CHAT ROOM: I love how these people try to present themselves. They say they help people and companies, they care about you and your career....no, they do not. They are simply bad salespeople with big quotas…middlemen who care more about the money...no different than the used car salespeople on the corner lot.”

A woman I met at a recruiter’s conference in California last fall sent me this chat room thread via email recently.

She had come across the less-than-complimentary online comments concerning the treatment some people had received as job seekers with the big nationals, and decided to come to their defense. And to the industry’s defense as well. I thought I would share, though she asked I not use her name.

RECRUITER: Wow...I really take offense to the negative way Recruiters are looked at. Not all recruiters are created equal and there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to staffing. I agree that some staffing companies aren’t exactly ethical, and some of the people they have working for them are absolutely horrible at what they do.

Not all staffing companies are structured this way and my true interest IS to help my prospective/current/former workers. If I know I have a loyal, reliable, hard working person to place, I will do everything within my power to keep that person actively working. I will always be up front with them and let them know if an assignment is going to be unstable or short-term. Most of my contractors know how I work so they are willing to do me a "favor" if I need someone to fill in for a few days or so because they know I will look out for them and they will be helped for helping me. We are not all evil, blood-sucking parasites who only aim to make a commission off of you.

My true interest IS to help people find work. We are not all evil, blood-sucking parasites who only aim to make a commission off of you.

CHAT ROOM: You sound like one in-a-million but staffing companies still suck. They advertise for positions that don’t really exist. They low ball you and like to block you from the job when you ask for real money, saying to the company that you’re declining the position. They get $30/hr to place you, you get half that if you’re lucky for doing the work. They also tell you one dollar amount to reel you in, and then after you accept the position, tell you that the client decided you didn't have sufficient experience and are now paying a lower rate. Recruiters look at applicants as a commodity. No different than oil, wheat, or coffee beans. Maybe because they talk to so many each day. Maybe because they don't have any morals. Who knows. It's easy then to see why most applicants view recruiters with such disdain. Applicants are human beings with feelings and having a job is not some luxury we get to make a choice about. The only other thing I would say is a little courtesy and professionalism go a long way.

Recruiters look at applicants as a commodity. No different than oil, wheat, or coffee beans. Maybe because they talk to so many each day. Maybe because they don't have any morals. Who knows.

RECRUITER: I agree. Unfortunately that is how some recruiters operate. They make it harder for people like me to gain trust from applicants whom I am really trying to help obtain a qualified position.

I know there are times that recruiters are, in fact, fishing for candidates. We may have heard about a company with an upcoming need for a certain position. We might start asking candidates if they have that type of experience and basically start a "hot sheet" with qualifying available candidates with that job skill.

However, we should always be up front about the position and not let the candidate believe it is an actual LIVE position for the taking until we get that actual job order.

I always let the candidate know I have a POSSIBLE position that I'm working on, ask if they are interested, and give them an approximate time when I might know for sure. If, and only if, they are still interested would I put them on my list as a possibility.

In the meantime, if something else comes along that they would qualify for, I would still consider them and discuss other positions with them...not just leave them dangling because I don't want to lose them from that other list for a job that might not even happen.

Of course there are good people and bad people in this business, same as any other. I can only speak from personal experience though when I say the recruiters I know for the most part are honest, hard working people who really do get enjoyment from serving clients and putting people to work. Keep at it. A better experience might just be a phone call away.

Tags: About, Recruiters, Staffing agencies, Dishonest recruiters, Unethical staffing companies