bul·ly1 ˈbo͝olē/ noun a person who uses strength or power to intimidate, typically to force him or her to do what one wants. Candidates, have you experienced a recruiting bully? I've encountered it time and time again over my career, but after coming across 3 instances this week I wanted to discuss it a bit further.

1) Sunday morning I woke up to an email sent at 5:43am. Generally speaking, any email sent after 1am and before 6am is not going to be pleasant. Here is the email-

I'm reaching out to you this morning to notify you that yesterday evening I received an offer for a position I interviewed on Friday.

Ok, so far so good. So my candidate got an offer at another firm. It happens. If I took it personal every time a candidate got an offer without me, I wouldn't last very long in this industry. But, I do have an interview scheduled for her on Monday....hmmmmm....

My other recruiter


is very persuasive
in having me believe that this opportunity is better than working for [company name redacted]

Me Internally-

2) Texting with a really good candidate and she mentions two firms that are NOT good fits for her that another recruiter submitted her for (NOTE- I'm a honest guy and I always give feedback on companies, whether or not I am the one to submit them. Heck, I even sent this same person some prep notes for a firm I didn't send her to to help her on her interview.) So, in the spirit of helping her, I tell her that those firms are not a good fit for her.

Her response-

Yeah I told him I wasn't interested but he insisted on sending them out


3) The great Carrie Callaghan had a wonderful LinkedIn post last week about recruiter bullying. Included was this gem-

“If you don’t call me with feedback in the next 20 mins I’m going to call your office and tell them who I am and why I’m asking for you.”

That's right, the recruiter was threatening to go full White Goodman on her.

Here's the security cam footage of me visiting that recruiter-

CANDIDATES! Do not let recruiters bully you. It is YOUR life. It is YOUR career. Do not feel intimidated. DO not feel pressured. If a recruiter wants to discuss a particular job with you, hear them out. Dialogue is good. If they have a reason why a job or company is good for your career, discuss it. But YOU have the final say, not them. If someone tries to talk you into something (or out of) think to yourself "Who benefits from this? Is this in my best interests? Am I being pressured?" If a recruiter is requiring you to cancel other interview processes you already have in motion, if a recruiter is pressuring you for immediate (or almost immediate) acceptance, they are not acting in your best interests. It's a sales tactic. They are creating urgency. Recruiting is a partnership, not a dictatorship.

RECRUITERS! This is why our industry has a bad reputation.

Candidates don't owe you anything. Stop pressuring candidates with your commission in mind. This job isn't about your commission. It never was. It's about helping people find the *right* fit...not making people fit for 90 days. Stop talking. Encourage. Encourage your candidates to do their due diligence. Encourage them to find what is best for them, not you. Stop the hard sell. Stop the bullying.

Want to know the difference between "recruiting as a job" and "recruiting as a career?" Is this your skillset?

Talking *with* candidates, not *at* them. Listening. When a candidate stops talking, it's not an opportunity for you to manipulate. It's an opportunity to listen, think, and help.

If you have any questions about anything I discussed above, looking for a job and/or working with a recruiter, just ask! Shoot me an email at akarpiak@karpiakconsulting.com

For more about me or my firm, please visit www.karpiakconsulting.com or www.linkedin.com/in/akarpiak I am always looking to network with good professionals that share my values in recruiting, so shoot me an invite if you agree with me (or at least Follow me)

If you're curious about my take on recruiting in social media, or if you want to see me yell at T-Mobile about my phone bill, you can follow me on Twitter @Adam_Karpiak

You can find job postings, as well as loads of content on Karpiak Consulting's Facebook page www.fb.com/karpiakconsulting Please "like" or follow the page to be kept up to date on all of new content daily. I re-post articles of interest I find online regarding recruiting & public accounting, and I also post emails & messages I get (redacted of course) regarding recruiting that I think are of interest, including stories from candidates about other recruiters doing bad/confusing things.

Views: 755

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on September 28, 2018 at 10:09pm

I've encountered a few recruiters who were outright criminal (telephonic death threats, etc.).  Generally, a call to the police is enough to stop the problem, but it amazed me (still does) that one (a Heidrick and Struggles former employee) was such a ninny that he left a death-threat on my phone message machine... not necessarily aware that telephonic threats carry a 10-year prison sentence if convicted.  Pretty stupid!


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