Why Recruiters Suck: A Confidential Memo

Sometimes the journey to greatness takes a slight detour. It doesn’t matter if you’re an internal corporate recruiter or an outside headhunter?? you know you’re a great recruiter when two things happen:

  1. Your hiring manager clients call you before they have a formal job requisition approved.
  2. Your candidate’s spouse is listening to your advice.

But neither event will happen unless you really have your act together. Let’s start this interesting journey with some in-your-face shock news. We inadvertently got our hands on the following memo. I’ve cleaned it up a bit, but it’s still pretty ugly. These managers might have gone overboard, but from what I understand it was based on surveys of hundreds of line managers across a number of industries on what they really think about us all?? HR, internal recruiters and headhunters. As a first step on the climb to greatness, it’s best to start at the bottom. Confidential Memo. DO NOT COPY OR RESEND Date: Today

To: All Recruiters

Subject: Why You Suck

Article Continues Below

From: Your frustrated clients?? us hiring managers who have to live with your ineptitude

  1. Learn the real job. No matter how many buzzwords you use and how clever you sound, you really don’t know what we’re looking for. It’s not just a pretty face and someone with all of the credentials we’ve listed on the job description. We only tell you that because most of you can just check boxes. Why don’t you spend a day with some of the people you place and find out what the best people really do? Then you’ll stop submitting unqualified candidates for us to waste our time on.
  2. Learn how to assess competency. We might not be as good as we should be at this part, but don’t blame us for all the unqualified people you submit. And don’t ever again mention behavioral interviewing. Find out what the people you send us have done that is so great, and then compare this to what our best people now do. Remember, you just spent a day with them to find out.
  3. Find new methods to locate top candidates, and stop making excuses. We’ve heard all the reasons why you can’t deliver strong candidates?? not enough money, too many skills and requirements, not enough time, bad ads, candidates don’t want to relocate, etc. Enough already! We don’t need to pay for recruiters who can’t find top candidates. This is your #1 job! Get creative. Our best people know other great people. Call them up and get the name of every single person they’ve ever worked with who is good. Then call these people up and convince them to come work for us. If this doesn’t work, get some more names from them and keep calling. Or, try something different. Just stop making excuses.
  4. Get some guts. Stand by your decision and defend it with substance. We don’t care if the candidate has everything listed on the job description. Prove it to us that the candidate is a top player. Most of the time, you’re snowed by a pretty face and some nice experience?? and then you try to snow us. Instead, try finding people who can make it happen and tell us exactly what they did that was so significant. Stop being a wimp.
  5. Stop telling us your time to hire is down. The only thing that’s down is the time to find average people. Big deal. The time to find good people is the same as it always was?? too long. Get a pipeline of top candidates or something. If the Internet is so great, why can’t you find top people faster? Is that Monster thing just a bunch of b.s. after all?
  6. Quality is more important than quantity. We only want to see three or four top people, so stop buying time and sending us sub-par performers. We know this is just a ploy so you can work on some other assignment, or you’re afraid to get on the phone and really dig out top people. If you can’t tell these are sub-par performers you’re sending us, get into some other line of work. Sorry for the directness, but we’re really counting on you to help us get through this. We have some difficult challenges ahead, and we need some top people to help us climb the mountain. We can’t do it without your help. If you take seriously the criticism in this memo, are willing to change your ways and think you can deliver top people consistently, call us immediately. We have a few open assignments we’re trying to get approved, and we desperately need your advice and help. Signed,

