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Has anyone ever had a successful encounter with recruiters?

I'm always looking for new assignments, clients, jobs. So if a recruiter contacts me, I return the call.

I have to be honest, I have yet to find a recruiter worth their salt, but I digress.

I've learned years ago who never to bother with (KForce comes to mind, because in their mind I'm not qualified for anything) and which firms are mostly mills (like Cybercoders).

I just had another negative experience with Robert Half. BTW, they called me.

To be honest, the first negative experience was in 1978, but I have had some nice conversations, worthless, but at least the people were nice.

Their script seems to be so 2005, like which company did I save the most money for? Really - am I just a one trick pony? So I save that company a ton of money in expenses, what do I do next year, especially since that's why you hired me?

Or where was I the only person who could have done the things I did, made the company they are today... So you want me to have an self-image of a) not a team player, b) a diva and c) just like the person I was talking with, an overblown ego?

Is it me or did I get up on the wrong side of the bed?

Answers

Anonymous
(Accounting Manager) |

You did not get up on the wrong side of the bed. In my experience, they operate truly as a business and you are just a number. They assign characteristics to each number/candidate and match them to the characteristics of the opening they are trying to fill. If the two match closely enough, they shoehorn you into the position any way they can. Non-measurable such as personality and company fit don't matter. They simply want to place as many candidates as possible as quickly as possible. I wouldn't work with them.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

I am now obligated to type this........Have a Snickers bar!

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Maybe you did get up on the wrong side of the bed. Or maybe, as Emerson suggests, you're hungry. We all know "You're not yourself when you're hungry. Grab a Snickers."

But regardless, recruiters, in my experience, want to fit candidates into a box that they can present nicely packaged to a potential client.

They want to know how much money you make instead of asking what you're looking to make. How much you saved the company on expenses, instead of asking how to best to grow revenue while staying profitable and lean without working everyone and systems to the point of breaking?

The antiquated questions they asked you likely came from an antiquated hiring manager/process.

I'm interested, Wayne, in what questions you'd like to answer? If the recruiter were given a Do-Over what questions would be you be most impressed with them asking?

I've heard several times that great leaders ask great questions. How could the said recruiter be a great leader in their field?

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

I don't think this recruiter or recruiters from this company can be great. They work their system, you either fit or you don't. I also don't believe second guess what would happen if I had a do-over. You could go nutz...

They were only interested in their story given to them in their way. That's cookie cutter and not my story. I, like everyone is unique, at least I hope we are. Some of us are more unique than others based on who we are, what jobs we've held, schooling, yada yada yada, etc., etc.

Think about a picture in black and white that is blurred. Not much is different between the dark and light section, except how dark or light. Now compare that to the same photo in color. You get to see a cacophony of colors.

I guess I'm a cacophony, not a B&W photo (although if I were a Ansel Adams it would be a different story). And you may be too or some other analogy that fits your personality.

Lastly, when you get interviewed by someone who really knows the job, has done the job and isn't from HR or sound like they've been doing recruiting so long that they are out of touch with the actual job, the conversation is different.

So what questions would I want someone to ask?

If Thomas More and I were sitting together... "fade in"...

As I tell my story ask pertinent questions about the experience. Getting to know me as a person, because the sum of the correct hire is the sum of the person, not whether they did a specific task. Smart people can learn. Smart people are always learning. Thomas was a smart person... "fade out to reality...."

Asking me how much I want to make, especially when you are not location bound. $100 in NY is not $100 in SF (more expensive to live) or Memphis (about 50% cost of living compared to NY) or pick a city/region. Then every job is different with different challenges. I may really want to work for a company in a certain industry because they sound cool; I may work cheaper.

Come to think of it, I never met a great recruiter. I've met some very nice ones, had some great conversations, but for the most part they are one-off fair weather friends, on to the next potential score... which maybe is best for them, but not the candidate. I hope and try not to emulate them when I hire.

