Recruiter. What’s the first feeling you have when you hear that word? Let me guess, it’s either something really positive (you love them!) or really negative (they are all jerks). So, I’m here to tackle this from two perspectives: the job-seeker/candidate side & the client side. You’ll see my next post focused on our clients. First, let’s talk about you, job-seeker.
You’re looking for a new job and had a negative experience with your recruiter. Or maybe you tried to work with several recruiters but never heard back from any of them, no matter how many times you applied. While each situation is completely unique, I’m going to take a broad approach here to give you some insight to the recruiter’s world.
First, your Recruiter is a human. Which could also potentially mean that maybe your recruiter is a jerk! Ok, this probably isn’t a reason to LOVE your recruiter, but hear me out. It could be true that the person you worked with only cares about making money and doesn’t think it is important to make a good name for themselves, their clients or their company. This is a real possibility, and a real problem. To be fair- and offer a reminder- jerks are everywhere! They also build software, market products, manage teams, serve your coffee, prepare your food and drive beside you on the freeway! They’re everywhere- don’t fool yourself into thinking they all became recruiters.
Second, we work efficiently and focus on meeting our clients’ needs (they are the ones paying us after all)! Maybe you weren’t qualified for the job(s) in which you applied. I did some quick math today, and depending on the type of job I have posted, I may receive 20-30 applicants a week- and that’s for ONE role. As an agency recruiter, we’re probably working an average of 30-40++ jobs at any given time. So on the low end, that’s sorting through 600 applicants a week. If you’re not qualified (for one or many reasons), you may not receive a phone call. Let me spin it this way: If we took only 2 minutes to call each applicant, that would take 1200 minutes- over half of our work week- just to tell most people no! Not only is that plain depressing, it’s not an efficient way to get anyone a job.
Third, we are matchmakers! We love finding the perfect match for our open jobs, but it’s no easy feat! You might be the perfect fit, but is your resume less than stellar? This still matters! Organization, clear summaries, descriptive statements, use of key words… these make it easy for us to see your experience. We are recruiters, and while some of us wish we had a previous life in software engineering, marketing, accounting, mobile development and AutoCAD designing, we can’t say that we’re experienced in all of these industries. So, it helps if you make your own experiences obvious to us and your future employer. Even if you skip the recruiter, most resumes go to HR or an internal recruiter first. In other words, another (typically) non-technical person.
Lastly, we all make mistakes. Perhaps you were a fit, you interviewed with the client, and then the recruiter never got back to you. EVER. I will apologize now if this has ever been me, my colleagues or any recruiter out there. You deserve feedback, and you have the right to call that recruiter 1200 times until they give it to you! But before you go to such drastic measures, don’t assume the worst. The recruiter may not be able to reach the hiring manager for feedback, so sometimes we get stuck in the waiting abyss just like you. (However, recruiters that are reading this: it only takes a minute to shoot over a quick email to let your candidate know you’re still waiting on the client… just sayin’).
In the end, we’re all human with amazing qualities and terrible qualities. As recruiters, our customer and our product are both made up of organs and feelings and dreams and personalities, all of which constantly change. And so are we! While we should aim to be responsive and professional in every situation, I hope you remember that your recruiter is human too, and just maybe from that understanding, you’ll fall a little more in LOVE with the humanness <3 (Speaking of love, you can read about how I fell in love with a recruiter here!)