Recruiters Behaving Badly

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screamingThe blogosphere was abuzz with the doings of recruiters over the past two weeks and it wasn’t always because they were doing something right.

First up, there is the 3,000 word rejection letter. Now infamous recruiter Shea Gunther BCC’d hundreds of jobseekers  who responded to his ad on Craigslist with a sometimes helpful, sometimes a bit patronizing rejection letter that included bullet points. While Shea, who agreed to appear on a Focus and TalentNetLive radio show shortly thereafter, can appear like a minor hero to some recruiters with tips like these:

• Do read the ad and do exactly what it asks.
Here’s the section of our ad that describes how to apply:


If you would like to apply for any of the positions detailed above, please send an email with “Clean Tech Application” in the subject and the following information included or attached:

– Your resume
– 2-3 social media links (your public Facebook account, Twitter, StumbleUpon, that kind of stuff)
– One paragraph on why we should hire you
– 3-5 links to great things you have written

Please note: We’re sticklers for details.

All initial hiring decisions will be made by April 1st.

I made it very clear that anyone interested in the jobs described in the ad should send an email with “Clean Tech Application” in the subject with a resume, 2-3 social media links, 3-5 links of great portfolio pieces, and a paragraph on why the applicant was worthy of a hire. Right below that I even included a strong hint that we’re sticklers for details. I meant it.

He certainly did because that’s not even the end of that ONE bullet point. While he probably meant well and many job coaches and resume writers would applaud him for giving such detailed feedback (candidate experience oxymoron anyone?), most of the jobseekers found the letter “arrogant” and “condescending”. Commenters on the site felt exactly the same way. However, some commenters felt that while the letter was long-winded, some of the people BCC’d would get value out of the missive.

You’d expect this next story to enrage people even more, but alas, most folks just end up talking about the merits (or lack thereof) of the state of Arkansas. In this little story, we have a recruiter who contacts a .NET developer about an open position in Arkansas, giving him a thrilling description of the HQ, the location and the lovely state itself. “I’m not sure where you are in your job search currently, but knowing your skillset I thought you would be interested in hearing about this challenging position,” the recruiter wrote.

Well, the jobseeker fired back (you can read the entire exchange here)  that the recruiter should pay a little closer attention, as he had listed himself on as only being open to jobs in Columbus, Ohio:

Since you got my resume off of Monster, I’m sure you saw in my profile that I’m only interested in jobs in Columbus, Ohio, because you surely check these things before firing off e-mails.

After which, the recruiter called the candidate a word that rhymes with “thick” and the two men proceeded to go back and forth, bragging about their jobs, salaries and insulting each other. The final salvo was fired by the recruiter, a Joe Goddard, when he said:

Ummm, since I own the company, I’d yes, I do like my job. Regarding theis email, you can rest assured I’m not a damn bit worried about this. You smartoff to me, you’re not gonna like the response. Also, I will make sure all 247 IT staffing firms in my network see this email, so they can redflag you, just as I have. Good luck in your job search hahahahahah

Well then. While it’s never nice to be treated the way this recruiter initially was treated (or to get a no), calling a candidates names is always a no-no, as is not doing your homework about where candidates do and do not want to work.

According to this post by Wanted Analytics, hiring for recruiters is at a 4 year high. As the job market begins heating up, will we see more instances of recruiters behaving badly? Or will the good ones start making the news?


By Maren Hogan