Respecting Recruiters

I strive for excellence, not perfection. No matter what I do, there will be people who will criticize and complain that I am incompetent because I have failed to find work for them, even though they are not paying me to find work for them (employers are paying me to find new employees for them) and even though I try to communicate with everyone with advice, tips, and information.

Given that on a given Monday morning, I walk into about 100 – 120 new resumes emailed to me plus items I need to follow up on (guesstimate how long it takes to just follow up on those messages before I start with anything new).

I work with a research team that uses software and other techniques to find people to fill jobs. They make mistakes. The software makes mistakes.


I received a fascinating email this week I thought I would share with you.

“I’m sick of your repeated, misguided communications to me. Stop already, mrbiggamehunter. I consider you a jerk and a legend in your own mind.”

Checking my system, this was the first time we had communicated with this person, the first time we had received a message from this person, had found their resume on a job board as someone actively looking for work and, amusingly enough, the person was a corporate recruiter.

Suffice it to say, we won’t be on one another’s Christmas card list.

Recently, another emailed me that he wished I die. Excuse me? Wishing death to me because an email was sent to them . . . or maybe because I was unsuccessful finding a job for them. I wrote poilitely asking what might have happened that had offended them but received no reply.

What do you expect of recruiters?

Do you spam them with resumes that do not demonstrate a fit for what they are looking for and expect that they will call you anyway? Do you expect them to check in with you every day with what is going on even though you aren’t paying them for your time?

What do you expect from recruiters?

I’ll tell you what you can expect . . . If your experience is vaguely close to what a client of theirs is looking for, they will try to introduce you to their client, coach you through the interview, try to help you earn as much as you can so that they can earn as much as they can and try to persuade you that the job fits your needs.

That does not give you permission to be nasty and criticize them if they make a mistake.

After all, if you had a manager who did that to you, wouldn’t you leave? If you had a spouse who treated you in that way, would you be happy?

As someone who has been working as a recruiter since 1972, I still make mistakes. I fire corporate clients, not because they make a single mistake but because of patterns of bad behavior.

Don’t be an ass and expect things of recruiters (perfection) that you yourself don’t provide in your work. We’re trying our best, just like you are.

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