The problem with recruiters is that most of them are focused on “closing the deal”and all else is just details. They will do anything necessary to simply make a placement and invoice their customer. They don’t have their customer’s best interests at heart. His only concern is getting paid and getting past the guarantee period!

Sad, but true for many, if not most recruiters. Oh sure, they “care” about the outcome. But not more than they care about submitting an invoice. In most cases, they are not committed to the success of their clients. They are committed to doing whatever is necessary to obtain a fee for services. This is almost universally true of contingency recruiters and sadly even true for many in the retained camp. It’s a basic human flaw that people are “self” first and “others” second. It is rare to find a recruiter who will do the right thing when they must decide between telling the truth and remaining silent. There is a lot at stake for a recruiter in the short term, and it takes incredible character to do the right thing when there is a large sum of money at risk. There is a sacred trust in a relationship with a company and it’s recruiter. My belief is that very few of them make the right choices when facing this dilemma.

Here are some examples of What is Wrong with Recruiters:

A. Over-preparing candidates on how to appeal to all of the hiring managers’ “hot buttons”
B. Editing a resume to cover up “red flags”
C. Pressuring both candidates and hirers to make a decision that may not be in their best long-term interests
D. Not searching for the best candidates, but only skimming the “low hanging fruit” of the Internet
E. “Flinging” resumes of people they haven’t vetted nor received permission from
F. Presenting the same candidate to multiple companies in order to create greater urgency
G. Concealing obvious flaws of their candidates

These are some of the problems with recruiters and “just cause” for HR to suspect bad behavior from them. Considering these examples, is it any surprise the industry has a poor reputation?

There is much that can be done to positively impact this bad rap, but it must start with recruiters doing the right thing at every turn. It is simply the best way to build your practice and reputation. It requires seeing beyond the short term financial gain and believing that by doing what is right for your client, you are building a business with honor and integrity, and by doing it this way, you will get repeat business. As i said, it is the right way to build both your business and reputation. If you can’t stay in business doing it right, you really should get out. There are far easier ways to make a living. Besides, you’re bringing down an entire industry!

Bad behavior isn’t right no matter how many placements you make! Do us all a favor and go do something else!

For more blogs from the author visit

Views: 9389

Comment by Joe Madden on February 8, 2012 at 3:08pm

Thats because he's a failed recruiter looking to gain favor with a client base he doesnt have.

Comment by Scott Corwin on February 8, 2012 at 3:19pm

So what does it take to get kick out of

If you have such strong disdain for recruiters why do you call yourself one?

Why are your wasting everyone’s time including your own?


With the exception for the first question - These are rhetorical. 

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on February 8, 2012 at 4:16pm

Hmmm... I almost didn't respond but of course couldn't help myself. To each point -

A. Over-preparing candidates on how to appeal to all of the hiring managers’ “hot buttons”

     - if by "over-preparing" you mean making sure the candidate is aware of any HM quirks or how to address certain areas, color me guilty. I don't think I OVER prep, but if a candidate goes into an interview unsure I didn't do my job.
B. Editing a resume to cover up “red flags”

     - I am not a resume writer, but I will make suggestions on how to best present yourself. It's up to the candidate to do with that information what they will. I also have no problem presenting candidates who have hired a resume writer, who, I'm pretty sure, are paid to minimize "red flags" and maximize the positives.
C. Pressuring both candidates and hirers to make a decision that may not be in their best long-term interests

     - how the hell do I know what their "long term interests" are anyway? If it's an improvement over their current situation (for either one) then yes I'll encourage them to SAY YES.
D. Not searching for the best candidates, but only skimming the “low hanging fruit” of the Internet

     - low hanging fruit still has to be brought to market. Don't matter how close to the ground it is - I'm the one that picked it, polished it and handed it to the client. Now give me my fee. :)
E. “Flinging” resumes of people they haven’t vetted nor received permission from

     - no self respecting recruiter does this. EVER.
F. Presenting the same candidate to multiple companies in order to create greater urgency

     - I've presented the same candidate to different managers AT THE SAME COMPANY - of course I also tell everyone involved that I'm doing this and hell yes there's a sense of urgency. Great candidates don't have a long shelf life.
G. Concealing obvious flaws of their candidates

     - I don't even know how to do this...

