Each day it seems another pundit, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, conference speaker, or HR consultant takes the time and effort to publicly tell me I suck. In the last several months I’ve been bombarded with blog posts, mini movie trailers, Tweets, and various social media messages sounding the alarm as to how the entire function and profession of recruiting is broken and screwed up in the U.S. and the world over.
It took a while, but I’m here to tell them that they’re wrong. I do not suck. The sole reason it’s taken me this long is that my employer expects me to pay attention to hiring managers, candidates, and suppliers rather than to pseudo-experts that haven’t filled a job (or possibly haven’t held one!) since before Google went public. So instead of another blog post filled with unfounded personal opinion and void of any business metric or useful conclusion, I’ll use real data to tell you why I don’t suck.
My customer satisfaction scores clearly indicate that I do not suck. We measure customer (hiring manager) satisfaction and my customers consistently tell my management team that I do not suck. As a team, our scores are consistently over 90% overall satisfaction rating.
My new-hire satisfaction scores clearly indicate that I do not suck. We measure our new Associates satisfaction with our recruiting process and function and our new hires consistently tell me that I do not suck. As a team, our new hire satisfaction scores are consistently over 95% overall satisfaction rating.
My candidate satisfaction scores will indicate that I do not suck. I guarantee it. This is the newest satisfaction measurement for our team to implement, and our scores will begin in Q2 of this year. Again, I guarantee that these scores will prove that I do not suck.
I’m going to go out on a limb and state that a majority of my colleagues don’t suck either, and I excuse them for not taking the time to weigh in on this issue. I realize they’re busy taking care of hiring managers and candidates rather than worrying about klout scores, follower numbers, and traffic to their blog site.
To those of you that choose to tell others that an entire profession or corporate function sucks for no other reason than to draw attention to yourselves with sensationalist headlines and self-promoting social media stunts, go get someone hired. You, right now, become accountable for an entire hiring cycle. No excuses, no hashtags, no global platitudes, no more insufferable self-hype. If need be, find a local non-profit that needs recruiting help, and carry some personal accountability for once. And then, after you’ve worn your big-person pants for a few days, come back and tell all of Recruiting that they suck.
As for me, I'll continue to pay attention to those that really count for something; my hiring managers, my new employees, and my candidates.
Great post Frank! I can truly relate because the HR profession still gets slammed by career coaches and recruiters. I've been on both sides of the desk and have interacted with many excellent recruiters and some who need to go to Walmart and buy a clue.
I think the ultimate dance that talented recruiters do well is the ability to build relationships with hiring managers and candidates. I believe that recruiters understand the role and company needs better than the hiring manager at times because recruiters can evaluate roles with objective eyes. That's not always easy to do but recruiting is so much more than putting warm bodies into chairs.
Ah, but Doctor....
a corporate recruiter's (the OP, above) job isn't to have the jobseeker's best interest - its to have his/her employers best interest.
And even as a 3rd party recruiter - the paying CLIENT is the customer.
The only avenue that might have the jobseeker's best interest might be the unemployment office counselors. And that's a maybe. Outplacement services perhaps?
And I can say this having been a 3rd party, an internal recruiter, and an HR Director with no recruiting responsibilities. Being considerate of circumstances and polite to jobseekers is part of the role, but until they become actual candidates (ie. I want to interview them for a position) for my company or client - I have no vested interest.
Recruiters generally don't suck, just like HR generally doesn't suck. None of us gets up in the morning saying "how can I really mess with jobseekers/companies/employees/HR weenies today" - its just like any other profession. The bad ones make the news, the good ones get the job done.
Most of us do not 'suck' as recruiters. It's the profession of recruitment that gets a bad rap. I don't run into it most likely because I am a recruiter. I hear stories because I'm in the industry. It can be almost as bad as saying you're a used car salesperson at times. As I said before, I laugh at it because it doesn't concern me in the least. It's humorous. Why not take that opportunity to laugh at the darker side of recruitment. Just like lawyers have a bad rap - I think that when it involves 'selling' or 'promoting' people, you are going to get those who end up on the losing side of either not getting the job or not winning the case. It's those ones who give us the bad rap. I wouldn't take it personally.
Tammy, I think that's the fine line recruiters have to manage. It comes down to how people are treated whether they are cutting the check or not. Lets face it we all have been candidates at some point.
Tammy, while I agree that the loyalty of recruiters lies w/their client or company, I also believe that it's important to build and manage a relationship with qualified candidates. When a recruiter is in a specific industry, paths will cross again. I'm not saying recruiters need to spend an inordinate amount of time wooing candidates but it's important to establish a positive rapport with a candidate and take time to follow up when appropriate. When a recruiter makes a great impression on a candidate, they'll let their peers know which can help the recruiter.
As an example, I recently connected with the recruiter who placed me in my first job out of college! She was tough, realistic and a top notch communicator. She left such a positive impression on me that I never forgot her name and compared all recruiters to her. Sure, that was years (and years!) ago and in a different job market but the basic foundation was still there in how she treated me.
Many times, manners go a long way - simply being polite - without actually committing ourselves to expectations that we simply cannot manage.
In most cases it boils down to managing the expectations of all parties involved. And we all have to be responsible for our own lives, careers, and reputations.
To say recruiters suck because they do not help all the unemployed people they come in contact with find jobs and create fabulous lives is unrealistic (or even just do MORE for them). Frankly, a recruiters job is to find the BEST candidate, not just any candidate - and of course, every candidate thinks they are the best. (and I'm not saying you said this - but it is one prevailing argument as to why recruiters suck) Basically, we suck because we have to tell people news they don't want to hear - as a society we don't take "no" well, and sometimes we don't have the manners to manage this exchange.
While training new HR people years ago, one senior HR pro said to me - "At some point they will cross over to the "dark side" and realize its about doing the right thing for the employee, as long as that right thing in not in conflict with the goals of the company - the company signs the paycheck, not the employee."
Cynical - perhaps...but several of my stereotypical "bleeding heart HR" trainees did eventually become incredibly astute business leaders with a keen sense of doing the right thing... and that was the goal. And we taught them to manage with empathy, without falling into sympathy... because its the sympathy that makes one commit to unmanageable expectations.
Totally on the mark Tammy & I'm with you. I don't think you're being cynical either -- I'd say more realistic. I strongly believe that we all have to be accountable to manage our own careers regardless of what we do for a living. It's not a recruiters job to "push" a particular candidate onto a hiring manager unless it happens to be the right one. Many people lack the ability to view themselves objectively (hence the post you asked me about recently!) and won't be able to "hear" what a recruiter has to say when they may not have been selected for a job. Part of that is ego and perhaps some vulnerability if someone's out of work.
I'm also not into the "bleeding heart" thing either...or hearts and flowers or anything mushy at work. I am all about empathy though -- that's the stuff of great leaders! But...a topic for another day!
Iguess I do suck because I have to tell the HR person with nearly 30 years of experience but who hasn't worked in two years that they're "not right" for the role; I also suck because I have to tell a great internal audit chief that they're not right because "they" won't "let" him commute the one hour to the location. I suck even more because I pride myself on my communication skills and I can't for the life of me see the point of your two-page cover letter.