Informal Survey: 1 In 10 IT Recruiting Inquiries Do Not Suck

MinneBar 9Frankly I could have written this anytime the past two years, but I was hoping that as more of our industry talks about best practices in using social media and best ways to promote “employer brands” or “recruiter brands,” that things would get better.

I was wrong.

Really, really wrong.

This past weekend I spoke twice at MinneBar, a 1,000+ attendee Minneapolis tech event hosted at Best Buy headquarters.

During my IT career maintenance presentation, I asked the following question:

“Out of 10 inquiries via email, phone, social media, and LinkedIn, how many of them do not suck?”

The room of 90+ IT pros erupted in laughter.

1 out of 10 was the answer.

One … out … of … 10.

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This is the same response rate I received two years ago, last year, and at IT user groups I have attended throughout the year.

I’m not writing this to give you a bunch of “best practices.”

I am posting this to raise a really large, very visible red flag that likely what you are doing is not just falling on deaf ears but pushing away the folks you are trying to attract.

My suggestion is to take a look at the “message” you are sending and ask yourself this question:

If you were receiving this would you reply … is this any different than the other 1, 5, or 10 messages that will be received this week?

Paul DeBettignies, better known online as Minnesota Headhunter, is a Minnesota Recruiter, Evangelist, and Advisor, who builds teams with startups and tech companies, and creates recruiting strategies for Fortune 500 clients. He’s also the author of Minnesota Headhunter, the longest running regional recruiter blog.

Paul is a frequent local and national speaker, trainer and subject matter expert on recruiter, HR, career, networking and social media topics. Activities include presentations at Twin Cities Startup Week, Google for Entrepreneurs, Michigan Recruiters Conference, MN HR Tech Expo, Social Media Breakfast, University of Minnesota, Target, CHS, MinneBar and ERE and interviews with NPR, WCCO AM (CBS) Radio & TV, KARE TV (NBC), MSP Business Journal, Minneapolis StarTribune and

Paul is involved in the Minneapolis and St Paul technology, marketing, and social media communities as a sponsor, volunteer, and mentor and is the founder of Midwest Recruiting Bootcamp.




34 Comments on “Informal Survey: 1 In 10 IT Recruiting Inquiries Do Not Suck

  1. I couldn’t agree more, Paul.

    I start my 5 Candidate Drivers of Recruitment Messaging sessions with everyone standing and raising their right hand. I tell them that the room is a safe place and to repeat after me:

    “I, ______________ have previously written a recruiting message that sucked.”

    I would love to collaborate on a presentation specifically for tech recruitment messaging(that doesn’t suck) if you’re up for it.

  2. It’s a good question to ask, but unfortunately the survey is informal and ultimately useless. Can recruiters even address the issues that lead to the messages sucking? If people are unhappy with things like companies being confidential and/or there not being salary information in the initial communication, which are common complaints I hear, I can certainly understand that, but I don’t think those things will change any time soon, and it’s an issue no one addresses or pushes on the ‘thought leader’ side. I don’t see any ‘influencers’ saying to companies, “You should be open and honest about salaries from the start, and set a rate commensurate with the type of employee you’d like to hire.”

    Now that would seem like a basic thing to have covered, but that only shows the naivety that most recruiters and ‘thought leaders’ have about how companies actually work. The reality is they’re always looking for more than they can afford, which isn’t necessarily bad because reality asserts itself whether they like it or not. Everyone wants the best deal they can get. However, the real reason for holding salary info confidential is so the person already employed by the company and getting a low salary doesn’t get pissed and demand a raise, or realize they’re too comfortable and leave for more money. Internally you will usually have people with similar jobs, responsibilities, and outputs, but wildly divergent salaries, and companies don’t want to lose the people who produce at X salary level but get paid 50% of X.

    So, it’s an issue that won’t be addressed, and will continue to make communications ‘suck’ because instead of being open and honest everyone has to do this ridiculous dance around one of the most important aspects of the process that really should be addressed up front.

  3. Richard, I think the point is not to try and sell the job as something it’s not. If the company isn’t paying ‘market,’ then they should be talking about the other benefits to working there. And preferably those that matter most to the prospective candidates.

