Click play to listen to the rant.

101 Questions Way
Assumption Avenue

April 2023

Dear Recruiter,

I know that you’ve read with interest a thousand opening lines. But please excuse my ranting, I can’t stop my fingers from typin’, ‘cause the straw has broken the back, and I’m pissed off.

And before you start, I know you’re ‘not like other recruiters’. It’s not like you’ve scoured the keywords for the perfect candidate for the role that includes the jobs of a thousand people.

Your performance is judged on volume, not suitability. Afterall, if I had a pound for every time I heard that phrase, I would be retired with a yacht in the Bahamas, and we would never have met.

This isn’t me ignoring the stresses and strains that you’re under. But, have you ever considered the experiences you’re giving me, the candidate?

Job hunting is like going six rounds with Mike Tyson, except you’re knocked out in the second, and the fight still goes on. Then you, the recruiter, appear and disappear in an instant. A fleeting light of hope, gone.

The commission dice have been rethrown. But this isn’t a craps table you’re betting on, it’s people’s livelihoods you’re fucking around with.

It’s a two-way process

I’m not writing as a recruitment expert. I’m writing as an expert in recruiter experience. I know the pressures you’re under. The KPIs of the candidate pipeline you must ensure is continuously flowing. The prerequisites and assurances that you need.

But, why do you think this only applies to you?

I know this may be hard to hear, but it’s a two-way process.

I have to have trust and have faith that the role you’re saying is the best thing since sliced bread, actually is, the best thing since sliced bread.

I’m not going to take your word for it, I too, need assurances. I’ve been hurt before.

Once the commission cheque comes in, we’ll just part ways. We’ve both been down this road before. We know the routine. You’re all over me in the beginning, then I’m left wondering why don’t we talk anymore?

You’ve moved on. You’ve found someone else. These things happen. That’s life. Let’s not pretend and hide from the reasons behind it. Your client preferred the candidate with the two side hustles and a Keynote.

Yet, have no doubt, ghosting people isn’t just unprofessional, it’s just fucking rude. You know what’s worse? I know I’m not the only one you’re doing this to. That’s why I’ve written this letter.

It takes two

Job hopping is good. Job hopping is bad. I’ve ranted before about the forgotten nuances. Especially when you preach the importance of wellbeing but have no idea on how it manifests in people.

God forbid someone has moved around. We’re not all incompetent and untrustworthy. But you don’t care. Your client has come back to you and said they have concerns about the job-hopping, so instead of reiterating the reasoning, your mind has gone into selective recall mode.

You’re no longer arguing my corner, you’re worried about your own rep. I get it. But do you even remember what we talked about?

The toxic working environment, my family’s health, the deaths, my previous recruiter relationship? You know, the one that lied about what the job actually was? I can’t keep explaining myself to you. It’s obvious you haven’t shown them my portfolio or online testimonies. Remember, it takes two to job hop.

If only someone knew the difference between a Marketing Ninja and a Marketing Magician

The fact that I didn’t have <insert name> tool on my CV, or I wasn’t a Marketing Ninja in a previous life. I know that you were looking for the Ninja skills for the role of Chief Marcomm Magician and I get that you were struggling to see how being a generalist marketer was relatable, but I’m just as confused with the naming conventions as you are.

If only someone was well placed to advise and guide companies on the jurisdiction, description, titles, and salary of roles. Just imagine that.

It would make your job so much easier and let me know what I’m actually getting into.

Plus, I find it difficult to do the work of an entire agency for 50% less than what I was earning before. I have to put food on the table and find the time to buy it.

We all deserve closure

I know this comes across as selfish. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection lately.

Just know, it’s not me, it’s you.

The confusion you cause when you arrange to make a call and it doesn’t happen. Or when I went to the final interview 3 months ago and still don’t know if I got the role.

What was I supposed to think? Could you at least not send me one little email to tell me? I need this closure. We move on.

Look I know, I understand it’s complicated from your side. The fraud, the spam, the fact-checking, and verifications, and that’s just before you pick up the phone from scraping the job boards (don’t worry, I won’t say anything).

Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s just your job. You’re the connector of clients and great candidates, I just don’t want you to forget that your responsibility lies with both parties. You’re a representative of the client you’re recruiting for, and your actions are your client’s reputation. So, as you read this, know that your professionalism matters just as much as mine.

The experiences and knowledge of the sector you’re recruiting for, matters. Because despite the zeitgeist, it’s a two-way process, from application to probation.

We will meet again

If you take anything from this, remember that I am a fighter too. My ambitions and drive will enable me to climb the ladder. Our paths will cross again, but please, don’t expect a warm hug. These memories won’t fade.

I’m not one to just rant and leave. It’s not my style. I’m a dots connector, I’m a systems thinker, and a methodical practitioner. And I know these buzzwords are not on your radar, but trust me, these are the attributes that get redemption from the fire starter. I don’t just fight their fires.

So let me use these skills to clear the smoke for you. Let that daylight shine through. Because as with the blue skies, they bring new thinking:

  • Ask better questions. Stop the assumptions. Looking for HubSpot experience? Ask if they’ve used a CRM system and explore in what capacity. Skills are transferable.
  • Can’t tell one Marketing Ninja from a Head of Marketing? Talk to your clients about job titles, job descriptions, and naming conventions. Be the driver for standards. Being a Ninja requires a particular set of skills. Ones which are acquired over a very long career. Skills that are a nightmare for people outside of the office…
  • Your client didn’t like me? That’s fine. I can take it. We’ll move on. But tell me. Even if it’s the same, templated message you send to all your other candidates. I’d like to know.
  • But, most importantly of all, please accept that the role just isn’t right for me. I’ve done my homework. I went to the interview. I’ve made MY decision. Maybe if you fed back what I told you, your client could change. Find the person that’s right for them. We all deserve a second chance.

I know there are recruiters, and then there are recruiters. The latter is nearly impossible to find, and you can’t know what you don’t know.

And without knowing, it’s impossible to do better.

On behalf of job hunters everywhere,
Yours faithfully,

Share your thoughts

Do you have any sentiments you would like to share? Have any stories of your own about your recruiter experience? Let me know in the comments below, send me a tweet @CJPanteny, or get in touch.

And if you liked this blog, don’t forget to share it on your socials and bask in its ranty goodness.

See you next time.

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