Closeup On Business Woman Showing Thumbs DownWell, it’s not really you, but more of your actions when it comes to the hiring process. I came across an article in the “Money Careers” section of entitled, “10 Things Job Seekers Hate about Recruiters,” and then I wondered, “Are they justified to feel this way?”

Check out the really only eight (not 10 like the title said) areas that cause job seekers to “hate” recruiters’ actions and approaches, and see if you’re guilty of doing any of these things. Also, be sure to note whether or not thinks job seekers are justified in their thinking/feeling and why:

1. Advertising jobs that don’t exist. Staffing agencies are notorious for posting boilerplate ads for jobs that don’t really exist to build a database of candidates who they might call on in the future. Agencies defend this by saying that they fill jobs that are similar to the ones advertised all the time – but many job seekers are frustrated when they arrive for an interview, only to discover that there’s no job to be had.

Justified? I would have to say yes. Job seekers spend hours upon hours applying for seemingly vacant positions. The process can become tedious and time consuming very quickly. Think of how frustrating it is for a candidate to spend time drafting or tailoring a cover letter and resume for a specific position; spending 45 minutes to an hour filling out an extensive application; calling and emailing to check the status of his/her application only to discover the job doesn’t really exist?

2. Calling candidates at work. You’d think that recruiters would understand why candidates might not want to tip off their employers that they’re job searching, but recruiters regularly call candidates at work without their permission – leaving candidates trying to disguise who they’re talking to and why.

Justified? No. If job seekers don’t want recruiters to call them at work, they shouldn’t give out their work number. Recruiters should be respectful and not call a job seeker at any number without his/her permission, but a surefire way to avoid this is only listing a number you’re comfortable with recruiters calling you at. Also, list a specific time of day you know you’ll be free, like your lunch hour, so even if you’re at work and the recruiter calls, you can answer.

3. Contacting candidates about jobs that they’re not remotely suited for. While good recruiters can read a résumé and get an initial sense of whether someone might be worth talking to about a particular job, less skilled recruiters sometimes take a more scattershot approach. As a result, they end up pushing graphic designers to interview for programming jobs, researchers to interview for sales jobs and other obvious mismatches.

Justified? Yes, because every candidate wants to be confident he/she is the best person for the job and will perform as such. It’s hard to be sure of this when interviewing for a role one has no work experience in whatsoever.

4. Misrepresenting jobs. Too many job seekers have been told that they’re interviewing for a position working on A, B and C, only to meet the hiring manager and discover that she’s really looking for someone to do D and E.

Justified? Yes, same as number 4. Yet, sometimes interviewing for a position other than intended can lead to better opportunities or a better fit.

5. Scheduling phone interviews and then not calling. You cleared time on your calendar, prepared for the interview, and maybe even found child care to ensure that you’d have a quiet time to talk, and then the recruiter doesn’t call at the scheduled time.

Justified? YES. I’ve had this happen to me before and it’s extremely frustrating and leaves a bad impression on the job seeker.

6. Calling for an unscheduled phone interview and expecting the candidate to drop everything to talk. It’s fine to call a candidate to see if they have a few minutes to discuss a position, but too often recruiters expect the person to drop whatever they’re doing and are put out when they can’t or won’t.

Justified? Again, I’ll say yes. Recruiters may think job seekers should be willing to do whatever it takes, and most are, but that’s no reason to be inconsiderate.

7. Changing candidates’ résumés without their permission. You should maintain control over your résumé at all times, but some recruiters will change key details on it without your permission, sometimes even rewriting it inaccurately. This, of course, can result in an awkward moment if you’re meeting with the hiring manager and she asks you about a project you never worked on or thinks you were at your last job longer than you were.

Justified? I’m in the middle. On one hand, a recruiter may help a candidate by correcting grammar, removing unnecessary contact info, etc. Yet, on the other hand, if you’re going to change a candidate’s resume drastically, notify him/her ahead of time.

8. Acting excited about a candidate but then dropping out of contact. The ranks of job seekers abound with people who are weary of hearing recruiters describe how perfect they’d be for an open role – only to then never hear from them again.

Justified? Yes, again, I’ve been here before and it is frustrating and wastes a candidate’s time. Recruiters need to follow the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”


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