    It’s very similar to the Price – Quality – Speed comparison for consumer goods. You can have one or two of them, but it’s not bloody likely for you to offer all three at once.

  4. @ Richard: Well-said.

    @ Bryan: I think the problem is that hiring managers, etc. want us to go after people far better than their pathetic has-been, also-ran, or wannabe companies can reasonably expect to get. They’re encouraged in their delusions and senses of entitlement (instead of either improving what they have or going after the very best they CAN expect to get) by the legions of shills, sycophants, and suck-ups who play into their vanity by telling them what they want to hear instead of what they need to do.


  5. Bryan,

    I agree, don’t sell the job as what it isn’t. Most jobs are just that though: jobs. Nine to five gigs with no life or world changing consequences or opportunities. Which puts most honest pitches in the zone of, “Employer Z, which is very much like employers A through Y, is offering a job very much like the ones offered by those other companies, with roughly the same comp and no particularly stunning or different benefits or working conditions or opportunities.”

    Most companies who aren’t paying a market wage also aren’t likely offering much else in terms of comp. In theory they can offer benefits with little to no cost to them but which people value. But, as a practical matter the companies that pay lower than most also are less open to alternative ideas than most. Try telling a guy who insists you can get a person for position X for 50K a year when every one you find who meets his requirements is making 80K or more that he should consider letting people work from home. It’s not happening, because low ball salaries are usually the result of poor internal practices and a mentality toward employees that doesn’t normally lead to enticing benefits in other areas than salary. Put another way, there’s a reason they’re paying lower than everyone else, and it’s not because they’re innovative or forward looking.

    And I see you put market in quotes in your response. However, there is a market wage; like all goods and services, labor is priced on a market. If you walk into a deli demanding to pay 4 dollars for a sandwich when they charge, and most people in the area are willing to pay, 8 dollars, you won’t get a sandwich. Maybe there’s a cheaper option, but you don’t magically get a hoagie for half price just because you want one; it’s a mutual exchange and both parties have to agree on the rate. For some reason people understand this concept of pricing with regard to every good and service available on the market, except labor.

  6. I agree, Richard. The word market was in quotes because it’s always relative to what the other people in line are willing to pay. Skill level, responsibilities and geography change what that rate can and should be.

    Smart hiring organizations know when monetary compensation isn’t the main driver for their talent pool.

  7. All of the above is fine and dandy but we need to take a deeper look into what the “real” problem is. Thousands of unqualified and untrained recruitment “professionals” join recruiting agencies or set up their own shops every year. The only qualification required to enter into our industry is that your parents gave you a first and last name and that you have access to a phone. Our recruitment industry is growing faster and stooping lower than the used car sales business. Folks, at the end of the day is a simple universal truth…trash in, trash out. It is time for our industry to get professionalized and regulated, like CPAs, Attorneys, Physicians. This will raise the bar on quality of recruiters and the services and messages they deliver.

  8. “Smart hiring organizations know when monetary compensation isn’t the main driver for their talent pool.”

    I think the smart ones will realize that money is almost always the main driver. Additional benefits will differentiate a company, they can’t compensate for a less than adequate salary which is how they are often positioned. No matter how convenient it is, working from home can’t pay mortgage or rent. Only money will do that. Salary will not be noted as a primary driver as long as it’s there and adequate, its absence will be a primary deterrent to attracting people.

    Adriana, I find that lack of barriers to entry a good thing. I want people with ideas coming in as fast as possible to question the status quo. As a consequence though, you have to accept the good with the bad. I’m not against voluntary certifications, I just don’t expect them any time soon. There are too many sales types in the industry who would have been used car salesmen in another time. Accountability and standards are not the friend of such types, or low performers who want to cruise. And, company cultures differ so much, and many of them are down right horrible, and trust me, they don’t want to be rated/judged. Part of having recruiting standards would, on both the agency and corporate side, involve having standards as to how the client/company behaves. That simply will not be tolerated unless it is forced on companies.

  9. @ Bryan: As the saying goes:
    “It’s not that money makes everything good, it’s that no money makes everything bad.”