    Your Hiring Managers

This memo pretty much covers it all. When your hiring managers call you before they have the requisition approved, it means they trust you to deliver. How many of us can claim this elite status? I’d suggest we take this message to heart. There is frustration, insight, and hope in the pleadings. The Other Client: Your Candidates Now on to our other class of client?? the top candidates you are now, or soon will be, presenting. Here’s a critical point to remember: the best candidates don’t make the hiring decision alone. Accepting a new job for a top candidate is not an individual contributor activity. Not only are more variables considered (things like opportunity for growth, challenges, chance to make an impact, compensation, company health, leadership skills of immediate superior), but they take more time to make it, and they consult with more people. For them a new job is a strategic decision, not a tactical one based solely on compensation, benefits, and the quality of the exercise facilities. So if you’re trying to hustle candidates through the acceptance process, most assuredly you are presenting and placing average candidates. This is the type of recruiters our hiring managers clients were referring to in the above memo. Average candidates consider a new job one of necessity, with getting back on the payroll the dominant decision criteria. For them the acceptance decision is a no-brainer, requiring neither advice nor the counsel of others. Dealing with average candidates is a volume and speed game. Your clients, however, are focusing on quality: high quality candidates and high quality jobs that match needs, abilities, and expectations. This is a different game, and if you want to play you’d better learn the rules. They are clearly spelled out in the memo. This is why the candidate’s spouse is such a good measuring stick. When the candidate’s spouse can confidently tell you why your candidate is going to accept an offer, you know you have provided them with the correct balance of quality information. This is the most important person on your candidate’s advisory team. But only a little bit of the requisite information can come from you. Most must be gleaned during the interviews with the hiring manager. Managers must be able to cover things like complete information about the challenges of the job, the growth opportunities, the team, the available resources, and how the job relates to the company vision and strategy. You need to be able to coach hiring managers through the interview, closing, and assessment process. This is another area where hiring managers desperately need our help. And this is something they didn’t even mention in their memo (boy, they really need do our help, don’t they?). Maybe you should call one right now, and take another step towards becoming a great recruiter.

Lou Adler is the CEO and founder of The Adler Group – a training and search firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring℠. Adler is the author of the Amazon top-10 best-seller, Hire With Your Head (John Wiley & Sons, 3rd Edition, 2007). His most recent book has just been published, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013). He is also the author of the award-winning Nightingale-Conant audio program, Talent Rules! Using Performance-based Hiring to Build Great Teams (2007).

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28 Comments on “Why Recruiters Suck: A Confidential Memo

  1. Lou:

    The memo ?Why Recruiters Suck? fuels the fire of small thinking, pettiness, and rivalry. The statement contributes nothing to relationships or effective communication. Would it be appropriate to write a memo ?Why Human Resources Suck? just because someone has ongoing issues with a certain H/R representatives? Or, would it be appropriate for an ERE reader to write a memo ?Why ERE Authors Suck? based on certain articles that did not capture their interest or approval? Certainly not.

    Building a ?Golden Bridge? to effectively communicate is the responsibility of the originator and not the receiver. Yes, it?s true that great communicators will move beyond the emotion of that statement and open their ears and eyes. Many others will not. ?In-your-face shock news? as it is describe does not build a ?Golden Bridge.? It does however continue fuel the client-vendor mindset.

    There is a much larger issue here. That issue is ?How will Recruiters, Human Resources, Hiring Managers and Client Companies work together and communicate effectively?? There is a communication barrier about how clients and recruiters should work together.

    Let?s flip-flop the issues you covered now:

    The Issue: Learn the real job.
    Another Perspective: Yes, it is certainly true that recruiters need to know what makes one candidate ?crank? for a company vs. someone who is mediocre. YET, many recruiters are intercepted and screened off by H/R. The result is incomplete and/or vague job descriptions. Recruiters too often hear statements such as, ?I don?t have time to meet/talk with you,? and ?I don?t know?you have the job description I emailed to you don?t you?? from H/R and Hiring Managers.

    The Issue: Learn how to assess competency.
    Another Perspective: Many Human Resources, Hiring Managers and Supervisors do not know how to access competency. Nor do the care to learn. ?Just send me some resumes.?

    The Issue: Find new methods to locate top candidates, and stop making excuses.
    Another Perspective: Many recruiters have found when being engaged in a search that there are a number of client companies that do not have an interest in assuming any level of or responsibility to attract and keep top candidates or employees. Unfortunately, and too often, there is little more attracting that candidate to the client?s company other than a sales pitch and a recruiting persona.

    The Issue: Get some guts.
    Another Perspective: Right or wrong, recruiters, who had some guts, subsequently damaged the frail egos of certain hiring managers and H/R professionals and have lost business as a result. Thus recruiters become hypersensitive about making waves. Recruiters do not want to offend and cannot afford to lose a client. Human nature is all to often captured in the phrase, ?A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.?