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Wayne - Cookies are so delicious, though, therefore, cookie cutters are necessary. Unless you're cookie cutter candidate then you're not "delicious" to the clients who are hiring.

I think you're more of an Andy Warhol, which seems to be more representative of a cacophony in art form (which I had to look up the definition for).

By Thomas More, do you mean the Catholic saint and noted Renaissance humanist?

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Chris, yes, Sir Thomas More, author of the best seller Utopia in 1516.

Just to add some clarity (Emerson I had my snickers bar)...

I talked with really delightful recruiter yesterday. It was almost like a first date. I mean a really nice conversation, peppered with achievements on both sides, some funny anecdotes and mutual value propositions.

Will anything come of it? I have no clue, and am not really holding my breath, but the key element is it was a conversation and if something does, than I'm happy she will make the commission.

David Smith
Title: Manager
Company: Private
(Manager, Private) |

Here's a fun experiment you can do in your free time. See if you get the same results.

Go to Google. Type in "recruiters are " without the quotes, but with a space after "are" and without hitting "enter" see what Google autocomplete offers as suggestions for possible completions to the phrase.

I get:

recruiters are the worst
recruiters are idiots
recruiters are liars
recruiters are dumb
recruiters are scum
recruiters are annoying
recruiters are stupid
recruiters are morons
recruiters are a joke
recruiters are a waste of time

I'm just saying, Wayne, you might not be alone.

Anonymous
(Independent Consultant) |

They must be doing something right. Year over year revenue growth from 2009 to 2015, with no losses. A $5B business is nothing to sneeze at. Personally, I've never worked for them as they focus on jobs I'm not interested in. I prefer smaller "boutique" firms that have established relationships with many of the tech firms. It's a small valley and hiring managers sometimes just rely on these firms (and are willing to pay the fees) because they don't want to wade through a pile of resumes.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Just because you make money doesn't make you good... and because you are lazy doesn't make the expenditure of cash smart either.

On the other hand, if a boutique firm really adds value, than its money well spent!

Jeremy F
Title: FP&A Manager
Company: Insuarance
(FP&A Manager, Insuarance) |

Wouldn't a "go-getter" be able to get themselves access to opportunities that are a good fit? Recruiters just add another layer of BS on top of the process.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Reliable, scientific citation for you 75-80% figure please.

Otherwise your just blowing self serving smoke up our collective arses.

Sharon Desser
Title: Director of Finance
Company: sharondesser
(Director of Finance, sharondesser) |

I've never had a productive exchange with Robert Half! I think they don't really exist like unicorns.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Unicorns exist, but only for VC/PE companies.... :)

John Herndon
Title: Senior Consultant
Company: NOWCFO
(Senior Consultant, NOWCFO) |

Sharon, you are correct. Robert Half could give a crap about their placements which they often steal away from clients. RHI is notorious for doing this, having several friends over the years that worked for RHI I can say this with certainty. There is nothing redeeming about Robert Half....they refuse to compromise their profit margin often times at the expense of the client. The standard markup I am most familiar with is 150%, this leaves very little value to the client. The perceived rate being paid by the client may seem like a market rate, however after subtracting the markup.....you see a grossly devalued rate. Obviously, the candidate's skill set is relative to the rate they are being paid.

Bottom line, RHI is a sweat shop marketing machine pushing low skilled candidates for a high mark-up rate. The client is totally unaware of this.

Eric O'Link
Title: Senior Accountant
Company: Nystrom
(Senior Accountant, Nystrom) |

Robert Half placed me in my current position. I've been contacted by a lot of recruiters, most of whom wanted to pitch me the latest "great opportunity." The Robert Half recruiter was different. She noted my non-traditional path to accounting and wanted to meet to learn more about me and what sort of new opportunities I might be looking for. I gave her a very specific set of criteria, including a narrow geographic area consisting of a few suburban communities. She did not waste my time with jobs outside these criteria. Within a few months, she presented what is now my current position. The new position had comparable pay and offered interesting and challenging work, but with a significantly shorter commute, a better schedule and work/life balance, and lower stress level. Plus, I work with great people. It's been a good fit. So, to answer Wayne's question: Yes.

