First of all, I am not a product to be pushed. I am a skilled professional with years of experience accomplishing difficult technical tasks that most people would not understand, let alone perform. I don’t fit in a box that can be wrapped up and handed to the client in nice neat package. There’s something wrong with the attitude expressed here.
Candidates should be (and usually are) grateful for the free service you provide them, however sometimes they can get their noses out of joint and mess you around a little, just because they feel they can. Candidates who think they are super hot property and harvest unrealistic expectations and sense of self worth are ones to watch out for. Don’t let these types of candidates get you down, calling them out might be necessary for both your sanity and wellbeing. You will probably find you even call these candidates’ bluff.
What service is the typical recruiter providing. Passing a resume to HR? Arranging interviews? Essentially recruiters are doing HR’s work for them. I’m not sure that pissing people off is a good way to get business done. Yet all too many recruiters seem to be determined to treat prospective job seekers like some sort of lower element in the equation. And how can you tell what expectations are unrealistic?
1. They keep rescheduling their interviews last minute
Diary management is a skill in itself, and phoning you up prior to their interview to reschedule the time or date is an absolute no-go. Sure, people get sick and emergencies happen, so a one-off is probably acceptable. However, if your candidate has a habit of having ‘work emergencies’, or wrote the book on last-minute excuses to get out of an interview, they aren’t worth your time. Having to constantly let down your client or the HR mediators, even if it isn’t your fault, reflects badly on you. If your candidate can’t get their diary in order, they obviously aren’t committed and are stringing you along.
If you are determined to only stick to “passive candidates” this is what you are going to get. When you are working, even if you are planning to change jobs, work has to take priority and schedules involving others are always subject to change. Remember that the candidate is more than likely juggling a job and looking for work at the same time.
2. They make you wait days for a quick response
My old boss used to say ‘time kills deals’. In today’s technological age where smart phones offer multiple was to communicate, there is very little excuse for a candidate making you wait days for answers to important questions. Your job is to manage client and candidate expectations, but if one party is failing to provide answers in a timely fashion, long and drawn-out processes ensue and your business will be negatively affected.
The candidate is making a life changing decision and yo can afford to wait. After all the client typically dither around for a long time and usually the poor candidate gets no communication at all.
3. They insist on you only calling them after hours
Fair enough, a lot of candidates are already in full time work and a simultaneous job hunt is stressful and time consuming for them. However, it is their responsibility to free up some of their time to correspond with you and get the interview / application processes moving forward. Asking for you to only call after hours is disrespectful to the service you are trying to provide them – if every single candidate asked you to call them after hours you’d turn into a nocturnal phone operator twiddling your thumbs between 9-5. You need to operate during business hours for a reason, and while you can be accommodating and flexible to their schedule, they also need to meet you half way if you are going to have a positive relationship. They aren’t the centre of the universe.
The typical office is not a good place to have a private conversation. Also the current employer may have phone rules about personal business. It’s easier to be open and frank about details when you know that the rest of your office is not listening in. So insisting on after hours is just common sense. If you need to adjust your time to accommodate the job seeker you are just doing smart business. It’s not all about you.
4. They continue to leave out vital information about their job search
Failing to tell you they are interviewing with a competitor, or about to receive an offer elsewhere, is not acceptable. It is important to understand where your candidate is at, so you can manage expectations and do your best to get them the offer they are after with your client. Being misinformed about big things due to a candidate failing to keep you informed makes you look like you aren’t very thorough. It can also lead to huge amounts of your time being wasted.
What business of the recruiter’s what the candidate is doing? OK, they should let yo know if they are working with another agency, that’s just fair. But other offers and interviewing at other companies are not the recruiter’s or their client’s business. That is unless it’s become a bidding war. Then if they don’t push for a better offer by telling you that they have another offer, they are stupid. In any case nobody is obligated to reveal anything.
As for your time being wasted, well that’s the nature of a business involving sales. If you can’t close the deal, you just have to learn to work harder or find another line of business. My dad used to be in real estate and he went through a lot of wasted time trying to sell houses. It doesn’t help that your attitude is that prospective job seeker is not an equal partner in the deal. The recruiter’s role is to get the job seeker to “buy in” to a life changing decision. Yet the attitude seems to be that the job seeker should jump through hoops to close the deal. Yet it is the job seeker who is the buyer in the relationship, with frankly higher stakes in the consequences of the deal than either the prospective employer and certainly the agency. All the prospective employer is risking is work not done. The agency is only risking a lost commission. But for the job seeker, the prospective consequences are literally life changing. Yet somehow it’s the job seeker’s role to make all the compromises?