    The Issue: Stop telling us your time to hire is down.
    Another Perspective: The ?I?ve got to have it now? and the ?Fast Food? mentality has made its way into the mind of reactive-thinking H/R professionals and hiring managers. ?I needed this person yesterday.? What happened to preparedness? Remember when a recruiter called 8 months ago (when you were not hiring) in an effort to discuss your company, challenges, problems, implications, your hiring process, etc., but you didn?t think you needed to talk with them. After all you weren?t hiring then, no need to meet with a recruiter. Now, because business is up, you truly have less time available to talk to a recruiter. Now you are reacting. Do you want to be proactive or reactive?

    The Issue: Quality is more important than quantity.
    Another Perspective: Most recruiters would prefer to send only one or two top candidates but hiring managers still feel they need a stack of people for comparison purposes. Also, the ?Fast Food? mentality is rarely consistent with ?Quality.? Will you go to the drive-through window or stop for a properly prepared and wholesome meal?

    Don?t misunderstand my point. The issues you mentioned Lou, are real. I believe most of these issues sit atop of the foundational issue of just how recruiters will establish and build credibility with the client company, how business will be defined at the front-end, and how expectations will clearly discussed before the search begins.

    Sincerely,

    Ken

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  2. Mangers suck because:
    1.You interviewed 50 people before they finally pulled your req.
    2.You had my candidate come in for a 6 hour interview, and your boss, never met him/her, and rejected the resume out of hand.
    3.You spend 20 minutes giving me a good j/o and then NEVER return my phone calls or e mails.
    4.You never had a req, and just wanted to test the market, and maybe sell it to your boss.
    5.You give me three buzzwords and expect me to fill the job
    6.You try to lowball me on a fee.
    7. You hire someone on your own 6 months after you met them through me.
    8.After meting 4 people who fit the job, you CHANGE the req.
    9.You use me to figure out what skills you need
    by interviewing people.
    10.You have a consultant give the technical, and his/her main goal is to keep their job, not help
    you find qualified candidates.
    11.You resign on the day my candidate starts.(true..)
    12.You hire my candiddate and fire him/her before the guarantee is up., just using him/her to do one assignment and save money by not hiring the consultant you should have.
    13.You ask for 2 years experience on a technology that is just out of beta.
    14.You don’t realize that as a contingent recruiter I don’t make money unless I place someone.
    15.You ask me to send a resume three times because your email box is a cluttered mess.
    16.If you can’t tell who is a good recruiter and who isn’t maybe its you who can’t do the job..

    Michael S Mantel
    NYC

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  3. Ken – great recruiters have managed to effectively address all of the issues raised in the “confidential memo.” That’s why they’re great. Everyone of these great recruiters faced each one of these complaints, and more. I’m going to contend that great recruiters don’t have hiring managers who disrespect them the way you’ve described, because they deliver on everyone of these points. I’ll also contend it’s the responsibilty of the recruiter to be great.

    Something else to consider – maybe the fault is not with the hiring manager.

    Thanks for entering the dialogue.

    Best Wishes,

    Lou Adler

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  4. Lou:

    Regarding your reply, ?Great recruiters don’t have hiring managers who disrespect them the way you’ve described.? Not true?not at all true?not even for a moment. People from all walks of life are in relationships with others who openly and without remorse disrespected them, even when this person could have and would have been able to effectively and overwhelmingly help them. True, in our business, these are the types of low-value relationships that we set aside or shelf completely.

    ?Maybe the fault is not with the hiring manager???? Maybe not. Then again, maybe it is. I?m not suggesting that recruiters should approach tentatively or develop large chips on their shoulders when things aren?t perfect. A ?great? recruiter will discern if there is irresponsible behavior outside of his/her firm that is damaging to the firm?s ability to bring the process to fruition and this to make the judgment to move the deal forward or move on.

    Perhaps, ?Great recruiters don’t have hiring managers who disrespect them the way you’ve described? because the have already moved on.

    Yes, it is the responsibility of the recruiter to be great.

