Those of you in the biz – don’t laugh: I received this response to a LinkedIn referral request for a specific type of position that this gentleman would know (I had also attached the link to our RPO client’s career site listing) :

Thanks for reaching out to me. Don’t take this personally, but I generally do not work with recruiters because 95% of them do not deliver. I really have no respect for any organization/business who cannot come directly to me.

There is no need for a third party to get involved with Linked In now days. Besides, you guys are not interested in my best interests. . . You are only interested in your company’s best interest. I don’t see the point in getting all excited over absolutely nothing. Its generally a waste of my cell phone minutes and a waste of your time as well as my own. Best wishes to you and your organization.

Ok, after I stopped alternating being pissed off or snickering, I felt sorry for the guy. He clearly had both misunderstandings about how the recruiting world works, and may have been mislead as well. So for his sake I thought I would share some real world basics.

•NEWS FLASH: 3rd party recruiters work for COMPANIES!!!!!! If this is confusing to you, note that in every business I know, generally the “customer” is the one who pays the bill. If this is not you, then clearly you are not the CLIENT, act accordingly. The only person the recruiter is delivering for is their client.

•Also – smart companies today are outsourcing all their talent acquisition to RPO companies like us – so in that case, we are the company (2nd News flash!).

•Key: recruiters work to place the best, qualified and cultural fit candidates for positions their CLIENT has. If they do not pick you, it is likely because you either were not the most qualified, or the best fit.

•Also – you may be chosen by the recruiter as a viable candidate - but not by the client…..for no apparent reason – I cannot tell you why, sorry. [But the high quality firms will be honest with you even if this is the answer in this case or the prior]

•Finally – as in any business, there are good and ethical people and there are bad ones. Only work with businesses that deal with integrity and ask around to confirm. However, don’t generalize an entire industry for your bad choices in relationships, grow up people…..we could tell stories about bad, unethical candidates and clients.

•One more reminder that “she who pays the bill” is the client so if you are a candidate (and presumably not paying a bill) - realize your role and opportunity and the potentially important role the recruiter plays – treat them with the respect you would the hiring manager (this is a big mistake by many job seekers). Understand that the ONLY person whose job it is to find you that next great job….IS YOU.

•Finally – if you are a job seeker and you want to build a relationship with a few quality recruiting firms, a great way to do so is to send them your best referral candidates – you will be seen as a giver and one who is well connected. It will also keep you top of mind for them when that perfect fit opportunity opens up.

Welcome to the real world, sorry if I burst your bubble.

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