    @ Adriana: IMHO, required certification enables a group to keep itself safe from competition, in the guise of “protecting the public ” or “protecting the customer”. Personally, I welcome the influx of large numbers of the incompetent and sleazy- it helps make me look good by comparison. I also welcome the shills, sycophants, and suck-ups who pander to their customers’ vanity by collecting healthy sums for telling those same customers what they want to hear.

    @ Richard: Once again you said what I wanted to, only better than OI could.

  10. @Richard,
    I agree, absence of money makes it an issue. I didn’t say money wasn’t a driver. But if you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s not at the top. If it were, then all recruiting conversations would be over once the salary was determined. They’re not.

    I realize no one recruits in a vacuum. But no one makes the decision to take a job offer in one either. Other factors are ALWAYS at play, some to a lesser degree.

    Let’s say market for a specific role is $100K/yr. If your company/client tops out at 85 or 90K for comp, something else has to balance out.

    If your company only offers $50K, no amount of other benefits (Career Advancement, Culture, Innovation) will balance out. They will always be fighting the money game.

    We’re talking about close competition, not knives at a gun fight.

  11. “[I]f you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s not at the top.”

    First, sorry about the italics, I messed up the html code and didn’t close a tag correctly.

    While I respect the attempt to systematize human need, I don’t believe it, and there is work contradicting Maslow. It would not surprise me to find that in a society dominated by corporate interests that the dominant theory is that salary isn’t a priority for people. In my experience it’s the primary driver, but because of social mores it’s just not mentioned. Most companies have convinced people it’s just wrong or socially unacceptable to speak about salary. It’d be ridiculous if you approached any other price in the same way, like you had to spend hours discussing the nuances of the taste of Coke before you offered to pay 75 cents for it and the guy demanded $1.50. And then if you didn’t buy, he’d turn to the proverbial camera and wink and say, “Don’t worry, the price isn’t the main driver in his decision…” I think this is a text book case of, as Keith says, people getting paid to tell other people what they want to hear.

    I certainly agree with your gun fight analogy, but the problem I’m seeing is more and more people are bringing knives to the gun fight, and more importantly they’re not realizing it’s an issue. Nor is anyone really willing to tell them it’s an issue. I think as an industry it’s time we banded together and told companies to get their $%^* together, and to start realizing people have bills to pay, mortgages and rent, utilities and food, and that if their salaries come up short their employees can’t simply write, “But I work for Google,” on a check and expect the bank that holds their mortgage or their landlord to say, “Oh, damn, I was expecting money, but this guy has a lot of job satisfaction and self actualization going on, so I guess he doesn’t have to pay me …”

    Nor are these companies even bringing anything else to the table. Most alternative benefits or comps you hear of like flexible hours, work from home, and other random benefits like free food, etc., are phantasms. Most companies don’t offer them, only a very, very few do. People write them up, point out how ‘innovative’ it is to actually trust employees and treat them like human beings as opposed to robots. Most CEOs and owners nod and mutter approval, and then go right back to work where they demand their salaried employees punch in and out like factory workers. And while these upper ups get three or four weeks of vacation time a year, and often more, to lounge around and all kinds of flexibility to leave early and ‘work from home’ to handle their doctor appointments and kid issues with no HR drone to recommend they be fired once they go over their allotted PTO time by one minute, they wonder why their employees can’t seem to get by with a week of vacation and two sick/personal days.

    Or, more to the point, they wonder why their recruiting message is deemed to suck, never considering the possibility that it sucks because what they’re offering actually does suck. Or at least it isn’t standing out because it’s pretty standard. So my point would be that a reality check is a hell of a lot more valuable and productive, to us as professionals and them as companies, than a new pitch to sell the same old position.

    You want to truly sell a position? Follow these steps:

    1) Define what needs to be done, not who you think should do it. Demand your managers do their job and define work rather than blather on about personalities and chemistry. The only standard that really matters is performance.

    2) Do a salary survey, find out what the work is worth on the market.

    3) Align your budget with that. If you can’t afford it, then accept a lower standard or accept an extended recruitment process with no guarantee of a result, because you’re not willing to pay for it.

    5) Then, start your recruitment effort.

