Seriously. Just stop. STAHP. You’re embarrassing yourself and the community at large. If I see one more ridiculous, self-serving post about the “recruitment agency of the future!” and how y’all are going to CHANGE EVERYTHING I will probably just burst into tears out of pure frustration. You. Are. Full. Of. Crap. Recruiting, recruitment, whatever the hell you call it is a pretty freaking simple process. Get paid to find people for jobs. THAT’S IT.

Social Media is not going to save you. Your false promises about personally hand delivering every single resume you ever receive to companies DESPERATE for your services stink to high heaven. I am beyond irritated with your nonsense. A recent post on here (I refuse to link to it - I will NOT provide click bait) promises that recruitment agencies treat every individual differently and only short-lists after each and every application is examined, thereby insuring only the most talented candidates get first preference.

You sir, are full of caca.

Here’s why. Most recruiters, including yours truly, will use a variety of methods to identify qualified candidates. I will review applications that come in. I will source on LinkedIn, various job boards, social media sites (sometimes) and anywhere else I think people with the right skills might be found. I will then make contact with said candidates, hoping they’re interested in the role as well. And so it goes. The funnel tightens, with people being rejected or rejecting the opportunity. It happens. I will use Boolean strings, key words, any number of ways to narrow the pool. Because that is my job. I will do my best to get back to everyone who took the time to apply and CERTAINLY everyone who gets a 2nd look – if you’ve interviewed you deserve the courtesy of closure, you better believe it.

We have to stop making false promises to candidates. This pisses me off more than anything else. I do what I can to help candidates get visibility in my (very large) organization, but I also try to be very honest about what I can and can’t do. I’ll give advice on resumes, always with the caveat that it’s one recruiter’s opinion, your mileage may vary. For special skill sets I’ll do everything I can to create an “opportunity hire” – basically finding a home for someone AWESOME that my company can benefit from. This is more common on the agency side, let’s face it. Still, most hires happen because there’s an open position.

As both a former agency recruiter and current corporate recruiter, let me tell you what I REALLY want from you. Find qualified people in a timely fashion for a decent price. As a former candidate who’s found plenty of gigs over the years through agencies, let me tell you what I expect. Be honest with me about the companies (and kinds of roles) you can present me to. Give me honest feedback on my resume, interview skills, and presentation. I know you’re being paid by the client, but I also know it’s possible we can help each other out by making the hiring manager happy.

I’ve been doing this for almost 15 years, and with the exception of the internet making information easier to come by, the basics of finding jobs, finding people, and bringing them together has not changed. Stop trying to make recruiting something it’s not.

Views: 2805

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 5, 2014 at 5:13pm

@ Mighty Matt; Would it be appropriate to issue an FAQ/Posting Guide (perhaps there is one already). letting people know what is/isn't acceptable for posting?. If someone seems to have missed it, acted in good faith and make an error, then we should courteously (or as close as I can manage when I'm spotting the unintentional miscreant) correct them. If they persist or are very blatant (like most of the "infomercial" folks), then in the spirit of a welcoming, inclusive, and tolerating RB community: 

"WE GO DOWN-RIGHT 'HUMAN-TORCH" ON THEIR ***", aka, "FLAME ON , ***********!"


Comment by Matt Charney on February 5, 2014 at 5:21pm

@Keith: We have one, it was just written back when you were looking out for trolls on forums instead of screening out content marketing that's, well, you know...

As we talked about on the phone yesterday, I remove the crap that's not fit for human consumption or heavily editing out blatant sales stuff, so you're not even seeing the worst of it, but the truth is, it's kind of arbitrary since I think what's good is subjective.  But I do think (having deleted 3 today) it's worth a post about what gets posted.  Although I don't really want to be a rules Nazi, and would rather play Wizard of Oz than create any sort of curtain that could potentially preempt conversation.  

So as far as being appropriate, what do you think? Should I put up a post or put this out there or should we self-police and scan for spam in the shadows?  Not sure given the odd relationship between who creates content in this industry and who reads it - there's a bigger gap than almost any other niche out there in the wide world of work.

And "Mighty" my ass.  The power's really in people like you and everyone else on this string. But to that end, feel free to start up a post and see where the conversation goes.  It's your site.


Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 5, 2014 at 5:49pm

 Thanks again, Matt. Enough of this online bromance, though- I like you too!

Kidding aside: I DO think a clear and prominent posting guide (perhaps with a suggestion for posters to pause for a final consideration, editing) would be good.  Here's a sample moderation policy (for you to consider)  I stole from a non-recruiting (a writer's) blog site I like:

Moderation Policy

Blogs like this one aren't just diaries; they're conversations. Behind every essay, rant, or quip, there's a comments thread where visitors like you are welcome to comment. And over the years, I've acquired quite a few regular visitors; sometimes this place feels like the inside of a public house. It's a web community, of sorts — and like all communities which grow large, sooner or later they acquire unruly elements.

Lately I've had some cause for concern over the way some people are using the comment threads on my blog. So I've decided to lay down the law.

