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Recruiters...love or loathe us?

Posted on 7/10/2015 by Jason Rumney

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Since moving to the US I've noticed a real difference of attitudes using a recruiter to help you find a role as opposed to finding roles externally.  With my six years of experience working and running a global recruitment company the stories I hear about other recruiters often blow….my….mind

As a recruiter, your #1 goal should be to build a reputation for being the go-to resource in your business when it comes to candidates seeking a career change. Too many recruiters make “closing the deal” a priority. That short-term tunnel vision is what can often turn some recruiters/agencies into bottom feeders.

Below are the top 8 complaints I often hear about other recruiters, I would love to hear your thoughts:

#1: “I get five calls a week from five different recruiters.” 

There is an absolute over-saturation of recruiters (evident in London) in the digital media field. Many are in it because they think there’s “big money” in recruiting. What they don’t realize is that success comes with a deep knowledge base — and database — and that takes time.There’s a tremendous attrition rate in recruiting, and eventually you’ll know who has the right ethics and job opportunities that make sense for you.

#2: “Three different recruiters from one firm called me for different jobs in one week! 

Unfortunately, because many firms are only concerned with the volume of calls recruiters make each and every day (must have a quota), the quality of the firm’s outreach can be sacrificed and candidate satisfaction comprised

#3: “It annoys me when I think I’m going to meet with a recruiter about a job they have posted, only to find out that the job doesn’t exist.” 

Some recruiters will do anything to catch your ear and attention. To garner respect and long-term allegiances, recruiters should say something to the effect of “while I don’t have anything for you right now, I’d still love to start a dialogue for the future.” At least, then, you’ll go into the meeting with your expectations managed.

#4: “I’m happy to talk to recruiters but I don’t like it when they argue with me, telling me that I’m perfect for a job that’s clearly not a fit or what I’m interested in.” 

The recruiter’s goal is to get you to their client for an interview. The hope is that that, once you go in, you’ll change your mind. You’ll be swayed into taking something that you know, in your gut, is not right. If you are absolutely sure you don’t want to go a certain route, then stick to your guns.

#5: “A few recruiters have sent my resume out without my permission. Then, all of a sudden, they call me and tell me that one of their clients is suddenly interested in my background.” 

To avoid this, make sure you tell any recruiter that you choose to work with that you do NOT give them permission to share your resume without your approval.

#6: “I hate when I’m working with a recruiter on an opening and after I go in for a round of interviews, I don’t get any feedback. Emails and calls go unanswered. The recruiter falls off the face of the earth until he gets another job in that could work for me.” 

Recruiters who do this only care about one thing: their pockets. They don’t value you as a person and are not “in this” to have a long-term relationship with you. Beware.

#7: “I can tell when a recruiter is lying to me. I wish they would give me real feedback, vs. the bullshit.” 

Sometimes it’s difficult to be completely forthright with feedback, but honesty is the best policy, even if nuanced. A recruiter who wants to partner with you long term will tell you what you did wrong to make sure you don’t make the same mistake in future interviews. More recruiters need to know that the majority of candidates appreciate constructive criticism.

#8: “I don’t expect a recruiter to know everything about the client they are working with, but some of them can't even describe the opportunities they have. It can be painful to listen to them struggle through their pitches.” 

If you are intrigued at all by a company the recruiter is working with, and the job title, it’s probably worth an initial conversation, beyond the recruiter. Then, at least you can have the information needed to properly evaluate the opportunity. The recruiter is going to try to get you to do that anyhow, and it’s not a bad idea. But, yes, it would be nice, if recruiters took the time to do their due diligence before picking up the phone to dial.

My next blog will be on why you need a recruiter in your life, stay tuned for that next week!

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