Cranky Recruiter: Sense of Urgency or Wasting my Time

I was thinking about putting this up on my career advice blog for job seekers--but thought it was better for my fellow recruiters. Hope you can relate

A few days ago I was talking to a man who was referred to me by a social media friend. He was interested in having me help him find a job. We spoke about his background, and possible jobs.

His background was not similar to positions I recruit on regularly so I gave him a little advice about who he should contact for jobs. I recommended he contact some temporary services to get some applicable industry work under his belt so he could be considered for higher level positions soon. He said he had, and needed to get his resume to one firm he had spoken to awhile back. I told him to send his resume to me, and he said he would. Then he told me to email him if a job came up. Something was off. It sounded like he wanted me to keep up on his job search for him. While of course I need to contact someone if there is a job they might be interested in, I do like a little interaction on the candidate's part. It sounded like he was taking a "back seat" approach to his job hunt.

Now this guy has been out of work for over a year. Quickly I found out what the real situation was. When I encouraged him to be proactive in his job search, he explained why he wasn't too quick to apply for positions. He was drawing unemployment. Temporary positions would make it so he couldn't get unemployment anymore, so was it worth it for him to get a temporary job?

My response was, unemployment benefits run out--so do you want to be at square one when they are over, or would it be better to have some work experience sooner so that you can be considered for higher level positions down the road?

Here's where the Cranky Recruiter comes in. If you call me, it means you want a job. If you take up my time, take my advice. If you just want to sit and draw unemployment benefits, don't call me. I've got people who want to be employed as soon as possible--and they are the ones who I want to talk to. Not those looking to make sure they fulfill the "looking for employment" requirement for the EDD. And since I run my own desk, those twenty minutes cost me much more than my time--they cost me three times that--my time, my business and my taxes!

Views: 421

Comment by Fran Hogan on March 30, 2010 at 10:26am
If you’re cranky Amy then I'm right there with you!

Dear Jobseeker, Don't call me unless you are really serious about finding a job. If I can't help you I'll do my best to provide resources and advice. What I don't want to do is waste my time talking to the wall (as my mom used to say).

The candidates I need to talk to in order to make money are the ones I source for a client search. If I take my time to talk to someone that calls me……and doesn't fit my niche, then have the courtesy to listen to me. I'm trying to help, on my dime! Yes I'm cranky....
Comment by Amy Gardner on March 30, 2010 at 11:10am
Thanks Fran--completely agree. It was that friend of a friend candidate who I needed to spend some time with--much to my dismay. Careful who your friends are I guess!
Comment by Rowena Simpson on March 30, 2010 at 11:30am
Tend to agree! I recently posted a cranky note in the forum complaining about candidates who tell me it's not worth getting out of bed for less than £400 (UK pounds) per day!! Yes you heard right! And they act all insulted that I've even bothered to call them for less!

Oooh now I'm cranky too!
Comment by Susan Canarick on March 30, 2010 at 1:15pm
Reading your blog, Amy, I'd say "cranky recruiters" are dedicated, hard working recruiters. Bravo for your thoughts! I'll add another cranky factor, to companies that reach out to recruiters to source candidates for an "urgent position", and then drag their feet, let weeks pass without any word or decision making so the enthusiastic, qualifed candidate gets another offer or loses interest!
Comment by Amy Gardner on March 30, 2010 at 1:40pm
Thanks Rowena and Susan. I think a common theme is us hard working recruiters who 1. want to help people find gainful employment and 2. work hard to find the best candidates for our clients--who hopefully really need that candidate urgently.
Comment by Linda Ferrante on April 1, 2010 at 8:03am
Awesome post, Amy! I think there are a lot of us 'cranky recruiters' out there! It's amazing to me the number of people who think that just because they sent their resume, they can sit back and wait until we find them a job. After all, isn't that what we're getting paid for!?! If I had one really big wish, as a recruiter, it's that people would be proactive and really make this a partnership. In general, we work for the client; they are the one's who 'pay the bills', so to speak. A lax candidate during their job search will be a lax employee. Not the best way to have a relationship!!
Comment by Amy Gardner on April 1, 2010 at 1:15pm
Linda, totally agree. While there are a few people who I will go out of my way to get a job for--they tend to be people who come highly regarded and need to keep their job hunt as confidential as possible, someone who has less than stellar credentials or referrals needs to be very proactive. Funny how the good employees stay employed.
Comment by JR Fent on April 1, 2010 at 2:40pm
It's happening a lot now. I try to be polite and get off the call quickly. I had one guy last week that I asked why he wasn't considering changing industries. His answer was "Oh I'll do that if they don't extend unemployment for another year." He's been unemployed since 2007.

I like Linda LoCicero's note. (especially the last line).
Comment by Amy Gardner on April 1, 2010 at 5:59pm
JR, thanks. It was surprisingly how quickly phone calls can end once we know what we're dealing with. Time to move on, get that call from the person we need-and wants to work.


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