Oh dear, I am harsh on recruiters. (Although, incidentally, none has come by here to defend the profession…)
I stumbled upon an obstetrician’s struggle with recruiters.
I started out with enthusiasm about recruiters, and with great hope. Here are these people that have “hundreds” or “thousands of jobs nationwide”, that have “the best jobs”, that “personalize a search for you”, that routinely find “the perfect practice for you”. Great! Call several recruiters, get a great job and start working!
It turned out quite different. I had graduated from one of the large Boston teaching hospitals and wanted to stay locally. And with “locally” I meant really Boston, specifically inside the I-95 ring. So I sent my CV to recruiter after recruiter, but strangely, such a job did not seem to exist. Even the recruiters that advertised jobs with “Enjoy all Boston has to offer” live and work in “the Boston suburbs” never had jobs within the I-95 ring. To my dismay, recruiters defined the “Boston suburbs” very creatively and differently than I did. The suburbs suddenly turned out to be Methuen, Lowell, Lawrence, Framingham, Worcester, Plymouth etc. Driving distances in ads were routinely understated; places advertised as “only 30 minutes from the city” always were an hour away.
Why oh why do this? To attract people who don’t want the job you are offering? Hoping to get someone to “settle” for something? Because as a contract recruiter you are only interested in placement, not retention?
Outsourcing your recruiting seems to be growing in popularity, but I believe it has some unintended consequences–like looking only for placement. If I get paid based on a placement and then walk away, what is my incentive to find a good fit, not just a warm body?
Granted, the hiring manager makes the final hiring decision. But, in this case, the hiring manager’s specialty is obstetrics, not hiring. The expert should be the recruiter.
The best job interview I ever had was done by a former boss. Why? She said, “I’m going to tell you all the problems about working here.” And she did. And there were many, many, many problems. She also told me the perks and what she would do to protect me from the awful politics of the place. I took that job knowing full well what I was getting into.
If she had said everything was peaches and cream I still would have taken the job, I just would have been angry and sullen and prone to leaving as soon as possible.
Recruiters, please note: I took the job even knowing the bad things. In my situation, the good outweighed the bad (which it did and I still work for the same company 6 years later, although in a different department and the problems she spoke about went away after a time anyway).