Do recruiters treat you as a “necessary evil”? So begins the article, “10 Ways in Which Recruiters Annoy Candidates,” by Roger Emmens. On the surface, it seems like the relationship between recruiters and prospective candidates should be symbiotic. Recruiters can’t make that big, fat commission check without candidates. But in reality, the recruiter relationship can often feel contentious … for many of the reasons Mr. Emmens states.
At the heart of the matter though, I think there are two core reasons why recruiters often annoy candidates:
— Candidates don’t understand how recruiters work
Many CFOs have worked with recruiters in the past … when the company was hiring and a recruiter was used to source candidates. It is quite different when the CFO is the candidate working with a recruiter or recruiters.
What is important to remember is that recruiters don’t find people jobs. Rather, they find the right person to fill the specific job requisition within the parameters the company has established. The difference may seem subtle, but it is an important distinction.
Recruiters get paid by the company not the candidate. If you aren’t a good fit for a job req a recruiter currently has open, in all likelihood you won’t hear anything from him. However, if you do get a “thanks but no thanks” call, it might be a relationship worth cultivating for the future.
Many candidates, and particularly very busy executives, don’t give recruiters a thought when they are busy doing their jobs. Rather than building those necessary relationships before they need them, candidates wait until they “need” a job. Can you guess how many active job seekers recruiters hear from on a daily basis? Unfortunately, it gives the recruiter all the power while leaving the candidate … desperate.
Conversely, establishing a strong relationship with recruiters while you don’t need – or want – anything from them, can make working with them when you do need a job much less annoying.
Having a compelling profile on Linked In is a great way to get recruiters to reach out to you … particularly as a passive candidate with significant power and positioning.
While you, as a candidate, can’t control whether a recruiter is unprofessional or rude, understanding how they work and building relationships before you need them might help make a potentially prickly relationship a little less, maybe even a lot less, annoying.