5 Things Recruiters Loathe But Hate to Admit

Jul 3, 2012
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

Though recruiting and working with recruitment professionals has been a pleasure, there are some things that drive us crazy.

Here are five things that we loathe but hate to admit:

  1. We can’t stand serial callers and/or bugaboo candidates. These are those candidates who call every day for a status on their application as if something has changed. It is even that candidate who decides your word isn’t good enough so they put their investigative chops to work and find your boss’s name and number.
  2. We loath VIP hires. You know who VIP hires are. This is the clerk the CEO met at CVS while picking up a prescription who was so pleasant and knowledgeable that now he wants you to hire him as the chief of radiology with just a high school diploma. This is a headache because they claim to want quality hires and people who mesh well with the culture. You spent all of five minutes with this person. How do they know they will fit in? Let’s not forget that he is nowhere near qualified for the job he wants me to hire him for … how do I work around that?
  3. The M.I.A. hiring manager. This would be those hiring managers who open a job and if you’re lucky you may speak to them once or not at all. You go along merrily creating the job description, posting the job description, and even getting some good candidates. The interview process is about to commence and you are calling and emailing and emailing and calling to no avail. The hiring manager is M.I.A. Who gets the blame? The recruiter, of course. We get ridiculous responses from our superiors like “how many times did you call him?” Or, “try e-mailing her again.” My favorite is: “You don’t want them to say you didn’t try to reach out to them; let’s c.y.a. and keep calling and e-mailing them.” Really?!
  4. The bad hire. This is the scenario where you did everything a good recruiter would do. You met with the hiring manager to go over the needs and the recruitment plan. You crafted a masterful job description to attract the best candidate. You then posted the position and got dozens maybe even hundreds of qualified candidates. You interviewed thoroughly; the hiring manager interviewed the candidates; you even checked the background and references on the final candidate. But, alas, the candidate came and left before their benefits kicked in. Who’s fault is it? Surely, the recruiter did something wrong during the process that caused this person to leave.
  5. The tale of “time-to-fill” ratios. Let’s say I have 50 positions to fill. I’m required to fill all positions in 60 days or less so my boss doesn’t get his/her behind chewed. Let’s also consider some of the scenarios above. I have a job, plenty of candidates, some relentless candidates that think they are the best fit for the job, the M.I.A. hiring manager, and just for fun, this vacancy happens to exist because of that “bad” hire. Why now do you have to be grilled about why a few of your vacancies have exceeded your 60-day threshold for filling positions? There is way too much emphasis put on the physical number when the focus should be the plentiful nuisance variables that impact that ratio.

If you are recruiter, you are either laughing heartily or cringing right now. As recruiters we are the first interaction a candidate has with a company. Most of these scenarios become part of the routine after awhile. We try to put our best foot forward, but we are only human. If other HR disciplines have their gripes and air them out, why shouldn’t we? For those of you who are new to recruitment, I send you a hearty welcome and my strength for when you deal with these inevitable situations. Good luck!

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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