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  5. Oh, here we go again. The blame game. I wonder- what’s the point of this article? Surely your “target” audience, inept recruiters (or as you so delicately put it, “recruiters who suck”) being as inept as they are, won’t benefit from this article. They’ll think you’re talking about somebody else. Or they’ll say that it’s all the client’s fault. blah blah blah.

    What is constructive about the points you make? For every example of sucky recruiting, I can give you as many examples of sucky hiring managers and HR people. I’ve been recruiting for 14 years, with the last 7 as an internal corporate recruiter. I’ve been on both sides of the hiring fence. Yes, I can tell you horror stories about both recruiters and managers from hell. But I don’t see the point.

    I choose to not deal with sucky recruiters- and I tell them WHY. They can take it or leave it. Same with hiring managers. My job is to train THEM. Make sure that the process is efficient and fruitful- for both of us. I am an excellent recruiter because I’ve learned the hard way and I also understand the process and teach my managers how to hire the best people. I don’t just shuffle resumes. Outside recruiters that I work with must understand the process also.

    If I can give advice to both recruiters and managers, it is to communicate effectively. If hiring managers take the time to interview the recruiter and make sure they understand the job order, company culture, etc. it would make everyone’s job easier. If recruiters talk to the managers and ask more questions and truly understand the job opening and the hiring parameters, they won’t waste time with the “wrong” candidates. Simple.

    Articles like this don’t contribute to real discussion beyond the inevitable flamewar.

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  6. I’m sorry some recruiters are offended, but I’m going to stand by by guns and say it’s the recruiters responsibility to do good work, not the hiring managers.

    Top recruiters don’t have the problems you’ve described about these terrible managers. They either choose not to work with them, or have gotten them to change their behavior. I’m going to contend both are what the best recruiters do.

    Case in point – today Sept 10th – my associate was debriefing a staffing director for a top 250 company. The staffing director was complaining that my associate didn’t fairly grade one of her recruiters (we prepare competency models for recruiters, so this is how this came up). The incident had to do with a candidate who got blown out by the hiring manager.

    The recruiter, of course, tried to blame weak interviewing skills on the part of the hiring managers as the reason why this candidate and other like this one were wrongly excluded. The recruiter and director both felt that the candidate was great, but the hiring manager just didn’t get it. However, it didn’t end there. The staffing director, who is a top recruiter herself, immediately called the hiring manager and convinced the manager to reinterview the candidate. Ultimately the candidate was hired.

    The director did what good recruiters do – coach hiring managers through the process. She was able to do this because she had the trust of the hiring manager, and he respected her judgment. BINGO! – Good recruiters don’t blame hiring managers, they take personal responsbility for presenting the candidate, explaining, coaching,and being part of the evaluation process.

    My conclusion – stop blaming others. Instead take personal responsibility for getting the job done, and don’t blame others ever, even if they’re at fault. Instead help these others do a better job, especially if they’re your clients.

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  7. “My conclusion – stop blaming others. Instead take personal responsibility for getting the job done, and don’t blame others ever, even if they’re at fault. Instead help these others do a better job, especially if they’re your clients.”

    Gary- well, yeah! But this wasn’t what you were saying by writing this article. Pointing fingers isn’t constructive. Blaming others doesn’t absolve bad behaviour or mis-perception. That’s the problem here- ATTITUDE and perception. And by relaying the “email” you recieved it reinforced all the bad attitudes and perceptions recruiters and HR people have to deal with.

    Being on the corporate end of things, and being a part of HR, I hear these salvos all the time. Recruiters complain about idiot managers. Managers complain about idiot recruiters. I spend a LOT of time talking to my peers, candidates, and hiring managers. I coach all sides. But instead of spending time coaching interview skills or jobhunting advice, or hiring skills, I’m deflecting the old “All recruiters are sharks who send me crappy resumes” or “HR and hiring managers wouldn’t know a good candidate if their life depended on it”.

    Enough! We are all here to provide a service and do a great job. To provide expertise. To learn how to manage relationships. Maybe an article entitled “How to manage difficult clients” or “How to change bad attitudes” would be a more positive contribution.