    You’d be surprised how resonant your recruiting messaging is when you’re aiming it at the right people and willing to pay them the salary they’re looking for, and you’re up front about that. Nor can we as recruiters, whether we’re agency or corporate, continue to write recommendations and outlining processes that assume all the basics like a market salary are there and covered when they almost never are. Our processes and recommendations should always be based on reality, not on some ideal theoretical situation that never really happens.

  12. Richard,
    First off, bonus points for the longest comment.

    Secondly, we will agree to disagree on the importance of other factors behind the employment decision.

    What we will agree on it seems, is that the message will fall flat every time if it’s selling snake oil. The job has to deliver on the employment promise consistently to be compelling. And unfortunately, most recruiters aren’t in control of that requirement.

    The good news? We’re in control of where we work as recruiters.

  13. More to the point, can we answer Keith’s initial question: what defines a good message?

    I seriously doubt I’m the only one who notices that every candidate is interested in what the salary range is, and almost no one wants to communicate it to them up front. Looking back on some of the emails and communications I’ve had over the years, the primary point coming up at the start of every process is salary. No one wants to go through a whole interview process, or even a short phone screen, and then hear the salary range is 10-20K lower than what they’re getting now.

    Now, we know the average company is average, and reality dictates they’re not offering any of these other miraculous benefits like significant differences in health care or work life balance, work from home, etc., that would truly differentiate them from other companies. Those options are just not on the table most of the time. So, the primary driver is going to be the annual salary in most cases.

    And it’s the one issue companies want to avoid like the plague, and they always want more for their money than they can realistically get, which means… salaries are generally always coming up short relative to market. So unless companies do start offering these other benefits and we can position them as such, it’s on us as recruiters to tell them when they’re failing because they’re not willing to pay. Which is way more often than not.

    Now I deal with this in my own way; I do what I want and ignore instructions. I always tell the range to candidates when I have it, I let them know the range I’m submitting at when clients don’t tell me specifically what they want to pay. And you know what? My pipelines are littered with people who turned me down initially in the first few minutes because the salary was too low. This has held for my last three positions, essentially for the last decade of my career.

    It’d be hard for me not to notice this as a trend.

  14. Bryan,

    We are in control of where we work and how we ourselves work, which is the biggest plus in our favor. I think the issue is the industry as a whole dictates a lot of these standards, and if we work in that industry it gets harder and harder to find people willing to work to ours. Nor would I even define it as a superior standard, just different.

    As for the length of comment, ideas take space to articulate sometimes. I’d not so humbly say my comment is likely more informative than a blog post which essentially says 90% of your recruiting efforts suck, but we won’t say why or define what doesn’t suck.

    The majority of complaints I hear and read center on salary being undisclosed, and low when it is disclosed, and jobs that are… jobs. The first is something we as an industry can deal with if sales people can just start not accepting every REQ that comes their way and partnering with companies by letting them know when they’re coming up short relative to market as soon as possible. That’s not likely to happen, but it could if enough people called BS when appropriate.

    As for the second problem, I recommend reading Camus or Nietzsche, and just dealing with it. Life is not glamorous by and large, it’s just getting stuff done. So are most jobs we’re selling.

  15. Paul, this is a great article. I’d love to be a part of a presentation for IT recruiters. @Adriana, I agree with you too, the industry needs professional recruiters, selling the right job to the right people. I think there is nothing worse than getting a call that sounds “shady” because the recruiter can’t tell the candidate anything about the job so it seems like they are just mass calling/messaging people without even looking at their backgrounds.

  16. While it would be great to say that salary isn’t the top consideration, it is 100 percent of the time.

    We work to get paid.

    I don’t know one person who, if their employer said “oops, we’re out of money, you’ll be unpaid for the foreseeable future” wouldn’t start looking for another job or collect umemployment and hang on the couch watch Ellen instead.

    Are there other critical factors? Of course. As recruiters we have to find that balance. But trying to convince your clients and candidates that cool benefits (aka free food) really make up for it is folly. Food doesn’t pay the rent. Unless you are a chef.

  17. @ Richard:”Our processes and recommendations should always be based on reality, not on some ideal theoretical situation that never really happens.”
    You’ll never be a (self-proclaimed) “Recruiting Thought Leader” with an attitude like that. Also, you might like Meditations by Marcus Aurelius- not Existentialist or “Nietzchean” but Stoic.