Comment by Scot Dickerson on February 8, 2012 at 4:45pm

My guess is that the writer is doing this for a self serving purpose. Trying to gain exposure through social media. That's a shame. Only adding fuel to the fire of a profession that is already viewed down upon by some. While the truth of the matter like any profession there are the people in it for the wrong reasons. However again like any profession there are people in it for the right reasons. And there are very good professional recruiters out there that operate with a high level of ethics, integrity and professionalism. Who find it very rewarding helping others. What a shame to blow off in such a manner. What this writer has stated can be said about any profession out there. Other than for self serving reasons would anyone post such comments?

Comment by Scott Pugh on February 8, 2012 at 4:54pm

generate blog hits with tired generalizations 

Comment by Luke Collard on February 8, 2012 at 8:11pm

Whilst I think it is good and healthy that people question elements of our industry, and in some cases it is justified, this one sided, biased, self-serving, hollier than thou load of tripe is....well just that. Make yor case Mr De Angelis but do it in a more intelligent, rounded way that doesn't patronise your audience and the industry you are part of, the majority of which I am sure are completely the opposite of what you describe. 

I look forward to your comments.

Comment by Drue De Angelis on February 8, 2012 at 11:26pm

I am sorry for not getting to you all until just now. Busy day at a convention in San Francisco. Please forgive me for not answering each of you directly.  I don't have the time nor energy after being on my feet all day.  

The irony here is that if this blog posting offended you, then you are likely the type of recruiter to whom I am referring.  I thought it would be interesting to put this post up on this site and I was right. I believe that the recruiting industry is a respectable industry when it is approached correctly. Just because you happen to call yourself a recruiter, does not mean that you are respectable or that you are doing what is best for the candidate, client, or the reputation of our industry. Many of you make fair points, and I would agree with some of you. However, if you as a recruiter are not in alignment with your client, meaning that your top priority is what is best for your client and your prospective candidates then you are not worthy of respect because you have elevated your own needs above those of your clients and candidates. I understand that it is nearly impossible to be in alignment with your clients when you are working on contingency. Your own needs supersede those of everyone else's. I welcome criticism because it makes me better. When I am wrong, which is fairly often, I accept my responsibility and make it right. For years I did search wrong because that was the only way I knew how to do it. I came up through the MRI school in Cleveland. I know that there are a lot of people who make a lot of money  doing what I describe in my piece. Good for them. Not so good for their "clients," candidates or for our industry.  

There is a way to elevate your game and set up a WIN/WIN for all parties. It requires a longer view of things than tracking phone time, Sendouts, and Ratio's. Call me "Sanctimonious" if you like. I've been working the right way for 7+ years because another recruiter had the courage to call me out and challenge me to do things differently. I am merely attempting to Pay it forward for the good of our industry. I accept that there will always be the "bottom feeders" in any industry. Is it not our responsibility to encourage others to step up our game? 

I'll be interested to hear your remarks.  And I shall be contributing other posts that may offend. Hopefully, your skin isn't so thin that you can't be open to alternative viewpoints beside your own.  Cheers!

Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 9, 2012 at 12:32am
The much bigger problem with our industry is the arrogance reflected in this post. This gentle readers is the type of recruiter our trusted clients are talking about when they talk about the "arrogance of recruiters who know it all and don't get it".
Comment by Dean Da Costa on February 9, 2012 at 12:39am

Well I have to say I agree with the sentiment my fellow recruiters have. I too am confused by this post. While I am sure there are a minority of recruiters out there that may fall into the category you are describing, I feel strongly that a large section of the recruiters out there do not. You should take time to get to know some of the recruiters on this site; I think you will find that most of them are not like this at all.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 9, 2012 at 12:45am
Maybe it is that there is nothing more obnoxious than a reformed drunk except a reformed "bottom feeder recruiter". I don't know, I've never been a drunk or a bottom feeder. The folks who are offended here, sport, are the ones who never were bottom feeders so take great umbrage at the arrogance of a reformed bottom feeder attempting to elevate his reformation .


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