    Elaine

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  8. Hello,

    This is definitely a hot topic but a very good one to be discussing. It seems that the underlying point of the article as well as the responses were similar in nature- excellence should be the goal for recruiters, HR, and the hiring authorities.

    Too often there is an attitude of suspicion and distrust on all sides and this does not serve the mutually desired outcome of hiring the best people as efficiently as possible. Outside recruiters have taken a beating in the last two years and my experience has been that most of the ones that are still around are the ones who care deeply about providing great service for their clients.

    Best,

    Gary Stauble
    Professional Coach for the Recruiting Industry
    http://www.myrecruitercoach.com
    gary@myrecruitercoach.com
    (P) 408-847-5049
    (F) 408-762-4317

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  9. Elaine,
    You go gettem’ girl! There are many of us who believe in trying to share our knowledge and expertise with others and at the same time coach and educate and yes, be patient with others who may not see candidates or processes exactly as we do.
    As a third part recruiter for 24 yrs, I’ve been thru many if not all the scenarios mentioned. If we aren’t helping each other, we are dividing and fragmenting everyone’s efforts – no one wins. Coaching hiring managers and HR recruiters and even other recruiters can be our contribution to the learning process with rewards of another kind.
    Keep on, Elaine! I’m with you! Thanks for being a voice for the rest of us trying to be part of the solution and not the problem!

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  10. Elaine,

    You make some very good points but you referred to me as the author of the article (“Gary- well, yeah! But this wasn’t what you were saying by writing this article”) and I just want to clarify that I did share some comments but did not write the article.

    Best,

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  11. Or perhaps spending some time absorbing good works on communication, negotiation, and interpersonal frameworks. Her are some of my favorites:

    How to Say It, By Rosalie Maggio
    Leadership and the One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard
    The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey, By Kenneth Blanchard and William Oncken Jr.
    First Break All The Rules, By Marcus Buckingham
    High Five! By Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
    The Dale Carnegie Leadership Mastery Course, By The Carnegie Institute
    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, By Stephen R. Covey
    Principle-Centered Leadership, By Stephen R. Covey
    How To Become a Rainmaker, By Jeffrey J. Fox
    The Leader In You, By Dale Carnegie & Associates Inc.
    The One Minute Manager, By Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
    Putting The One Minute Manager To work, By Kenneth Blanchard and Robert Lorber
    Achieving Credibility, By James M. Kouzes
    Guerilla Negotiating, By Jay Conrad Levinson, Mark A. Smith, and Orval Ray Wilson
    How To Win Friends and Influence People, By Dale Carnegie
    28 Principles of Attraction, By Thomas Leonard (Coachville)
    The Best kept Secrets of Great Communicators, By Peter Thompson
    The Dynamics Of Effective Listening, By Tony Alessandra
    The Power To Influence, By Paul McKenna and Michael Breen
    Lead The Field, By Earl Nightingale
    Million Dollar Habits, By Brian Tracy
    How To Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere, By Larry King
    Conversation Power, By James K. Van Fleet
    101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers, By Carl Rae Krannich and Beth McDonald
    Listen Up, By Larry Barker and Kittie Watson
    Powerful Presentation Skills, By Neil Poindexter
    How To Think Like A CEO, By D. A. Benton
    Getting To Yes, By Roger Fisher and William Ury
    Getting Past No, By William Ury
    The Art of Negotiation, By Gerard I. Nierenberg
    The Complete Negotiator, By Gerard I. Nierenberg
    Adversity Quotient At Work, By Paul G. Stoltz
    Powerful Communication Skills, By Colleen McKenna
    Exceptional Customer Service, Making Every Customer Contact More Positive and Profitable, By Lisa Ford

    Sincerely,

    Ken

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  12. I just took the time to read the last installment of this series, Lou. After reading this response, I’m jealous! What you’ve said in summary of the article is what I also have pointed out. There is definitely a lot more to the job.

    Part and parcel of being a recruiter is coaching the client on best practices. There’s more to the job than merely moving bodies and making commissions. As is true with any business, the way to keep your customer/client and keep them happy is to deliver not only good product but good customer service. That good customer service comes down to the coaching in many areas as well as seeing both sides of the equation and making a good match.

