I Just Learned Why Some People Don't Trust Agency Recruiters

by Rob Kelly

We had a really bad experience with an agency recruiter the other day.

It started with a cold-call and a resume to me.

The recruiter caught my attention with his subject line (implying that he and I had some previous relationship) — it worked. I opened this email:

email from bad recruiter phishing for a client

…the candidate that the recruiter sent over was a Ruby on Rails engineer (not a PHP engineer which is what Ongig had advertised).

I told the recruiter so much.

And so he tried again with another resume (see email below).


Email from bad recruiter phishing for client-3


That’s when things got real interesting. The second resume he sent was for an employee of a client of Ongig’s.

The main problem we had with this was that the agency recruiter had contacted the new candidate and used Ongig’s name (without an Engagement Letter).

Ongig co-founder Jason Webster, a former agency recruiter, was so upset he phoned the agency recruiter and told him that representing Ongig without an engagement letter was not cool. Jason asked him to “cease and desist” on using Ongig’s name.

What did the agency recruiter do?

He hung up on Jason!

Finally, the recruiter had a couple of choice last words for me in his last correspondence (see the email below).


Email from a bad recruiter phishing for clients and resumes

And we wonder why agency recruiters get a bad rap.

Note: If you want to hear more horror stories about working with recruiting agencies, I found this good piece on “Black Hat Recruiter Tactics” at Nathan Hurst’s blog

[from Ongig.com]

Views: 2429

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on October 17, 2013 at 1:49pm

Painful lesson isn't it? I blogged a while back about an agency recruiter who lost his shit on me when my hiring manager didn't like the resumes he was sending. Actually said that I was making him look back to his team. WTF?????

Comment by Jason Webster on October 17, 2013 at 1:51pm

Thanks Amy! Coming from an agency background myself, I was surprised by this guy's actions. Specifically, why on earth would he ever put this in an email? The best agency recruiters I know fully understand the value and power of relationships and referrals. This person didn't seem to understand that.

Comment by Matt Charney on October 17, 2013 at 1:53pm

This is why the entire profession needs barriers for entry.  And why even the best in the business still deal with the stigma of stupid staffing sales - and hope this dude goes back to the vacuum cleaner circuit once the draw becomes recoverable.

Comment by Jason Webster on October 17, 2013 at 1:56pm

Hey Matt. I hate to be a whistleblower, but we did forward this email to his CEO. And that person did [drumroll]....nothing.

Comment by Matt Charney on October 17, 2013 at 2:00pm

Jason - not surprising. Don't hate to be a whistleblower - without it, there would be no accountability or no compelling blog content.  Feel free to blow that whistle (or call BS) any time you want.  It's appreciated.

Comment by Malia Jorgensen on October 17, 2013 at 2:05pm

Wow! Crazy stuff. I wonder if the recruiter still has a job.  He may have to find a new career.

Comment by Jeremy Spring on October 17, 2013 at 2:12pm

Too many red flags in the initial email to engage a person like this on any level higher than a "thanks but no thanks" reply. The deceptive subject line merits a one way trip to the "junk" folder. If my recruiters worked biz dev like this, they'd be out of a job.  

Comment by Jeremy Spring on October 17, 2013 at 2:13pm

@Matt- re: "vacuum cleaner circuit".  Classic!

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on October 17, 2013 at 3:18pm

@ Jason: "to his CEO. And that person did [drumroll]....nothing."                                                                            If the guy has good numbers, s/he probably would do nothing.

@ Matt: "This is why the entire profession needs barriers for entry"

Are you proposing that standards of civility, ordinary courtesy, and basic common-sense be instituted as entry-barriers, and (perhaps) requirements for continued employment? That would DEVASTATE the industry!



Comment by Brian K. Johnston on October 17, 2013 at 8:19pm

Thanks For Sharing... What A Bummer You Had To Go Through That, However Sharing It Is Helpful... We All Need To Be More Kind To One Another, Including Myself... Life I Too Short.... EnJOY The Ride!


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2024   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service