Steve Sheridan
Title: Associate
Company: Dean Lewis Associates
(Associate, Dean Lewis Associates) |

I've had nothing but good experiences with Robert Half. When I was looking for a job, I found the Oakland office professional and the staff willing to take the time to get to know me. I wasn't placed, but I know it's because the recruiter knew where I would like to work and nothing fit me at the time.
As an employer, the Pleasanton, CA office has been great. They come to visit a couple of times a year and we email each other also. They have sent us good candidates that fit our business because they knew about our business. Perhaps the troubles I've read about above are more related to the individual recruiters?

Amit Parekh
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Push Innovation
(Accounting Manager, Push Innovation) |

Robert Half has a policy that they want to see the candidates in person even before they send candidates resume to the clients. I ran in to a situation here in Irvine, Southern California, where I must have visited that office five to six times... every time seen by a different rep... just because the former rep left the work... not sure if they were just killing their time....currently I have blocked them off on my cell....

Now because of the social media.. they like to set up the see the person by Skype... but have lost faith in them....

Stephen Glenn
Title: Controller
Company: Pierre Frey, Inc.
(Controller, Pierre Frey, Inc.) |

You can't judge the company by one employee. However, I believe they have a focus that is centered more on the controller position on down, rather than the CFO level. To fill a CFO position takes a lot more experience, knowledge and skill = a recruiter. For other positions they are more of a staffing agency = don't dig too deep into the candidate, just submit enough resumes to the hiring company. Similar to Amit, I have also experienced turnover in their recuiters.

Cindy May
Title: Director of Accounting and Finance
Company: Vacation Palm Springs (Wyndham Vacation ..
(Director of Accounting and Finance, Vacation Palm Springs (Wyndham Vacation Rentals)) |

Robert Half is a joke. They are just clueless, phony, talky sales people. Unicorns are way better!!

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

For what it is worth, I still receive emails from Robert Half (computer generated or individual recruiter) inquiring if I am interested in their Director of Accounting (and a few others at that level) opening/s.

Randy Moore
Title: CFO
Company: SJB Bagel Makers
(CFO, SJB Bagel Makers) |

RH is no different from other recruiters. I have had no luck with any of them. An occasional interview but that is all. Even when I have had the occasional interview the followup is usually along the line of they wanted industry experience which I did not have or they wanted someone local which I wasn't - stuff that made me wonder why I was there in the first place.
I have had much better luck finding work by talking to unicorns than working with recruiters.

Tes van Houten
Title: Professional Accounting and Bookkeeping ..
Company: TVH International Corp
(Professional Accounting and Bookkeeping Services, TVH International Corp) |

I have reachedout to RH many times, consistenty. I have a strong resume with 25 years experience. I had great face to face interviews (2) with RH. One in person and one on Skype. Both people were warm, sincere, friendly, understanding. But then, I stopped being the one to contact them to see if they would reach out to me. They did not. I got automated emails with potential jobs. I had to send RH the links of the jobs I matched perfectly and even called RH, only to leave message, after message with no reply. Turns out they somehow lost my info, or one of their recruiters in another area had closed my file. Not sure how that happened, but I was very disappointed. I have called and left messages 4 times with no response. It's been a year since I engaged RH and they have still to respond. The reason they did not respond was my original assigned recruiter left, closed my file, and no one else picked it up. Yes, the ball was dropped on RH side. I still get their automated job emails that fit my profile (obviously did not lose everything about me). So, all-in-all, even though I was the actively pursuing one, they lacked being responsive. I have, since my initial contact, updated my resume, increased my knowlege base, gained some incredible education (getting my MBA), and have a wonderful job found by personal references, which is the best way, in my opinion. I definitely felt like I had to fit in the box with RH. My experience with them is neutral, especially when they were too busy to return my calls. Good luck in your pursuits!