    @ Everybody: if a company’s managers/recruiters are sincere in getting the best type of people they can REALISTICALLY expect to hire, they should use this ( something similar to calculate what level those people are at, and then proceed as Richard indicated. If a company ISN’T willing to be realistic, then it’s probably like most companies who hire us. You’ve been warned…

  18. “I’d not so humbly say my comment is likely more informative than a blog post which essentially says 90% of your recruiting efforts suck, but we won’t say why or define what doesn’t suck.”

    Thank you, Richard. I’m glad I’m not the only one offended by the original blog post. What a nice message! “You suck”, but no examples of why or how to fix it. I expect more from ERE.

  19. This is such a great validation, Paul and thanks for sharing it. Candidates are VERY irritated at recruiters. I hear this every day. One thing I would start with, is that if you are lucky enough to speak with a candidate, try spending some real time with them and talk about what they want to do, not about the job you want to fill. And if you can’t do that, at least have some self control and don’t contact people that aren’t even a close match to those jobs.

    I know that I’m one of the lucky ones because the ratios of candidates returning my calls or emails is quite high. They often tell me the stories of other recruiters contacting them. @Keith, I’m with you. Let those recruiters who can’t communicate a message that means something continue to make those of us who are good, stand out.

    My biggest frustration as a recruiter over the past 4 years has been being lumped in to being just like all the rest of those recruiters that @Adriana, you describe.

  20. @ Stephanie,

    Yes, that’s reality. Everything is decided on the margins, and those other aspects of work do have value to people, but direct value. We want them for ourselves, they can’t be used to pay the bills.

    I believe our industry, encompassing recruiting and HR, has been overly accommodating and obsequious to clients/companies, and quite the opposite to candidates and employees. They are our customers as much as the clients and companies we work for, without them we have no placements or employees regardless of how many jobs need to be filled. And yet I routinely hear phrases like “lucky to have a job,” etc., and benefits, work life balance, and pay, are stagnant or down/negative in relative and real terms, and dramatically so in some cases. Until our industry gets it across that no one is any more ‘lucky’ to have a job than their employer is ‘lucky’ to have an employee, dissatisfaction will be the norm. With regard to methods, you can’t ignore the middle and left hand portion of the bell curve, they exist and affect the way things are done. If we educated people based on how everyone with an IQ over 120 learned we’d fail because majority is not in that group. Hiring successfully in general means you can’t just work with the A+ companies, you have to help the B and C ones mostly, and even occasionally work with the D and F ones, though you try to avoid it.

    @ Claudia,

    Validation of what, that 90% sucks? Some of those people would put you, and all of us posting here, in that category. Without knowing why, it’s useless info. Your advice is sound though, I always want to know what people actually want careerwise. I’ve not been able to work with anyone I’ve spoken to today so far because I know what I have on offer is not what they want. It’s what those of us who care do.

  21. @ Todd,

    All the recommendations made there are what I’d definitely consider basics, especially for a LinkedIn inmail. I think these people were likely responding to more of a mass mailing approach. And I can understand their thinking such messaging sucks, but it also has its place because it can be effective.

  22. @Richard, yes – It is validating. I often use the 80/20 rule: 20% of recruiters are good, and 80% of recruiters suck. To see those numbers be 90% of recruiters suck – means there is hope for the 10% of us who don’t. LOL. Your points aren’t going un-noticed – I do agree so many seminars these days don’t focus on more specifics. Todd provides some helpful advice for inmails as well, although that verbiage isn’t what I’ve found works either. I’d be glad to share what has worked for me – Linked In tells me that my response rate is quite high at 35% – just contact me directly at or call me.

  23. Hey Friends, a little slow to add some comments here. Sorry about that…

    – My question was not specific to search firm/consulting firm recruiters. Corporate recruiters and HR pros are just as guilty on this. The only difference being the corporate recruiter is being obvious about who the position is with and most of the time location.

    – Tone of the post was meant to be negative. Frankly, I suggest this is common sense. If you would not reply to what you are sending out that’s a pretty good tip you should not be sending it out. I had hoped that the message from people some of us are recruiting would help even if it is bad news.