(If you post here regularly, or are thinking of posting here, please hit the "Continue Reading" link below.)

1: This is my soap-box.

This blog exists to give me, XX, the freedom to say whatever I want.

You'll have noticed that the only adverts I carry are discreet links to online stores which sell my books. Running this blog is quite time-consuming, and paying for the collocated server it resides on is not cheap; most blogs that get as much traffic as mine (over 100,000 distinct views on the main page per week, last time I looked) are awash with blinking banner ads. I decided not to carry ads deliberately, because the first principle of this blog is that it's my soap-box, my megaphone. In a very real sense this entire blog is advertising for one thing — me, and my writing.

You're welcome to comment on my writing here. But just remember: I'm paying the bills. This is my soap box, not yours, maintained entirely at my expense, for my own amusement. I don't owe you anything. And by posting here you are tacitly agreeing to play by my rules.

2: Censorship

Your freedom of speech does not compel me to publish your words. If you say something highly objectionable to me, I will delete your comment without a second thought as soon as I notice it. (Which may take some time: I have a real life, as well as blogging.) Yes, this is censorship. But remember: I'm not your government. I can't stop you saying stuff I find objectionable — all I can do is stop you saying it on my blog, at my expense. You can start your own blog right here, if you're so inclined.

3: Stuff I find objectionable

Trolling, spam, personal attacks, racism, sexism, religious evangelism, and homophobia will reliably annoy me.

Beyond that, I'm not going to give you a laundry list.

4: Stuff I don't find objectionable

I don't give a shit about profanity, as long as it's used intelligently. And I don't mind argument and contradiction, as long as it's intelligent. Again: no laundry lists here.

5: Moderation

Certain keywords will automatically get your postings held for inspection by a human being. Excessive use of links to other websites will do that, too (it's an anti-spam precaution; yes, I regularly get hit by blog spammers). I may also intervene if you hit one of my hot-buttons.

Update: On posting URLs ...

Comments will be held for approval if they contain more than one URL. And they will be flagged as spam automatically if they contain a link via (That's because spammers have tried using links here, not because I hate There's a time and a place for, and my blog ain't it. If you want to post a link, I want to be able to read the full domain name and path before I click on it.)

6: Permanence

By hitting the "submit" button you are granting me a non-exclusive license to publish your words around the world in electronic or other forms. You should assume that anything you post here may remain on the internet and be readable by anyone at all for the forseeable future, and not just on my blog. No, I'm not planning on selling your deathless prose and getting rich; I'm just pointing out the copyright situation and the fact that my blog is crawled by Google, archived by the Library of Congress, and so on.

If you ask me to delete a specific comment of yours I will probably do so — but don't count on it. (I might not do so if I suspect that you're not the author of the comment, or are otherwise trying to make mischief.)

(Finally: feel free to vent, comment, or throw rotten tomatoes at this thread!)

Comment by Matt Charney on February 5, 2014 at 6:22pm

@Keith: Can you put up as a separate blog post and link the URL here? Think that probably deserves your byline and should be enough to justify a separate string.  Thanks in advance and hopefully both conversations will keep hopping...

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 5, 2014 at 6:30pm

I think I understand. You'd like me to link the URL  of that in in a separate post.

Is it OK to steal someone else's blogs' moderation policy?


Comment by Christopher de Mers on February 6, 2014 at 5:24am
Stahp. Enough said.
Comment by Amy McDonald on February 8, 2014 at 12:58am

Amy I can't believe I am just now finding the time to read this because I want to cheer for what you are saying! I'm also learning that on the vendor end of sourcing products,  we can be known to do the same thing. I even tried it in the beginning on strong advice that you HAD to. You DON'T and you can't. I've tried to reel us in on anything that implies we are the next miracle. We are a tool. A very good and affordable one in my opinion, but you still have to recruit.You will not fill every position with my product. I cannot guarantee you a placement for every job you distribute I can just tell you that I'm going to get them out there for people to see. I have to laugh when I talk to a recruiter that would practically lead me to believe that they raise their hands to the sky and the ideal candidate is delivered unto them with a choir of angels singing. Come on now. I really haven't been out of recruiting THAT long and I still recruit my own staff. I'd consider wearing a t-shirt to church on Sunday if it found me a candidate with the right talent and I don't believe for one minute that you NEVER need more candidates. Ha! If you don't need my help or you just don't like the fact that I'm offering it, O.K. but geez there is no way I'm buying that you have never needed to increase a candidate pipeline. Regardless of the tools you use the bottom line is as a recruiter you are putting people to work. Who cares how you find them? Just find them. I've never had one client that cared how I found an awesome candidate, they were just happy to fill their position.

Comment by Paul Alfred on February 11, 2014 at 2:50pm

Great post Amy...  I think it must be said, every market has a niche ... and, every niche needs a spin ...  If your clients are buying what you're selling and you deliver on your promise who am I to tell you "You don't know what you're doing"  ... 


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