Martin Buckle
Title: Owner
Company: Bjorklund & Company of Canada Ltd
(Owner, Bjorklund & Company of Canada Ltd) |

A few things to bear in mind about recruiters:

they almost always work for the hiring company not the candidate; though this does not excuse poor behaviour towards candidates it is part of the cause of your misery.

there are mass producers and there are strategic differentiators; the mass producers just throw a bunch of cookie-cut candidates at the client and hope one is tasty; the differentiators will take time to know the client's business, to understand the job requirements and then make sure that they only put forward the best candidate(s) who they have taken the time to get to know. Both strategies make money but the experience is different.

Finally, some candidates are a giant waste of time; lying about their experience or skills; not returning calls; not turning up for interviews or turning up unprepared - I can imagine this could make a recruiter very cynical after a while. Again, not an excuse but perhaps a source of their pain that then gets reflected in their treatment of others.

Adam Angstadt, CPA, CGMA
Title: Controller and Operations Manager
Company: Flagship Fire, Inc.
(Controller and Operations Manager, Flagship Fire, Inc.) |

Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors, as I am writing this from my cell.

I have had mixed experiences with recruiters, and believe that there are solid companies and recruiters that are worth fees that the hiring companies pay.

Out of college, as a result of being overly confident and not following my own advice of having options, I spent the entire summer looking for employment. My experience with RH was not a favorable one. It felt like they didn't have my interests in mind as all the interviews I was set up with were not what I was seeking, nor did I feel my skills were being well marketed. When asked about better placement I received the cookie cutter response "well you're a college grad and this is the best you can get."

A month into working with RH, and feeling discouraged, a Recruiter from Ajilon reached out. That experience was fulfilling and successful. My recruiter cold called me, brought me into office for an interview and then to lunch to discuss what I wanted in a career. It was a much more personal experience. Additionally, rather than writing me off as a recent grad he leveraged my internship with a Big 4 firm and leadership in college to get me interviews with two Fortune 500 companies and the biggest privately held company, at the time, which turned into my first post college job.

When the financial crisis hit and it was time to choose between moving to the middle of nowhere or find new employment, my recruiter started setting me up again with quality opportunities and even put me in touch with a college friend that happened to be a Partner at a large regional firm, which wasn't a client. H coached me though all 3 levels of interviews even though there was no financial compensation in it for him.

Ultimately, I ended up taking a different path that has lead me to where I am today.

I still get calls from recruiters, and return their calls and even have gone tp a few interviews. One specifically, last year that the recruiter completely misrepresented and walked in interviewing for a position completely different than I was lead to expect.

Long story short, I think if you find a Recruiter that takes the time to get to know you and works for you as the candidate, as well as the hiring/paying company that person is worth his/her weight in gold to the future of your career.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Wayne:

I feel your pain.

It took me a few years of working with placement agencies and recruiters before I got the picture and started avoiding them. Both for my own employ as well as a hiring manager.

They are sales people and all that entails. Worse, it's direct sales. They talk out of both sides of their mouth at all times tailoring everything they say to their respective audience. They aren't hiring or firing. They don't have a position to offer. They are just brokering between parties and skimming off the top.

As a potential employee or as an employer, one is much better off doing their own due diligence in job placements. The probabilities of a good fit are much higher for all parties.

Recruiters want us t think they have the "magic dust". But they have no special powers.

Anonymous
(Controller) |

This may be a long post, I apologize to everyone as I want to get it all in one post.

Recruiters are salesmen, they are out to sell someone to some else. It just so happens it is humans with feelings. Recruiters look at you as a commodity that they have to package up nicely and sell to the hiring manager(s). They all talk (whether its the large firms like RH, or the small boutiques) about relationships they generate, however it ultimately comes down to the sales process.