    Our industry is talking about how LinkedIn is not as effective as it used to be, email is returned less, job boards are dead and no one returns phone calls. My thought is the communication tools are not the problem… how things are being communicated is the problem.

    And please note… I did not and they did not say recruiters suck. The inquiries do.

    For those I offended odds are you are not the ones who need a rude awakening.

    @Keith as Todd posted I am coming up with some tips in a next post.

    @Bryan “collaborate on a presentation” simple answer, I’m in.

    @Richard To your point about company name and salary. If a search firm I get why we can’t/don’t name the client. As for salary, I think we should be posting it. I apologize my tone on this next line but I am sincere… I don’t think “thought leaders” talk about this because they have not practiced this in some time. If they were recruiting, engaging with candidates they might learn it’s an issue.

    Instead of “market” or “depends on experience” I put the salary range. And the usual response I get from our colleagues is that of course then candidates want the top range. I have not found that to be the case. Maybe my situation is unique.

    @Adriana I agree that we have A LOT folks coming into this space (search and corporate) recruiters who are inexperienced. Another word would be clueless. Saying that… I was one of those in October of 1997 and I like to think I turned out OK. It is an issue and I see how the companies (search and corporations) are having their reputations damaged because of it.

    Salary: to the conversation between Richard and Bryan and remember I recruit IT pros in Minnesota so maybe the sample pool is not what it needs to be for this… salary is #1 for about 30% and the rest it is #3 – #5. LOTS of things come into this including type of work, product or service, management, work/life balance (any why is work always listed first?), location, benefits. I have a startup and our salaries are barely market rate and very little equity is available. IT pros will take a lateral or cut in pay because what is being built… the technology being used is wicked cool, work hours are flexible, the management team are really good people, etc.

    @Jessica thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. I am working on a recruiter training here in Minneapolis. As I get further along with it I will reach out to you and see if you can/want to participate. Hey, it’s snowing out (said with a lot of sarcasm)

  24. @ Claudia,

    Looks like mine is around 25%. I’ve got almost universally positive feedback though, which is nice.

    @ Paul,

    “My thought is the communication tools are not the problem… how things are being communicated is the problem.”

    I agree. I don’t see it changing though. I put the range in as well. If they ask for the top, I talk with them. If they’re worth it, I present them with it. I think some recruiters get worried that they’ll contact someone who is at say 50K, the position pays up to 80K, they ask for that, and issues ensue. To me they’re non issues though. If the candidate is over reaching I let them know. But more often than not they’ve been in the position for a long time, and are just now reaching out and finding out their skill set can command a lot more. However, when the company finds out their previous salary, they refuse to pay them much more even if the skill set in question legitimately commands that much on the market. To me, that’s shady. It means someone was under payed before, and they want to continue that and under pay them in perpetuity.

    At my last position, which was corporate, I did make some headway in this area and eventually got most people to admit Job X is worth $Y salary, and it doesn’t matter what the candidate got before, if it was less or more; $Y is what the position’s product is worth to us. It opened up doors you wouldn’t believe, and closed a few, like senior people who wanted to cruise to retirement. But overall, it worked great.

    Most companies will not do that. Previous and current salaries are indicators, they aren’t rock solid indicators. Nor do they necessarily mean what that person was worth to their previous company is what they are worth to you, here and how. They may not have valued project managers, you may critically need them.

    But that approach requires planning most don’t want to do.

  25. @ Everyone: As a contract recruiter, I’m very frequently on the candidate side of things. I HOPE (but do not expect) for professionalism, civility, and courtesy- nothing more. I try to give what I hope to receive. IMHO, if a candidate is EXPECTING more than this, then they are better left alone, because they have a sense of entitlement which doesn’t do well.

    As far as what percentage of recruiters “suck”: I think it’s only meaningful as to whether you or I do. How many who do suck will admit it? I THINK I don’t, and I know that (so far) I don’t suck at being able to find clients who’ll pay me to work for them, and I’ve been able to do that for almost 20 years, knock wood.


  26. Thanks @Richard –
    @ Paul – as an 18 year recruiting veteran, I’m surprised you’re not interested in hearing anything from me in your requests to collaborate with others.

