Have you ever gone to Google and typed in “recruiters are” and looked at what auto-fills?
Don’t be one of those recruiters.
Not all recruiters are like this, of course, but it happens enough that this is what comes to mind for many candidates. If it were not accurate (to be almost stereotypical), then there would not be so many people entering it (enough to make it auto-fill).
Pretty sad really. Our profession really does not have a very good image. Ever been to a social gathering and someone asks, “what do you do for a living?” Answer “recruiter” and often you can see them looking for the exits.
‘Tis the season for making New Year’s resolutions. Please join me in making the resolution to not be an annoying, pushy, useless/worthless, dumb/idiot/stupid, lying, jerkish/evil/terrible/awful, parasitical recruiter anymore. I’m sure we all fall into one or more of these at times…presently or in the past.
For simplicity, I have grouped them together:
- Don’t be annoying
- Don’t be pushy
- Don’t be lacking value (to candidates and hiring managers)
- Don’t be ignorant or uninformed
- Don’t lie
- Don’t be mean or impersonal or uncaring
- Don’t be a taker
Say “no” to doing any practices that go against this. To help start us off, here are a few examples:
We should cease sending our untargeted, impersonal mass communications to “get the word out” and maybe get a couple applicants – while annoying the rest with more trash and noise in their lives. We are not even asking to build or start a relationship in these communications, just names and applicants for our openings. We are just takers…being parasites.
We should know the jobs and departments we are recruiting for and be open with the information when speaking with candidates. Do not misrepresent the job or try to conceal the parts of the position that you see as bad. Do not try to not answer a question posed or sugar coat an answer just to keep the candidate in the process. Candidates should know what they are getting themselves into and if they are wise enough to ask hard questions…answer them truthfully. The candidate may not see it as an issue, but they want to know. If the candidate does see it as an issue and withdraws from the process…well, if they were hired, they would not have stayed long anyway.
We should care about the candidates and respect their time. How can we shorten the application process? How can we shorten the interview process? How can we more regularly let the candidates know where they stand in the process? How can we makes sure no candidate is left never hearing back (black hole)?
Sure, we have a responsibility to the hiring manager and company…but we have an equal responsibility to the candidates. If the candidate is not happy, he or she is much more likely to refuse an offer or quit sooner. We can’t keep treating applicants like crap or they will quit applying and lose interest in ever working for us.
We need to add value, not only just with hiring managers…but also with candidates. In particular, the candidates that have been identified as people we would like to hire some day. How are we being of value to them…even when we don’t yet have open positions for them? How are we moving them closer to becoming employees? For the people who would like to work for us someday, how are we giving them more information and building a relationship with them? How are we making it easy for them to work for us when the time is right?
There are just some of the things that come to my mind on how to not be one of those recruiters. I don’t want to be one those recruiters and I hope you don’t either. Ideally, recruiting or talent acquisition departments will vow not to be one of those recruiters. The company policy needs to be “don’t be one of those recruiters…they are not welcome here.”