    Okay. I won’t write an article on the board and I will get off my soapbox after I say …

    deliver the services — all of ’em.

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  13. I have been following this thread and will like to put in my 2 cents.
    I think that some things were missed along the way since Michael Mantel, 9/5/02.
    This article was about the reasons why recruiter suck, naturally some hostility will be returned towards the hiring managers we recruiters have to “work for”.
    There are good recruiters and there are bad recruiters. The same goes for the hiring managers. Yet I noticed that consistently the burden was put on the recruiters to be trained, and to learn more about working with the managers, but what about the managers taking some responsibility in working with the recruiters.
    Since the economy became so depressed recruiters do not have the luxury as before to pick and choose their clients as before. Jobs are scarce for some. It has become even more challenging with so many individuals entering the recruiting fields untrained and uneducated. Yes, they should take the responsibility to be educated and learn the laws and Idiosyncrasies of this industry.
    But what about the professional recruiter who has been in this industry for years, even decades, the ones who have the excellent training, and knowledge. Managers today know what the job market is like, they know that they have the upperhand over many recruiters today. They try to rely on Monster, and call us at the last resort, saying we need someone in two weeks, he must have 2 million dollars worth of experience for a two dollar job. They dont have time to return our calls because we are a “necessary evil”, (heard this one from another recruiter recently), another one I personally heard ?? even though I need this guy now, I am sorry because I put it on the back burner, and even though you are the only recruiter working on this job, and you have the only great candidate that we want to hire, can we get back in 2 weeks, and by the way please appease the candidate for us in the interim. By the way thanks for all the work you are doing for us.?
    To the hiring managers The economy is awful now, BUT it will change, will the you then do the training on how to get the good recruiters (the ones who are still making it now in turbulent times) to work with you again, to believe in you again, will you learn how to respect us again. We have taken your job orders and at times the abuse that comes with it. I appreciate working for you, but understand, I am a trained professional, If you are working with someone who is not, then find someone else. That is Not MY fault. I am willing to go the extra mile for you. There are others like myself who will as well. You interview the candidates we send in, well take the time out to interview us as well. A good recruiter is a blessing for a good company. It goes both ways.
    Feast or famine. We take for granted the ones we need the most when things are going great.
    My two cents.

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  14. I really honestly believe, that the hostility between Recruiters and Corporate HR all boils down to what I call the “Walmart Phenomenon.”
    Before the days of Walmart, stores were open for set hours. There were unwritten rules regarding how people would behave in their stores. “You broke it, you bought it.” Then came Walmart. Walmart decided that they would let customers treat them, and their employees, like the doormats found in Aisle 3.

    Closing time, and customers still in the store? Don’t dare close the doors. Don’t turn out the lights, or even insinuate that we want them to leave so we can go home to our personal lives. Did they break something? Take it out of Petty Cash.

    My personal favorite, is watching someone open up 30 identical, sealed packages of undershirts, to find the one package that is exactly to their liking. They then leave the remainder of the shirts in a huddled mess, that would never in your wildest dreams be sorted out, let alone sold. But this is ok, because this is Walmart. They want you to be at home there (I tell you, if someone came into my home and did that, I’d be fuming).

    Anyhow, customers as a whole seem to like being able to get away with bloody murder. The Walmart Phenomenon has spread out, to different industries. Back in the day, if you ordered a BigMac no pickles, you got a BigMac, extra pickles, and a big wad of spit, complements of the grease ball in the back. Now, you get a Big Mac, no pickles (ok, it ain’t all bad).
    But I digress. Lets face it. Recruiters are vendors. As such, there are members among you that have fallen prey to the Phenomenon. Corporate HR (BROAD generalization here, not aimed at anyone in particular) pays the bills, and thus thinks that you should be bending over backwards for them. I personally agree with that. But don’t let them run rough shod all over you. Treat them with respect and dignity, and let them know when they cross the line. Professional Dignity is important. Self Esteem is important. Value yourself and your services, and others will do the same. Let them get away with murder, and you set a dangerous precidence.

    My $1.50 before taxes.

