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The annoying habits of recruiters...

I have spent a little time recently looking for a new role.  I had forgotten how irritating some recruiters can be - I may well name and shame the worst at some stage.  These guys forget that the applicant this month may be the hiring manager next month.  I have listed some common things that I find particularly annoying.

  • Not getting acknowledging applications
  • Letting things drift without explanation
  • Not letting you know timescales
  • Not letting you know the process
  • Readvertising after you have had an interview but you haven't been rejected
  • Not leaving messages on answer phone
  • Being unavailable
  • CV scanning packages
  • Not giving feedback
  • Making an offer below your stated expectation
  • Rejecting you after interview for something that was clear on your application
  • Being inflexible about interview times

If you are a recruiter or a hiring manager that does these things then please have a thought for the poor guy trying to get a job.  He needs your help to make the process as easy and stressfree as possible.


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Reader Comments (3)

I got rejected from a recruiter-induced interview because of something that was right on my resume. They thought I was "a little light on corporate experience"...if you're having me in there to interview as a recent college graduate, how much experience were you exactly expecting? Isn't experience the most obvious thing on a whole resume?

I definitely sympathize with your post. I have a great job now and hopefully you have found one as well!

April 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLesley

I'm a recruiter & wanted to respond to your post with an overview of how you might avoid some of the poor service you've recd in the past. I feel qualified, having spent >15 years helping companies large & small hire for IT experts, most recently across Change & Transformation disciplines (Architecture, Programme Management, etc).

You'll encounter three types of recruiter; for the sake of argument we'll call them: the optimist,the gambler and the professional.

The Optimist is in many respects the most likely to waste your time, even though they may not mean to; they promise an enormous amount, tend not to challenge potential issues head-on and can have candidates spinning their wheels through a process with little chance of a positive outcome. The solution if you think you have an Optimist on the other end of the phone is to probe baseline issues like sign-off or timeframes and if you don't get a satisfactory answer, red flag it. It doesn't mean you should stop the process but be aware that things may take longer than suggested..

The Gambler believes in a numbers game; if enough candidates are spoken to & enough CVs sent out, something will stick. Whilst practical, it doesn't help the many candidates who go through the process but don't end up with the job & because of the style adopted, getting timely (if any) feedback can be very difficult. The solution to working with The Gambler is to ask upfront about key criteria for the role as defined by the hiring company; again, an unsatisfactory answer should raise a red flag and dictate whether or not you decide to pursue the opportunity..

In a labour market which is increasingly leveraging online solutions to help potential candidates connect with potential hirers, discovering the third type, The Professional, can be a time-consuming challenge. However, the value they add can be enormous; in particular, the relationship they have with their clients - deep, meaningful - means that the relationships they're able to build with candidates are based on well managed expectations, high levels of credibility and successful outcomes, even when you don't necessarily get offered the job under discussion. Typically, The Professional becomes a trusted advisor to candidates and offers an inside track on opportunities that Optimists & Gamblers aren't able to. If you find yourself working with a Professional, you'll recognise it quickly. You'll probably tell people in your network about them. No doubt you'll be able to think of one or two already in this category and hopefully, they've been able to prove to some extent that among the mediocre & the lazy are a small number of experts who genuinely want to help.

June 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

I agree. IT recruiters have been nothing but a burden to me. I couldn't agree more with Lesley. I have dealt with nearly 10 IT recruiters. I FINALLY encountered a professional. He was honest, knowledgeable, and actually cared about finding a position that was a good fit for me. He even helped to increase my salary by nearly $5 an hour because of my commute.

The other 9 IT recruiters have been absolutely horrible. For a lack of a better term, complete MORONS. I am fresh out of College with very little work experience and was being recommended for Senior Software Developer positions! Requiring at least ten years of work experience in software development. They would send me on interviews ALL over the place often for positions I was WAY under qualified for. I was set up for an interview at Microsoft in which the position require at LEAST 5 years of work experience. I was told by the recruiter that it was an "entry-level" position. The Microsoft team didn't even receive my Resume until the day of and it was needless to say a humiliating experience.

In conclusion I feel that ANY IT recruiter should have some experience in software development or be knowledgeable about software languages. It's funny when a recruiter asks if I am fluent in C#, and C++ and if I have experience using object-oriented languages. Most have degrees in fields with no relation to IT and it shows when they ask you questions about your software experience.

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

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