No, I do not believe all recruiters suck and are liars, as someone from Chicago penned on an Indeed. com career forum right before I wrote this post. But after just speaking to a networking group consisting of mostly unemployed people about how to do a better job of presenting – and telling – their own stories, I am convinced recruiters don’t have the greatest reputation. At least among many job seekers.
Every time I mentioned the word recruiter in fact, there would be a collective groan from the group, often accompanied by a roll of the eyes.
I talked about social media of course, and how it can be used by those looking for work. But I also shed some light on how recruiters use it.
There were several sales people in the room, and when I talked about recruiters having to keep their funnel full, i.e., have a large pool of candidates from which to choose at any given time, that made some sense. It also explained they said, at least in part, why recruiters reach out to them even when they don’t have a specific job prospect in mind at the moment.
They did not, however, take too kindly to the notion of posting positions that don’t exist, simply for the purpose of harvesting resumes. That subject has been debated rather pointedly here at Staffing Talk, and you can read more here.
Growing more curious about the groans though as my presentation went on, I did ask a couple of people offline, after my presentation, why the negative perception of recruiters.
One person I spoke with, who was interviewing with several different I.T. companies, was caught off guard when one of his prospective employers asked him why he’d received his resume twice. It seems a recruiter whom this person had never had any contact with had pulled his resume off LinkedIn or a job board somewhere, and sent it to this person doing some hiring.
A recruiter whom this person had never had any contact with had pulled his resume off LinkedIn or a job board somewhere, and sent it to this person doing some hiring.
And this job candidate has a friend, who has been kind of quietly looking for a better opportunity, have to do some serious explaining after his resume landed on the desk of his current boss.
Another person I spoke with made a comment along the lines of “sometimes I’m not even sure who the recruiter is working for,” as if they weren’t doing a good job tending to this candidate’s needs.
I tried to gently remind them there shouldn’t be any confusion about that, because recruiters work for the hiring company. And that’s where their allegiance lies, not with the job seeker.
Of course in my speech I spoke about the value of networking, and getting out and talking to people. I relayed the story of a National Guard member I met at an event this past week. He had just returned from a deployment in the Middle East, and was attending an event about how to prepare yourself for the job market. He happened to strike up a pleasant conversation with the person next to him, and that person happened to be a hiring manager. And now he has at least a warm, if not hot, job prospect.
As I was doing some research for some networking statistics, and how many people find their jobs that way, I came across this quote from a job seeker.
“To me, the fact that most hiring occurs through networking is just another sign of laziness. Just because someone happens to sit next to someone from Company X at a few meetings of the local Blah Blah Blah Users’ Group, how does that show that they would make the best employee? It seems more like an excuse not to dig through resumes and do a thorough job of interviewing.”
Are these comments – and feelings – misguided? Off the mark? Easily discountable owing to the source(s)? Or do any of these people have a point?