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  15. Recruiters are vendors. As such, there are members among you that have fallen prey to the Phenomenon. Corporate HR (BROAD generalization here, not aimed at anyone in particular) pays the bills, and thus thinks that you should be bending over backwards for them. I personally agree with that.
    David –
    I am interested in the comment that recruiters are vendors and since HR pays the bills we should be bending over backwards for them. (by the way I did note the other part of your response that we should not be abused)
    I resent being called a vendor, and the insinuation that I should allow anyone to disregard the quality and ultimate service I provide. When you go to a lawyer, doctor or accountant or financial advisor, do you not provide them with all the accurate information so that they can do the best for you, do you not perform research, to find out who is the best at their job in your area.
    I am an employment search consultant, also known as recruiter. I provide a timely, cost effective (yes cost effective, it gets pretty expensive to your coompany not to have that position filled, not to mention my service is tax dedutctible)and viable service to companies out there. I know the industry that I recruit for, I can and will provide financial statistics to my clients to keep them informed on wages, costs of the local and regional market, I perform market research, review state and goverment information, and employment history data, I will give them current updates to their industry (which I am privy to), I know their competitors, and what they are doing, I am a professional of the industry I recruit in. I have spoken at organizations, have been asked to speak at schools and colleges about the industry I recruit. At times I even know more about what is happening in “my industry” more so than my clients do. The service I do provide is invaluable. I do not expect to have to bend over backwards to any client. I respect my clients, and because of the work I perform I expect that they will do the same for me. I do have more than one client, and I will guarantee I WILL go the extra mile, and provide the better candidates and service to the clients who treat me the best.

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  16. David,

    Actually in the Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary – Vendor is one that vends- :Seller, and Vend – to dispose of something by sale.
    David, to get beyond the semantics. I would like to see you call your accountant, or doctor a vendor. I am a consultant. A professional Consultant who has been highly trained in my industry, by the way some of us Recruiters even have an Acronym behind our names.

    I do not dispose of anything by a sale. I recruit top talent based upon a search assignment, finding skilled talent based upon the qualifications my clients are looking for, I will educate my clients upon the requests of their search assignment if they are unreasonable ( for example -low pay for the over qualified individual), I will give them the information to facilitate the interview process. And much more (not to repeat myself)

    David I will treat people the way they treat me. If I am treated with lack of respect then as my experienced colleague said before me, well that company can become a valuable resource for my pocket book one way or the other.

    In regards to bending over – well David I provide excellent an quality of service, and that is why I will continue to have repeat business. I will go the extra mile to the clients who acknowledge the efforts I put in to their needs, and who understand that even though they do pay me and very well indeed, that my job comes at a cost – Long hours, extreme stress, skill, competence, Rejection and diligence, they respect and honor the work I contribute to their organization, and I respect the fact that they trust me enought to personal and private information with me.
    Regards

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  17. Well Karen,

    I am sorry you resent being called a vendor.
    Webster’s Dictionary defines a vendor as “One who exchanges goods or services for money.”
    According you your own words, you give companies a service. I assume that you expect some kind of payment for this service. That makes you a vendor. The companies you deal with, probably have you on their “Vendor List.”

    As far as my comments about HR paying the bills, and recruiters should bend over backwards for them, I fully believe that. If you don’t go the extra mile, you won’t have very many happy customers. It actually surprises me a little that you would admit only doing this for customers who treat you the best… I was not in any way saying that you should let your customers treat you like a doormat. Read the entire post, and you would be able to take my comments in context, instead of singling out a single line, and misinterpreting it.

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  18. David,
    Having been a self-employed recruiter since the mid 1980’s, I learned (the hard way) not to recruit for HR Professionals if there isn’t a relationship of mutual respect.

    When I was young and stupid, I tried to change the attitude of some of these potential clients by impressing them with my work. But getting them to give me well defined search assignments, respond to my questions, answer my voice mail messages (marked important), and give me meaningful feedback on those referrals was an exercise in futility. Every interaction was arms length and delivered begrudgingly.

    Frankly, those endeavors were a waste of my time and energy.

    Interestingly enough, I also learned HR departments frequently reflect the attitudes of their top management. And those attitudes often extend to the manner in which the firm deals with it’s employees.

