my job. As long as they know how to interface with a hiring manager and, as is often reflected in their resumes, can hold a job at a Fortune 500 company and do well, I could care less how they talk to me on the phone or through an e-mail. I'm no doormat but I'm not stupid.

It's really hard for me. I like to stick it to people and bring them down a peg whenever possible but I guess this is part of the evolution from idiot with a college degree to working professional. I can't help but feel I am compromising myself. Where is my catcher in the rye? C'est la vie.

Views: 72

Comment by Maureen Sharib on March 31, 2009 at 11:19am
I hardly know where to begin.
Comment by See_Jane_Recruit on March 31, 2009 at 11:24am
At the beginning, of course! ;)
Comment by Maureen Sharib on March 31, 2009 at 11:43am
The yellow brick road is paved with lots of twists and turns and troubles and, as Rayanne wisely points out, nobody said it was easy. What would everyone be doing if it was easy? That's right. Telephone Sourcing.
Comment by See_Jane_Recruit on March 31, 2009 at 1:01pm
Pam, I appreciate your insight but I want to place people, not just for the money but because I like to help people and I do not call someone and intentionally alienate them. I do not call anyone with the intention of bringing them down a peg, I call them with the intention of making a good connection that could lead to a future placement--not to tell them they're not all that. So I doubt they sense that. I only like to stick it to people who deserve it and I don't know who they are (outside of their resume) until I start talking to them and they act like dicks. It's not everyone. It's actually a very, very small minority of people who act like this, but when they do they really get to me. There's just no reason to push people around or act rude no matter how skilled or qualified you are.

This blog is more me venting and thinking out loud than anything. I've examed the "jerk to co-workers" possibility and you can't ever really accurately predict how someone will treat co-workers.
Comment by Steve Levy on March 31, 2009 at 1:33pm
Jennifer, you're killing me; wait until you see the post I'll be submitting tonight called, "Recruiting begins at 50" which will talk about how I used to recruit when I was 25. I think the lesson now for me is that I can see how candidates can come into an interview thinking they're smarter and deserving when the media now portrays so many in recruiting as [fill in the blank].

A reality here is that many Boomers did in fact instill in their kids - the Y's and Echo Boomers - that they were perfect, infallible, deserving and no one ever corrected this (certainly not career services).

I hope you feel better now that you've vented.
Comment by Tom Sweeney on March 31, 2009 at 3:55pm
I think the job of a recruiter is also to screen people out based on personality and protect the client from a negative experience with a consultant. If you are representing candidates with poor attitudes it will eventually become visible to the client and you are no better off then you were before you started your search.

Just a thought...

Comment by Dan Nuroo on March 31, 2009 at 6:16pm
I've always found it interesting, as I sit here in my in-house Recruiting guise, to see how people react differently to me, when they figure out that I am not an Agency Recruiter. The arrogance disappears a lot, a look of shock and horror comes on their face and they tend to get into their Sycophant costume. (Ok by the time they figure that out the moment is normally lost for them, as their obvious lack of research or interest in a role almost rules them out of my consideration).

However, always lived by the idea, if someone is rude and disrespectful to me, the odds are they will be to someone else, whether that be a client of mine, a boss or a peer. Disrespectful people do not get very far in my process. (Yes, even if they are rainmakers!)
Comment by See_Jane_Recruit on April 1, 2009 at 9:35am
Well, let's be real for a second. Just because I don't like someone or they don't like me doesn't mean they're not a good employee. Jerks need jobs too. Also, in my personal life I know some extremely successful toolbags, so yes, even toolbags can be successful. To refuse to work with someone based on a personality conflict is immature and I'm looking to grow as a professional--and that was the real crux of the blog. The point was that the reality of recruiting is nothing close to my ideals of the profession, hence the catcher in the rye allusion. It's a struggle between wanting things to be closer to my ideals but coming to terms with reality. Yet and still I do not want to concede to reality. The youthful, idealistic part of me says to keep the fight alive and it squirms uncomfortably when I lose ground like this. Am I being a smart professional or a sheep and am I comfortable with being a sheep?
Comment by Dan Nuroo on April 1, 2009 at 10:01am
Immaturity or Reality? Probably depends on the reason you think the person is displaying jerkish tendancies. As the recruiter are you not responsible for being the cultural gatekeeper of an organisation. Culture is an essential ingredient to any organisation, and bringing people whom you knowingly classify as jerks into the organisation surely could not be seen as adding value to a client? I will discuss people with my Stakeholders, and share with them my concerns with people, and hey if my CEO still wants to go ahead, then fine.. as long as I give him all the information... I'm sure you could swap CEO with the term hiring manager. (I sure get judged on the quality of hire, which not only takes into consideration, if they are successful in their role, ie closing deals as a sales person, but cultural and company fit as well. If someone is a gun sales person, yet does not represent my company in the right light, we will get rid of them.. no question!)

However as an in house recruiter I am looking at this from a different angle.

"the reality of recruiting is nothing close to my ideals of the profession, hence the catcher in the rye allusion"
My reality of the profession is always and has always been defined as to how I build my perception! (I have taken that through many stages now too)

Of course jerks do well in places, and need jobs, that's great and true, but I want people who represent me and my company to be seen in the outer market as being a jerk? nope, not on my watch.

Steve, where is that other post you promised?
Comment by See_Jane_Recruit on April 1, 2009 at 10:08am
Ok, Dan, so I have a candidate (hypothetically) I don't particularly like. I find his attitude abrasive and he did not get off on a good foot with me but I am at the offer stage with him and a client of mine. My client likes him a lot, has no complaints, is interested in hiring him and you are suggesting I tell my client that I think he's kind of a dick and create a problem where there otherwise is none?


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