Recruiters like Andrea at RH, suggest they are getting you access to 75-80% of the market, yet the statistics all state majority of jobs are obtained through networking. Thus recruiters are getting you 75-80% of the market that is not obtained through networking, which is much smaller than Andrea leads you to believe. The reason why hiring managers go to recruiters is due to a lack of a formal HR department (thus time savings), or the hiring manager wants to be discreet in the hiring (thus they do not source potential candidates through their current employee network).

My experience with RH and some small boutiques, goes something like:
I call the recruiter stating I am interested in a change and a new opportunity. (or at times the recruiter calls me as a sales call, and I always state I am always interested in new opportunities)
I forward my CV to them and they state they will keep me posted for any opportunities that fall within my skill set and experience.
They then ask for my compensation expectation, for which I state the total compensation depends on if the company is private or public, is there bonuses, stock options, RSU/PSU's, professional development (ultimately what value exchange is the firm and myself getting), any other benefits. I also comment I am well within the salary range of the various salary surveys that are industry publications.
Recruiters do not like this commentary as they state they do not want to send me a posting if it does not fit my profile, for which I state that I can make that judgement.

Reality is, recruiters will not send you a $80K job when your skill set and experience clearly show $150K per their own salary survey. They never have called when I am in my own search, only when I have been employed looking for me to fill a position within my firm.

The troubling part then comes with the recruiters in that they search for your reporting managers name, if they haven't already asked for it. Within a few days these same recruiters are phoning your manager to get a take on the scenario, looking to fill any possible available positions. This is very unethical, and they all tell you the recruiter can be fired for doing this, however this has happened a few times (while I am sitting in my managers office) without anyone getting fired.

Ultimately recruiters go where ever the feeding is best, and as potential candidates we are not the ones feeding them. Thus you must be willing to have them as an additional source for your search, however you must be very close to the chest when dealing with them.

In my local market, a majority of the recruiters start out with RH, then they branch out to the smaller firms or the boutiques. Not sure what this states about RH?

When Andrea from RH states "How would you manage that resource to your advantage? What is your brand, and have you given it to your recruiter in 1-3 succinct sentences? Have you told your recruiter the top 5 bullet points of why you are just what their client is looking for? Think of your content like a tweet. Do you reach out to your recruiter regularly? Maybe even buy them a coffee so that they remember you?". I have done all of this. I have even changed the bullet points to match the postings. However, the RH recruiters have you labelled (in a job description/title box) for which it is difficult for you to get out of. Until I got smart, I have called all the various recruiters directly when I am searching, however I have only received 1-2 calls back ever. Now I just apply online as everyone else does. My name was also forwarded to a local recruiter by a colleague of mine, and this this recruiter to this day has never contacted me, even though my colleague stated he has a great relationship with this recruiter.

Another scenario is that I talked to a recruiter explaining why I left a company (I was working in excess of 80hrs/week, and more during the 10 week budget period, thus not even close to a work/life balance; as well as when my mother got terminally ill they would not provide any leeway in terms of a flexible schedule). The company was also experiencing 50% turnover rates for 3 consecutive years. The recruiter stated they will not work with a company such as this as it reflects badly on them. However another recruiter called me, without reading my CV carefully, and was wanting to know if I was interested in a position with this same company. Thus telling me a different story than the initial recruiter I talked to, and showing they are just interested in the sales game.

Given my experience, I stand by networking is your best source of securing that next position. All of my past roles have been sourced this way, and not one opportunity has been presented to me by a recruiting firm. Since I distrust these recruiters, I try to limit my exposure to them.

The last post says it best, recruiters do not have the magic dust. You are a commodity for which you can be easily replaced and sold. Maybe it is different in an executive recruitment firm, as most firms searching for C-level executives do not go through a RH, but a very specialized firm if any at all.

I do agree with Andrea in that you must own your brand, and you should have the elevator pitch ready at any time, and be willing to talk to this personal brand to anyone at any time. Also you have to make it worth your while to ensure your network keeps you top of mind for anything they come across.

Again my apologies for the long post.

