In our previous post we looked at candidates behaving badly (yes, all true stories) and this time we wanted to look at examples of recruiters gone bad.
The examples below cover all three types of recruiters (contingent, retained, and corporate) – if you are unfamiliar with the differences find them out here.
My only problem with recruiters or temp agency personnel is abandonment. I understand a recruiter or temp agency must be in business to make money for themselves or the company they work for.
However, almost 100% of the time, if a client does not have credentials to fill positions easily, they are soon abandoned for other more promising clients that will make a financial profit. They are not in the business of helping a client learn to be a better client, improve their skills, resume, or interview skills to help them land a better position.
A small, specialized company posts openings on various websites (but not their own). They create a new Yahoo e-mail account to receive applications for each opening and close the account when the job is filled. The only way you can tell when the position is filled is to apply and see if your e-mail bounces back to you. It took more than an hour to customize a resume and writing samples for this specialized job, only to have the e-mail bounce back to me. Ugh.
It drives me crazy that recruiters, including retained, that don’t even have the courtesy to respond to an email even if the response is “I don’t have anything for people with your background”. I realize that recruiters are being bombarded by 1,000’s of resumes, most of which are not proper, but even an auto response email saying if “if you don’t hear from me in X weeks, I don’t have anything for you” is helpful.
A pet peeve is a company that post ghost positions just to collect resumes or post positions that will be filled internally. I get that the government requires that a company make an effort to recruit to show that the company is not being biased in hiring practice. There has to be a better to accomplish that goal. If they made a better practice of communicating with the applicant as indicated above, it would leave a better impression with the applicant. Companies have to realize that applicants are customers; they have choices to make when spending money; and will remember how they were treated during this downturn.
The situation that I found absolutely inexcusable – the recruiter called and told me that the job paid between $12-15 per hour and it was temp-to-perm. When I accepted the job I was then told it was only going to pay $12 and it was only a long-term assignment.
They denigrate you to let you know there is no way that you are going to get the job and don’t call me I’ll call you. What is even funnier in information systems is when a new recruiter will call you about a position and he is clueless as to whether you are qualified to perform a particular job. You just have to laugh at there cluelessness.
I can provide two perfect examples of where recruiters did not show the respect and consideration along with the professionalism that I expected and always show whether it’s in meetings with the recruiters or in actual interviews with employers.
In the first example, I met with a recruiter about my job search and as the conversation proceeded a comment was made about the fact that I have a mustache. He proceeded to tell me that I needed to “get rid of the mustache” as he stated because some of his client companies were conservative. I told him that I didn’t have a Fu Manchu, Goatee, or some other kind of mustache or beard and thus since I keep it well-groomed that I didn’t see a problem with it. I also mentioned to him that I considered his comment similar to judging someone based on their hair color, eye color, skin color, or some other personal attribute.
In the second example, another recruiter used language that was inappropriate. During a telephone conversation she decided to refer to me as “honey” and sweetheart”. As someone who has been through numerous corporate sexual harassment classes, I knew that this would have caused had we been co-workers and roles had been reversed.
In both cases, I spoke with their respective managers and told them that I didn’t appreciate the attitudes and comments directed at me and considered them to be very inconsiderate, disrespectful, and unprofessional. Scrutiny and expectations always seem to be directed at job seekers but some recruiters seem to get away with a lot of things in their treatment of candidates.
Although many have experienced difficulty in getting through to a recruiter and getting a call-back, I was able to break through the initial wall and start the communication process, even completing a telephone interview. I was told that I would be called on a set date and time and talks would continue. Alas, on the set date and time, I received no phone call or follow-up thereafter, and I never spoke to the recruiter again, although I tried to connect with them via telephone. After several calls, I came to the conclusion that it would be fruitless. This told me volumes about the workplace and climate, and I continued my search.
One local recruiter agreed to talk over the phone but when I suggested me meet, he made it clear that “he had a thousand guys like me wanting to meet with him” … needless to say, I never connected with him again.
The video above really captures how people view the recruiter / candidate relationship and this post and our previous post really go a long way to back that up.
In our next post we will look at the other side of the coin and see some real life examples of recruiters and candidates living in harmony and really helping each other out.
Until next time, good hunting and good luck!