10 reasons recruiters suck (and how to fix it)

I debated whether to title this article “You lost me at hello”.  This week I received an email from a recruiter, which started out “Hello John”.  My name’s not John.  Obviously, this recruiter had sent an email template, forgetting to change the name of the recipient.  I responded to the recruiter and let him know this was the #1 reason people in my industry hate recruiters.

Since replying to the recruiter, however, I realized there are many worse sins recruiters do than the sin of using an email template.  Here is the list I came up with, in no particular order:

1- You don’t know me, aka we’ve never met.  Recently I have seen an uptick in emails from recruiters stating how “it’s been a while”, or “last time we spoke”, etc.  Liars.  Why would I ever respond to a recruiter who claims to know me, although I am confident we’ve never even emailed.  Want to fix it?  Try and meet me first.

2- Your industry is plagued with poo.  For every good experience a placed candidate has with a recruiter, there are at least 5 bad experiences.  Dishonesty, misrepresentation, under-bidding, over-bidding, etc. are very common practices by recruiters.  Want to fix it?  Cut out the poo.

3- Your English is crap.  Why would I want a recruiter representing me who can’t even type a sentence correctly I mean c’mon use proper punktuation and spelling Most of the time i think y’all are from a different country and your cuzzin is a exiled prince.  Want to fix it?  Speak my language, properly.

4- I can hear (or read) the script.  It’s obvious that you have spent a lot of time polishing your email to me and made every attempt to make your message as personal as possible.  What’s also obvious to me is that I received a script (see opening paragraph).  Want to fix it?  Be 100%, truly, personal with me.

5- Your lack of disclosure.  I often receive calls from recruiters who refuse to tell me the name of the company that this awesome position is with.  Why would I ever have discussions with you if you won’t even tell me the name of the company?  True, you might be worried that I will go around you, but get over it.  Want to fix it?  Tell me everything!

6- Car salesman questions.  When I buy a car, I don’t buy it based on my budget, because that is always negotiable.  Similarly, when I am looking for a job, it’s not all about the money.  However, one of the first questions I hear from recruiters is to find out my current salary.  Yes, salary comes into play, but it’s not the end-all.  Don’t ask me what my budget is.  Want to fix it?  Find out what I care about, first, and then ask the find-out questions.  Maybe salary is my #1 priority, but you’ll never know unless you know what I care about.

7- Abusing LinkedIn.  Want to fix it?  Stop it.  You know who you are.

8- You are out-of-state.  If you/your firm is not local, don’t contact me.  Seriously.  You might as well be from a different country.  Want to fix it?  Shop locally.

9- Your 6-month contract job is out-of-state.  Really?  Want to fix it?  Refer to #8’s solution.

10- I don’t know {insert technology or skill here}.  This could have been lumped in with #1, but this is so annoying, it can stand on its own.  Did you even look at my resume and/or LinkedIn profile?  If you are hiring for a Java developer, please make sure I even know what Java is, before contacting me.  Want to fix it?  Take the time to understand me and my skill set before you contact me.

These are a few of the many ways recruiters suck.  However, not all recruiters are bad, and I am in my current job, thanks to a recruiter who I had never met before he reached out to me.  However, he did everything right.

Recruiters, it’s up to you to fix things.  You can do it.