    Bottom line is that many of these firms with attitudes about third party recruiters make great sources for my recruiting efforts!

    Regards,

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  19. I tried real hard to restrain myself from jumping into this, but alas, my resistance has broke down!

    Over the years, I infrequently hear patronizing comments such as “Oh you must have it tough …”

    “I empathize for you, you recruiters are really in a tough line of work … ” etc, etc., etc.

    I’ve come to learn something after noticing a pattern over the last nearly twenty years:

    EACH time someone made such a comment (always a hiring manager of some sort) … it was specifically THAT person that would wind up making my life difficult during subsequent weeks.

    So now when I find my self dealing with someone that makes a remark like that I simply reply:

    “Actually I love my career and it has provided very well for my family for nearly two decades … the only times it has been difficult is when I deal with individuals that made the comment you just made.”

    Of course this is done with great discretion, usualy there other behavioral patterns I would make note of prior to this point that clued me in this manager was about to make my life hard.

    Bottom line is people that think we have it tough, are usually the ones that make it so !!!!

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  20. To Karen,

    Rightfully, you don’t like being called a “vendor”. Dictionaries don’t cover “popular vernacular”.

    If you look up the word “affirmative”, it probably means “yes”. In all reality, does “yes action” mean ANYTHING, on God’s green earth!

    Does ANY recruiter like being referred to as a vendor? “Vendors list”, is undoubtedly viewed as a negatively loaded phrase, by most third party recruiters

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  21. George, what a great reply, however, I don’t know what you did to respond. Here are your comments:

    When I was young and stupid, I tried to change the attitude of some of these potential clients by impressing them with my work. But getting them to give me well defined search assignments, respond to my questions, answer my voice mail messages (marked important), and give me meaningful feedback on those referrals was an exercise in futility. Every interaction was arms length and delivered begrudgingly.

    Frankly, those endeavors were a waste of my time and energy.

    Please tell me what you did. I am relatively new in this business and I run into the above every single day. Help. Thanks for your reply: Name is Bill Glenn of Glenn Search. Email address is:
    enpassant2020@netscape.net

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  22. Elaine and Kenneth,

    Your comments are right on the mark. I use to respond a great deal to topics in this forum until the attitude, hostility and the wanna be Doctor Phil’s ran me off.

    I was told by my client at a Fortune 100 computer giant ; all recruiters do in this forum is cry and shoot bullets at each other. He thought it was pretty funny but, a turn-off at the same time.

    Not sure I agree with him 100% but, that’s the perception of some. I feel there are great topics with objective and constructive exchanges of info. But some who think they are resident experts on EVERY issue try to jam their views down the throats of others.

    To me, this article cuts the throat of the author himself. He’s a direct product of the recruiting industry.

    Bottom line, when you say recruiters suck. Speak for yourself, you don’t have the right to speak for anyone but yourself. Just like ESPN said about Deon Sanders when he was hurt. Deon is better at 50% than most of the NFL cornerbacks at 100%. So what’s the definition of a “sucky” recruiter.

    If you think there’s that many recruiters that suck. Come out with a training software, seminar, conference or internet site which allows training, awareness etc. If there’s that many recruiters that suck. Then you should become a rich man with a niche like that. Turn a negative into a positive. If you have a major issue, provide a solution and then work your way down or out from there.

    Just my 2 cents.

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  23. First off although I respect Lou Adler, John Sullivan and other well known people in this industry as peers: I have never bought into the whole “Guru” or “Expert” status.

    There are many of us who have had great success and our experiences are all equally valuable.

    To assign full responsibility on the Recruiter to do “Good Work” as Adler suggests is to fight the Dragon’s tail not cut off the head.

    As one person has responded and I concur may Hiring Managers, HR personnel and sometimes ENTIRE company’s do NOT understand the issue themselves.

    While a Professional Recruiter should provide consultation in process improvement : In most instances this is viewed as “Inflexibility” on the Recruiter’s part. I can count on one hand in over 20 years the times a Client accepted any fault in the matter even when it mean’t better results.

    Perhaps Lou Adler’s one sided criticism SUCKS.

    RW Stoufus

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