Flogging a dead horse… OR The Recruitment industry sucks!

Recruitment agencies tend to be getting a bum rap at the moment, with what seems an endless amount of people getting on the “Whack the Recruitment Agency” bandwagon.

Whilst I cannot disagree that some agencies and some Recruiters can be dodgy and misrepresent the industry as a whole, it isn’t all bad.  I’ve wrote about this before here.

However, I have noticed a distinct lack of posts from agencies or anyone really talking about dodgy clients, dodgy candidates and the like.  This post aims to balance the scorecard to a point and share some war stories from the Recruiting trenches that I have seen or heard.

So dear readers, hold onto your seats and let me tell you some stories of dodgyness, dishonestly and downright crappyness perpetrated by “clients” and “Candidates” from the eyes of a Recruiter.  I know, shocking right? It’s not just the Recruiters that are bad to deal with all the time.

Have you heard about the client who after going through a whole drawn out process of 2 interviews, psychometric tests, 3 references, turned down the candidate?  That’s not the bad bit, that happens a lot.  (but it really sucks to be a contingency recruiter when this happens) Skip forward 3 months, person who won job, leaves.  Agency candidate is hired (great to be a recruiter when this happens), all behind the back of Agency Recruiter (again, not so good).   This could all be an innocent mistake right? In fact as much was said when the Agency Recruiter called the company, first to find out what had happened, and if, in fact the person had started. (notwithstanding all candidates documentation from resume to reference checks were heavily branded in the agency logo etc) Once confirmation was given, agency person informed said client that an invoice would be coming.  NEXT was the call from the CEO informing of the mistake and that he had never OK’d the expenditure, so there was a problem.  There were threats of firing the person so as to not pay the bill etc, they said the person applied directly to them from when they had advertised (on inspection there was no ad).  After lots of negotiation, it worked out for the agent, once lawyers entered the discussion.

How about the candidate who upon signing up for a role and joining a company, just doesn’t turn up on day one?  No word, no nothing?  Days of frantic searching later, emails, phone calls to mobile at all hours, even checking with emergency services to see if there were any accidents nearby etc, the Recruiter finally found a correct home phone number.  Spoke to the candidates wife, hoping all was ok (I had called a candidate on a database and sadly I made the call in the middle of the person’s wake).  Wife informs me that the candidate is fine and is at work “sorry what is this call in regards to?”  hmmmmm accepted job, signed job, went through induction etc, just didn’t get around to leaving old job.  What the?

How about the person who rocks up to an interview with IBM and proceeds to tell the hiring managers there that “IBM stands for Idiots Become Managers” that’s not embarrassing feedback to get is it?

Or the hiring manager who says “You’re 32, how many years would I really get out of you working here before you go off and start having babies?”

OR the hiring manager who actually compliments an interviewee on her ummmm appearance

OR asks out for drinks immediately after ascertaining said candidate doesn’t have a boyfriend?

OR the candidates who say they’ll do “ANYTHING” for a job, whilst shifting in what she believed was a direct take off of Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct”

OR clients who specifically ask for “Australians” (I cannot dignify this by expanding further)

OR clients who make offers to people after 6 interviews only to shut down that division making the person redundant after 4 weeks of work?

OR the candidate who takes another job after 2 days on new job with client because he was actually waiting for that job.

OR The clients of a start up, who scared the new hire on day 2 by sharing a joint in the office

OR Those candidates who just don’t turn up for interviews AT ALL.

OR The candidates who bring their entire family, wife, child etc to the interview and let them wait in reception during an interview?

OR The clients who just don’t pay?

OK sorry, the rant took over.  Feel free to share some more with me

The point of this post? Let’s see the world for what it is? There are good and bad everywhere.  To just get stuck into one area, one industry because it is an easy target is stupid and lazy.  Sure things can be improved in the Recruitment industry, tell me an industry that cannot improve somewhere.  I bet you can’t.  (I’ve deliberately not linked to any of these Recruitment bagging “blogs” as I don’t want to give them any more “air” time than they have already stolen)

So, stop trying to get cheap plugs and visits to your websites by highlighting these things and generally talking rubbish, there is enough stuff to sort through on the internet without sensationalist hyperbole bagging an easy target!  Hmmmm what ever happened to lawyer jokes?

Views: 799

Comment by Matt Charney on December 18, 2013 at 8:08pm

Amen, and great post.  The reason, I think, that no one shares these kind of war stories is because the ones who are actually living them are too busy recruiting - which is complicated enough as it is without some guy who's never cold called a candidate telling you you're doing it wrong. Thanks for being the exception. To start the string, here's mine:

The hiring manager took her for a tour of the corporate campus in a golf cart, which he crashed into the side of a new Aston Martin and made her miss the next interview due to the studio fire department getting called in. The Aston Martin belonged to the CFO, who, coincidentally, her next (and last) interview happened to be scheduled with.  

That's a true story - only in Hollywood (or more accurately, Burbank). 

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on December 18, 2013 at 8:52pm

Thanks, Dan and Matt.... and it is for such reason I thank my lucky stars that I'm a contract (and no longer a contingency) recruiter, because whatever shenanigans the candidate, hiring manager, or anybody else does:      I ALWAYS GET PAID.



Comment by Amy Ala Miller on December 18, 2013 at 8:58pm

I'll try to keep this short (which is hard, being Irish and all). Found one of maybe 10 candidates in all of PHX with a certain set of skills. Convinced him to interview w/ my client. Everything goes great, gets to finals, we're ready to make an offer. Someone on the final interview panel (who would be a peer) mentions over dinner to his wife about this great candidate they're finally going to hire for this really hard role. WELL - she knows someone who knows someone who used to work with him five years ago and that person didn't like him. Guy comes back to work the next day and proceeds to share this story with the hiring manager who killed the deal.

I remember trying to spin that to the candidate and finally mumbled some crap about being agency recruiter and not always privy to internal politicking but that I felt he had dodged a bullet. Then I went home and drank myself silly. Ain't recruiting GRAND?

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on December 18, 2013 at 9:00pm

not gonna lie, Keith - one of my favorite perks about being internal :)

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on December 18, 2013 at 9:05pm

Yes indeed, Amy.



Comment by Raphael Fang on December 19, 2013 at 12:19pm

Most of the time candidates complaint about agency recruiters because they didn't get the job they want.

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on December 21, 2013 at 10:37am

Great post! 

As an added bonus, I did a shot with every use of the word "whilst".

Comment by Dan Nuroo on December 21, 2013 at 8:02pm

Thanks Stephen, great input, if you were really up for it, you should have done a shot with the word "OR"... 


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