  27. @Richard Do you think candidates look at you different… in a better light because you put out salary info, in any form, for them to see? I think the answer is yes. Sure we weed some people out but I like it when someone send me a note saying this is not for them, here is what would be and if I hear of something to let them know. It surely helps with relationship building, right? Maybe it helps me justify doing it.

    @Keith I agree those are the minimums that we as job seekers would expect. Certainly hope for. I’m not sure I agree about the entitlement part. I don’t see it that way. I see the messages they are receiving for jobs they don’t do, are not qualified for, are not their career path, asking for referrals without any sort of pre existing relationship, etc. I too would expect whoever is contacting me has something that is in the ballpark of what I may be looking for. Compound that with the number of messages received and I too would stop replying or hit delete.

    @Claudia Because I see Bryan online about once an hour (slightly joking) and we have both tried to find a way to work together on an event (we have common ties with the Social media Breakfast community and recruiting)… and because Jessica helps with the IT recruiting at HealthPartners (and I see her online a few times a week) it makes complete sense I would accept their invitation. I had part of an email written to send to you so we could catch up as it has been a long time since we last had an exchange. I thought would be more appropriate.

  28. I think it’s exactly the same as their reaction to salaries at work. When it’s there, they’re satisfied but won’t mention it. When it’s not there, they get annoyed. I think they view it as a basic, it should be there, and will note when it isn’t. I have had people mention it though, and specifically say thanks for including it, so some notice and respond. Overall I think it helps tremendously because it weeds people out. The relationship building you mention is exactly as it should happen.

    I think recruiters who are ‘sales’ oriented get into an over bearing, often times obnoxious approach that’s a really old school, boiler room type attitude. People do not like to feel forced or coerced or pushed. Nor do they like sales pitches. They want honesty first and foremost, and information to base a decision on. One thing I’ve heard, more often than I should, from some people is that they go through more than one interview and still don’t know what the hell the position is about or what the company is like, because everyone is so busy trying to close! that they never give a direct answer to a question. I give the same advice to candidates as managers, which is ATFQ. It stands for answer the $%^&ing question. And including at least a range of salary up front preempts questions by providing answers up front to questions you know will be asked.

    I disagree with Keith in that it’s a sense of entitlement to want civility etc., but I agree with him that people shouldn’t expect it. I think people in general should start demanding it, both in the hiring process and when they’re employed. It’s just been the norm for so long for employers to not meet that standard, when in fact they should. How people are treated is part of their compensation. And if they’re treated poorly, it’s actually negative compensation that detracts from anything else they’re getting.

  29. @ Paul: I’m afraid that the inevitable price of being desired is having lots of undesirable people come after you. Let’s take it into a different realm than recruiting: dating. Suppose a given person is a real babe/hunk- EVERYBODY wants them, not only similarly attractive people but real losers (in any way). How do you get the real losers (who may/may not think of themselves that way- but PROBABLY don’t) from going after the babe/hunk (well, they could use something like my CDS tool above modified for dating, but they probably won’t)?

    @Richard: I may have been unclear. I think people ARE entitled to civility, professionalism. etc. I also think they AREN’T entitled to being spoon fed:
    “You know, I’ve just spent 6 hours researching you on GitHub, 4 hours on Stack Overflow, and 8 hours reading your submissions/comments on, and I’d like to see if there might be a possibility of someday-down-the-road me telling you about something that might interest you, if you won’t think it a horrible waste of your valuable time, and you won’t think me too forward, Mr. Software Guru, Sir.”

    Folks, even if I WANTED to, I don’t have time- and am too old for that ****.

    Happy Friday, ‘Cruitaz!

  30. @Keith,

    Yes, people need to understand initial contacts will probably be feelers based on keyword searches and other broad methods. Personally I feel this is more of an issue with older candidates, but some younger ones react poorly too. Which is why it’s important to put together standards and communicate them, so people know on an initial call or email, recruiters aren’t going to know their life history. They’re not going to do hours upon hours of research to then hear, “Nah, not interested…”

    And recruiters need to stop BSing about how much time and effort they put into an initial broad search. I put time and effort into candidates who are interested and have potential for my current or future positions. I don’t learn everything about everyone prior to trying to speak with them.

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