Andrea Tiller
Title: CFO
Company: Robert Half CFO Services
(CFO, Robert Half CFO Services) |

Just FYI, I'm not a Recruiter. I'm a consultant/candidate. RH has placed me in 8 permanent positions since the first in 1991, and I've been a consultant through them numerous times (and am currently).

Anonymous
(Corporate Controller) |

Recruiters aren't supposed to be your friends, they don't have to be nice or personable. You're conducting a business transaction with them. Their questions likely reflect the questions that the hiring company wants to focus on. If you don't like the questions, then it's probably not a good fit.

Anonymous
(CFO) |

"they don't have to be nice or personable. You're conducting a business transaction with them."

I think you have a misunderstanding of "business".

This response reminded me of the incident where Elon Musk yanked/disallowed the sale of one of his cars to a potential owner....(in his own words) "super rude".

Anonymous
(Controller) |

Your statement goes completely against Andrea's (RH), as she states RH build relationships which provide 6-8 good candidates in front of hiring managers.

If they don't have to be nice or personable as you state, then it becomes just a cash register, sell...sell...sell. However, many stats show providing exceptional customer service, builds relationships which enhances future business, vs focusing on and getting the sale today!!!

Anonymous
(Corporate Controller) |

I'd rather work with a recruiter with 0 personality who sends me 2-3 solid jobs leads, than a really nice recruiter who's got nothing. I might have a couple good conversations with the nice recruiter, but I'll also be stuck at the same job.

Anonymous
(Controller) |

I'd rather "only" work with someone who has Integrity, who is service oriented (focusing on my priority, vs selling me whoever is currently in the recruiters database). I will always have pleasant conversations, however....

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Recruiters have shamed me too many times, on both sides of the equation, thus they are no longer of resort whether for my own professional scope or for any organization I work for. I am uninterested in a sellers game!!!

Anonymous
(CFO) |

Good point. A surgeon's assistant I know once pointed out that the best surgeons are "mechanics" often lacking a personality and having trouble emoting. He mentioned that they can have a problematic surgery with less than satisfactory results and yet move into the operating room for another procedure an hour later with no emotional hang ups about the problematic one earlier. That makes them good at what they do.

Making patients feel warm and fuzzy doesn't a good surgeon make.

This applies to business transactions in general. It is something good CFOs should know.

I may not like my banker; I may have an employee that I don't really care for; but, as long as each is providing me with solid results, we will continue doing business.

I've had many business relationships where I really liked the person but the business aspect wasn't as solid as I could get elsewhere. I've had to make that tough decision to move the business relationship and risk the personal relationship. That is just good business. Done with tact it isn't disparaging.

In my experience, this is why former military officers often make good bosses. They don't want to be your friend. They want results and they will assist you in obtaining them. But, they won't let their friendship get in the way of obtaining results.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Tangent:

We've mentioned "networking" here multiple times.

There is sometimes difficulty in doing so. I thought I might throw this out there.

In my industry there are a couple of problems in networking that I've encountered.

First, the industry is large but very cloistered. If I network for a position, everyone will know I'm looking before too long. Including my own boss which is a death knell. Not only for my current position, but she'll poison the well to make sure I don't get another position in the industry.

This is more common than many people seem to think. I've had a CFO I reported to tell the outside, Big 4 audit firm that was trying to recruit me away, that if they took me, they'd no longer be our audit firm.

And yet, he didn't understand why I was lived when I found out that he'd done that. He thought I should be impressed that he thought so highly of my work that he didn't want to lose me! I actually considered suing the audit partner as, he revealed that to my boss when he wasn't involved with the recruitment in the first place. He and I had never discussed it.

Don't ever trust an audit firm!

Second there is competition. Today, in my public sector position, I would be competing in many cases against the same people I network with.

More than once, I've asked someone to be reference for me and had them not respond. Then later, at the marathon, back-to-back interviews that public agencies conduct, I see them showing up for an interview for the same position I am interviewing for. That can be very awkward and result in both parties not interacting any more.

