Jul 202015

Last week we looked at ten signs you’re a “bad” IT recruiter, but there are another ten to go through, so here we go!

1. You give me an attitude about anything or make any negative, personal remarks.

This is never okay, even if you feel it’s deserved.  You’re at work and can’t do this, especially in writing.

I’ve had a couple guys yell at me (writing in all caps).  Someone once tried to tell me what kind of person he thought I was (it wasn’t flattering), just because he felt I owed him a call back.  Another guy shouted that I was wasting everyone’s time when I turned down the interview because I’d accepted another job in the meantime and called to tell him so.

Just don’t do it.

2. You don’t have a job for me.  You want to chat about my career goals when my profile and resume say what those are. You claim it will “only take 5 minutes!” and badger me into it, then won’t let me off the phone for 20 minutes of talking that is almost all you.

recruiter-illustrationRecruiters do this with the explanation that we’re forming a relationship that will bear fruit down the line.  It’s not true.  Not once have I gotten a job from this, in over 15 years, which is why I won’t do this, to the amazement of some recruiters.  It’s a recruiters job to talk and form relationships. It’s my job to code and avoid ceaseless, pointless blathering.  Yes, I know how it sounds, but it’s the truth.  The more I’m talking (or listening to someone else do it), the less productive I am.  It’s one reason coders hate meetings.

Besides, you’ll call me later, when you have a job for me, without this conversation having taken place, so there’s literally no reason for me to entertain this.  That you’ll talk my ear off is the real deal breaker here.  And the fact that plenty of other recruiters are contacting me about actual jobs at the same time that you’re doing this.  It really is a waste of my time.

Imagine if the 20-30 other recruiters did it. I’d literally be on the phone all day.

3. You insist on doing #2 in person.

Some firms want to tell their clients, “We interview everyone in person before even sending their resume so we know we’re sending good people.” This “selling point” for your firm (to your clients, not me) is more work for me and gains me nothing.  You’ll try to tell me that it gives me an edge over candidates that other firms are sending, but it probably doesn’t.

It is actually a big negative for me due to the hassle. Depending on time of day and distance, this can cost me an additional hour or two when you don’t even have a job for me.

I refuse to work with these companies anymore because there are so many jobs I can get without having to deal with this.

4. You tell me that writing a job description for me is a waste of your time when that’s actually part of your job.

I’ve actually heard this several times. It is hard to believe. Over 99% of your peers already provide one without me having to ask. It’s industry standard. In fact, when you don’t send one in your initial email, I’m very unlikely to reply at all. And never tell me my request is a “waste of your time.”  That’s just stupid and falls under #1 above.

5. You don’t tell me there’s a written or computer exam and I only find out at the interview when handed one.

This is something you always need to find out and tell people. These tech screenings are often unfair even with advance warning, but setting me up to fail/be broadsided tells me you aren’t looking out for me. Make sure you get it right, too (whether it’s verbal, written, etc., light questions versus very technical). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told what to expect and it’s totally off. More often than not, probably.

6. You ask me questions that make it clear you haven’t read my resume.

Doing your homework will make you look good. Not doing it will not.

7. After I tell you that the job doesn’t meet my criteria, you say “Let me tell you about this anyway” and proceed to do so, ignoring my attempts to stop you.

This is just rude. I don’t get it. Do you just want to hear yourself talk? Are you lonely?

8. I tell you my hourly rate for contract work and you try to talk me down by a whopping $20-25 per hour, as if $40k less a year is no biggie.

Are you that ignorant of the pay cut you’re trying to convince me to take or do you think I’m desperate? I can get a job for what I quoted you. If for some bizarre reason I accepted your job, I’d keep looking and quit the second I got a less ridiculous rate, so what’s the point for you?

9. Your English is incomprehensible.

I have no issue with foreigners or thick accents, but if you’re that hard to understand, email will be better for you.

10. You act like you’re doing me a favor by contacting me when there are another 20 recruiters contacting me the same day, sometimes about the same job.

Maybe this accounts for some of what’s on this list.  It’s a competitive world out there and this doesn’t give you an advantage.  I suppose this could fall under #1, so here’s a bonus:

11. Bonus #1 – You already know the job is off target but send it anyway and ask me to forward it to people I might know, doing your job for you.

Some people consider this networking.  I don’t.  It’s a touchy area and since you don’t know how someone feels about this, you should be super nice when trying this.  Bear in mind that lots of people might be doing that to me and with repetition comes my dislike.  You might not think it’s a big deal, but if every recruiter did that I’d get thousands of emails a day.

It’s okay to ask when the job also applies to me. It’s another thing to send jobs that have nothing to do with me. Don’t do it.

12. Bonus # – You threaten to blacklist me because you’ve taken something personally, like this list.

Remember that in the digital world, something like a threat lasts forever. It’s beyond just unprofessional.

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  One Response to “Another 10 Signs You’re a Bad Technical Recruiter”

  1. this was a good read. Hope some other recruiters read this

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