Why I Don’t Like Recruiters

I’ve done recruiting. Granted, it wasn’t on a grand scale and mostly I was recruiting bank tellers. (Are you going to steal from us? No? You’ll take $8.47 per hour? Excellent. When can you start?) It’s a necessary role in HR, but it’s not the only role. But mention you’re in HR and people assume you are a recruiter. Which I’m not.

Many years ago, when I was looking for my very first job out of grad school (and, therefore, stupid) I interviewed with a nice company. Seemed like a great place to work. They did market research and I was applying for a job as a statistical analyst. (This is before I became Evil HR Lady. At that point I was just Evil Unemployed Living Off My Generous Parents Lady.)

The first round of interviews went well. The second round of interviews went (I thought) well. (That’s right, I interviewed with multiple people each time.) At the end of the second interview, they handed me a data file and told me to go home, analyze it and send back my analysis.

So, I did. I worked hard on that. I wanted this job. I did some great data analysis and I e-mailed it off to them.

3 weeks later I get a standard post card in the mail. “We’ve received your resume and will keep it on file for 12 months. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Lame.

I have no problem with doing this for resumes received. I know my current company receives over 1,000 resumes a day, so they must do that. That’s fine. But when someone has come in twice AND done a data analysis for you, you should call and tell them the position has been filled, or at the very least, send a personalized e-mail.

I had forgotten about this experience until a friend interviewed with the same company. Now, I was young and stupid. This friend is anything but. (Not saying that she’s old–oh dear, I may have stuck my foot in my mouth.) What I mean is that she’s experienced. She’s been in executive roles. She has a PhD. This is not some twit out of school.

So she had multiple interviews. They asked her to come in and do a training class for their executive team–as part of the interview. So she did. And that was that.

They got some free data analysis off me and a free executive seminar off her. And that is why I don’t like recuiters. Have the decency to follow up with anybody you bring in for an interview. And don’t leech off your candidates. Sure, it’s reasonable to want to view how someone trains, but you have two or three people view it, not the entire team. That’s just cheap and tacky. Pay for your own training. And call people back.

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6 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Like Recruiters

  1. You use the term “recruiter” differently than I do. To me, a recruiter is someone who calls me up once a year and says “hey Art, are you looking to change jobs?” Or that I call when I’m sick of the place that I’m at.

    Of course, I’ve had my bad experiences with that kind of recruiter, too. Like the woman who called me up, faithfully, once a year and tells me “it says in my records that you do customer technical support” and I, faithfully, once a year, explained that I hadn’t done customer technical support in years and wouldn’t do it for a CEO’s salary. Needless to say, she never found me a job.

  2. I’m about to write off those kind of recruiters myself, after learning that they were getting paid twice what I was getting paid – so, after they paid me, they still got to keep an amount equal to what they paid me. And for what? Sending me a paycheck every 2 weeks? Pffffff. After 7 months of contract work, they could have bought me a car!

    (still upset I didn’t manage to get myself a raise when I got hired on)

  3. artk–I was referring to the inhouse people. What you call recruiters I generally refer to as “headhunters” although their technical title would be recruiters as well.

    I’ve got a few stories about those people as well.

  4. fhl–ah, staffing agencies. I know, it really stinks. Part of the higher bill rate is to cover your taxes (which are substantial), but a lot of it is to pay their staff and make a profit.

    Did you at least get benefits when you joined on to the company permanently?

  5. Oh thats sneaky. It reminds me of a much less involved thing that happened to me but something that pissed me off regardless.

    Basically. I Do NOT work for free. If I am working I plan to be paid for it.

    So, while in college I was hired at a restuarant to serve food/drinks and generally be a waitress. And I mean *hired* as in I filled out the tax forms, I had my uniform, I was an employee.

    Well when I show up to my first day, which was of course a training day and ask where to put in(as in whats my code for the computer) they let me know that the training wont be paid. None of it…even though I will be taking tables, filling orders, and basically being a waitress.

    I was not having it, I am not working for free. I would come in for a “trial” day before you hire me to see if we mess and be there for a few hours for free. But they were not getting 5 training shifts out of me pro-bono.

    It was right there I realized I did not want to work there. If they were so cheap they couldn’t swing the minimum wage for the duration of my training, then they were not the sort of place I needed to be.

    I wonder about the legality of it now. Back then I just turned in my apron and gave back my shirts. I wasn’t working a free week for anyone 🙂

  6. First year,

    I’m so proud of you. What a low down dirty thing for a place to do. And highly illegal.

    I have no ideas what you could classify as “interview” or “skill testing” but I can guarentee that 5 days of working requires pay.

    I’m annoyed for you.

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