Let’s Turn Around the Perception of the Talent Field

I decided to write this after reading seeing a post on a website called Blind. A few weeks ago someone asked for some advice on how to show appreciation for a recruiter who they have worked with. Apparently showing appreciation for a recruiter is not very popular these days. The post got a bunch of negative replies, including the much dreaded “recruiters are cancer.”

Why do recruiters have such a terrible reputation? 

What have they done to deserve this terrible statement?

Are recruiters evil?

Why do they have such a bad reputation?

Although many of us have the chance to work with recruiters throughout our lives in critical life decisions, we rarely remember them as those who have helped us get an opportunity. Perhaps we more often think of them as those who have taken opportunities away. This may explain the “cancer” sentiment.

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Recruiters are perceived as gatekeepers. Statistically speaking, more candidates are rejected than accepted. A lot of us walk around scarred, ego shattered. We remember at least one recruiter who we thought made one big mistake. 

The majority of recruiters I know have the interests of the candidate in mind. They want to make it work for both sides. The recruiters I know take pride in their jobs. Many of them see their work as a calling. Most of the recruiters I know are incredibly humane and highly invested in making things better.

We still have a long way to go in means of improving our reputation as recruiters and improving our public image. We should ask ourselves what can we do to change the perception of our field. I hope that in the future, candidates should not have to apologize for thanking their recruiter and could do so openly without being reprimanded. 

Efrat Dagan joined Lyft to head the talent-acquisition team in the autonomous vehicles division. Previously she managed staffing teams for Google in EMEA and in the U.S. for over a decade. In her last role at Google she was a global staffing leader at headquarters. Earlier she led staffing for six of Google’s offices in Europe, including Israel, Russia, and Northern Europe. She has also managed recruiting for WAZE since it has been acquired in 2013. She has been selected as one of Israel’s Most Prominent Human Resources Leaders in 2014. She speaks and writes about the Future of Work, and she is an advisor to professionals, entrepreneurs, and companies.