When Candidates Attack
We’ve all heard the horror stories and the jokes. So many people out there ‘hate’ recruiters. Clients bemoan the need for us. Candidates (not all) can lack any respect or appreciation for the role. Worse yet, friends and family still don’t quite get what you do. But you know what? It’s a tough profession. And while candidates and clients might take the opportunity to knock us given half a chance (or even less), recruiters don’t really hit back. Mostly. But today I thought we’d share some common problems us recruiters run into day in and day out.
1. The Whiner
Ever talk to candidates who looks] great on paper, but just can’t stop complaining? Their current company is a mess; it doesn’t know what direction it’s going in. The executive leadership team is out of touch. They’re underpaid, undervalued and underemployed. Their line manager is lazy and taking credit for all their work. (serenity now!!) Unfortunately, many of their complaints might be 100 percent valid, but as a recruiter, we know that it’ll be nearly impossible to place said candidate (s). How could you put this guy or gal in front of your client? Meanwhile, when you don’t present them or place them, you know they’re going to share their ‘horror’ stories about you too.
2. The Over-Sharer
Once I was recruiting what I was sure was a great candidate. He was smart, courteous and well spoken. But it was a travel position and when I asked him if that was alright he proceeded to tell me about his acrimonious divorce. The fighting, the house, the attorneys and even his ex-wife’s booming social life following the divorce. Despite my best efforts, we were suddenly discussing the dating opportunities that travel might provide, and next, how out of practice he was at said dating. Oh boy. Couldn’t hang up fast enough.
3. Background Interference
So I was talking to a candidate once about a role with one of my clients; a major player in the healthcare world. We were chatting, he had positive references and seemed like a great match for an Analyst role. Then a female voice in the background broke in and said, “You know, I charge by the hour”. He quickly excused himself and promised to call back. Maybe there was a reasonable explanation. Um… maybe.
4. The Tirade Guy
I can’t even share individual stories on this it happens so often. How many times have you spoken on the phone with a candidate who can’t seem to keep it PG? They are clearly overly familiar with you and proceed to have a leisurely and profanity laced conversation with you. Really, Angry Guy? Dropping the F bomb is generally reserved for utter rage or at least people who know you. Now I can swear with the best of them, but I generally don’t go dropping F bombs when I’m with a client or talking to a stranger. Uncool.
Recruiting is a rough business. And it’s generally an underappreciated one. So keep your head up, keep on trucking and at least get a chuckle at these guys from time to time.