When recruiters lose their credibility

Networking has always been fun for this introvert but especially so when speaking with a fellow recruiter or HR generalist (to include all levels). Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a rush when I get a C-level on the phone (Jason Alba can attest to this) but I feel when someone of my own ilk is on the other end, it’s as if we both know the punch line from the same joke - although at times it takes some prodding to help the other person drop their stoic recruiter voice and start talking like a real person.

It’s not as if I don’t know the secret phrases.

It’s not as if I don’t know how recruiters erect walls for themselves and their company.

It’s not as if I can’t read them like I read the cheap NY Post
(oh, there’s another post about this black, white and read fish wrapper coming shortly – about their shameful anti-Obama coverage). My style of recruiting is one that I’m pretty sure anyone in my sights appreciates: Purely transparent and honest. So the idealist in me believes that all recruiters should be transparent and honest with me. Why wouldn’t they be?

Remember the post I wrote about someone looking for a VP-HR for their company? This is classic recruiter speak even with the grammatical and spelling errors; anyone with a sense of function speaking to this prototypical recruiter would like to say, “Can we just dispense with the flowery horsespit and go right to what real problems you want me to solve? And please be straight with me – tell me what the hiring manager really wants and I’ll candidly let you know if I’m the person you’re looking for.” Or at least those I’d respect – but that’s just me, a New Yawk Recruitah.

So the immediate point here is that recruiters know recruiters and the games they play; I suspect we also have a lower level of tolerance for recruiters’ bad behaviors – walls, obstacles, and misdirections. One of these bad behaviors is telling me you’ll call or email on a certain date and time – several times (I really am a patient man) - only to respond when I broke out the cattle prod.

One of my possible responses – at least it’s always been an arrow in my quiver – has been to break out my forked tongue and blog about people like this. You know the feeling – being placed on hold when you’re trying to address an unfortunate issue with your phone carrier then being sent from department to department as each one says it’s a system issue…then they promise to fix your issue – by sending you more bills, each with different monies owed (when you know you don’t owe any money). What choice do you have but to write a letter to the Better Business Bureau and the President of the company?

Well, you can always go public...especially if you have a blog - and a way with words - that other recruiters read. Heh, heh, heh.

Views: 52

Comment by Joshua Letourneau on November 7, 2008 at 2:18pm
Steve, I agree with you here. Some Recruiters act as if they've fully assimiliated being full of #$%. I mean, was it a rocky mental transition? :) Did some just wake up and be full of ^%& one morning? I know some people that can step right into it, because they've been full of %$^ for years . . . but top performers inherently reject %^&. Sure, they understand politics and there are games you have to play to be successful, but at a certain point, you have to accurately assess the current situation if you're going to progress beyond it.

I'd rather have someone shoot me straight and give me the real deal than smile in my face and give me the runaround. It's as if some have fully become what I ran into during my last 'educational stint' in grad school: Shoeshines with a smile.

I admit I have limited experience on the Corp side; hell, I have little to none. The corp gigs I've taken have been on an hourly rate and I knew I was taking them on for 'perceived credibility' down the line.

I think the ultimate risk for an Exec Recruiter to ever "go Corporate" is that they'll reject the inefficiencies and waste in the recruiting process. They even might rock the boat when they see something that's about as jacked up as a football bat. I mean, wow, someone great might even get hired. :)
Comment by Steve Levy on November 7, 2008 at 8:43pm
What's missing from both sides is understanding - both are talking over the other and not hearing what the other is saying. Both sides are efficient and inefficient and don't trust each other. Nice way to start and build a relationship right?


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