On a broader scale, I've found that employers and recruiters seek every detail on a candidate and obtain it. But, they often aren't particularly guarded about all of that personal info on one's CV. More than once, I've had my job app turned into a sales reference where they start calling me, pretend to have mutual interest in a position at their firm that I've applied and maybe even interviewed for, and then turn it into a sales call. I've had this done by major national banks and insurance companies I applied and interviewed for positions at.

Talk about being angry!

So, what does everyone else say? Is there a job application equivalent of the blind job advertisement?

Anonymous
(Finance Director / Controller) |

I avoid grouping everyone in any profession into one category. I have had experience with recruiters who were very helpful in past job searches, even when they themselves had nothing to gain from it (besides goodwill). For example, one recruiter steered me clear of a firm that had multiple positions posted when they had a planned offshoring of the entire function, worked with me on my search, and when I found a position completely unrelated to his firm (i.e. he would not make one nickel either way on the outcome) advised me on where my offer stood vs. market, etc.

My very first job out of public accounting was the result of a recruiter calling me and asking me what my interests were and *not* tossing irrelevant opps at me. He called me back 2-3 months after we spoke and zeroed in on exactly the company / industry of interest to me. I suppose he made a lasting impression.

I'd prefer networking into my next opportunity over using a headhunter but these guys and gals do have a place in the process.

As a final note, I wonder if some of the harsher posters evaluate the salespeople within their own orgs more generously than they evaluate recruiters. Or are they same individuals that call for the axe when their salespeople don't produce.

My guess is that many of these recruiters feel that same blade above their necks or are thinking of their mortgages and that (hopefully) memorable family vacation at the end of the year when they dial us up.

Anonymous
(Controller) |

Where have all the days gone when two business individuals can "trust" each other with high levels of integrity, that they can shake on a deal, that is mutually beneficial and each party holds their part of the deal.

Typically a sales person/recruiter (generalizations here) are simply thinking of the next sale (due to the blade above their neck). The minute this happens, the integrity of the trust has been dropped.

Greg Mills
Title: Former SVP
Company: Free Agent
(Former SVP, Free Agent) |

Viewpoint from the "candidate" side: Recent experience (within the last 4-5 years) has been largely negative. Past experience (15-30 years prior) was mixed, with some very positive, some less so.
Viewpoint from the "hiring" side: Probably 2/3 of the recruiters that sent me resumes just threw them at me and crossed their fingers, hoping they interpreted the job requirement closely enough. Some did an adequate job, providing resumes of candidates that appeared good, but no stars. One recruiter was a star. He found me MANY people that, while not meeting some of the written requirements, showed that the recruiter heard what I said, understood, and sent me stars. I was THRILLED with who he produced, even MORE thrilled that these people turned out to be great hires, and I feel PROUD to have been a part of their careers. I also love that after more than a dozen years later, MOST of these people are still in the same organization I hired them into, and have been promoted.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Here is the main point...

Unless "recruiters" realize that they serve both sides of the transaction, the candidate experience will never improve. The often quoted "We work for the company paying us" and to some extent, "We are not here to find candidates jobs" should be discarded in recruiter lexicon and perspective.

Jake Feldman
Title: Managing Director
Company: Global TaxFin Advisory Group LLC
(Managing Director, Global TaxFin Advisory Group LLC) |

While I'm in accord with much of poor recruiter reputations and it does tend to make one feel better to reinforce Wayne's vent, based on Emerson's often quoted recruiter "We work for the company paying us", doesn't that raise the question as to responsibility and poor guidance provided by finance and HR hiring managers to recruiters? As someone alluded, finance hiring managers sometimes use recruiters as their HR departments. In that case, they should have even more responsibility to direct and supervise recruiters in the process they should follow.

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Third party recruiters are (or should be) an extension of the company thus an extension of it's reputation. Just like any other service providers contracted by the company to represent itself.

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