Kvetches from the Trenches - Job Seeker Complaints [Q1 2011]

[Originally posted on http://bit.ly/fXqICa]


Being a mid-level financial manager looking for work in this market is still tough. It has been for a while. When we have heart to heart discussions with these capable people, we hear many complaints. Here are some of them.

Complaints about Companies:

Companies are low-balling: Candidates feel that companies are taking advantage, and paying less for positions that should have a higher salary. One candidate we spoke with believes that companies are offering salaries that are 15-20% less then they feel they should be paid for the level of work required. Job seekers are frustrated with this price differential.

“I would rather work with an external recruiter”: Some candidates have told us that they would prefer to work with a recruiter they trust, rather than work directly with the hiring company. They feel they get more complete and reliable information in the search from an external recruiter.

Companies are taking too long to make a decision: During the height of the recession this was the most difficult issue with companies that were looking to hire. Now that we are passed those lows and on the way to recovery, companies are still taking too long to make decisions. Not only does time make it more difficult for companies to hire the best people (because the best candidates will not wait for them), companies are not helping their market reputation.

Getting stuck in HR Hell: The job-seeker hears about a job that sounds ideal for them. They send their resume in, because that is what they believe they are supposed to do. And then they wait. And wait. They wait for whoever is in charge of the company resume inbox to actually read their resume, understand what they do, and put them to the top of the pile. Good luck – you have now entered HR Hell. Most of the time, the person clearing the inbox and doing the initial assessment has no real clue as to what to look for in the resume. At best, they are working off a key word list.

Complaints about Recruiters:

Job seekers are not only frustrated with companies; they are frustrated with some recruiters too. Job seekers we have spoken with generally like recruiters, but not all of them. Here are some of their complaints.

Recruiters that don’t understand what I do: “When I have to explain what I do to a recruiter who doesn’t understand what I do, how can I be sure that she is representing me properly to the company?”

Recruiters that blast me: “I can’t stand when a recruiter presents me to a company that I did not give them permission to do so.”

Recruiters that don’t understand my market: “When I see area code XXX on my call display, I cringe. Those [Unnamed Large City] recruiters are the worst. They don’t have a clue about the market I live in.”

Recruiters that call me for roles that I said I wasn’t interested in: “I told the recruiter I was not interested in an internal audit position. Why do they keep calling me about internal audit roles?”

On the positive side, most of the job seekers we spoke with said that their complaints about recruiters are limited to a small number of them. Most recruiters, they feel, are reputable and provide quality service.

When I asked one job seeker whether he dealt with recruiters he would prefer not to deal with, he said: “I’m actively looking for a job. If a recruiter I don’t like to work with has a job opportunity for me, how can I pass up working with them? I need a job. I just hold my nose.”

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