Recruiters are not Mind Readers…

I read a LinkedIn article last week that really p*ssed me off. Yes, it was another recruiter bashing post… yes, it was a poor me candidate rant… and yes it garnered the expected support from job seekers who have had a similar poor experience from the recruitment fraternity… but… it was an absolutely stupid argument.
angry-cartoonDear Recruiter, why should I take this job is an eloquently written, but fundamentally flawed post. The writer describes how his workflow was interrupted by a recruiter… a recruiter who called him to talk about a role that fits his skills and experience… a recruiter who called him to talk about a role that pays really well… a recruiter who called him to talk about a role that is closer to home than his current one.
Not only that, the writer describes himself as a passive candidate. He also presents data on his own LinkedIn profile that states 85 percent of the workforce is disengaged
Yet he complains. He complains because he was contacted by a recruiter who was just doing their job.
And get this… the basis of his rant is as follows…

‘Why should I take the risk? Why should I change company? I need a serious answer.
Give me a real reason. Something that will make me listen. Not a little more money. A shorter train ride. Or meaningless platitudes about great culture and people. But something meaningful…’

My first thought as a recruiter is… ummm… come on mate. You describe yourself as passive. I’m talking to you about a role that pays more… is closer to home and has a really strong culture. Surely that is meaningful enough to sit down and have a coffee? Unless I don’t know what meaningful means?
But no… he has a response for that…

‘…if you don’t know what meaningful is you shouldn’t have called me. How could you know? Well, that’s your job, not mine. Work it out. That’s what would have made you a great recruiter who’d have got me listening…’

Excuse me? No really… excuse me?
[bctt tweet=”Don’t expect recruiters to know everything until they have spoken with you says @WatsonCollard ” username=”ATCevent”]
So let’s get this straight. A recruiter who calls a prospective… self confessed… passive candidate to discuss a role that pays more… is closer to home and has a strong culture is not meaningful? Don’t get me wrong… I… and all recruiters understand that every candidate has different motivators and needs… we get that. It’s human nature and one of the reasons why our job is so unpredictable. But for us to call you already knowing those needs and motivators is a bit of a stretch don’t you think?
There appears to be a bit of a disconnect, so let me try to explain it for you…

  1. The recruiter takes a brief of understanding, both about the company and role;
  2. The recruiter maps the market and reaches out to appropriate candidates;
  3. If there are sufficient synergies, the recruiter will then formally (face-to-face) meet the candidate to understand their motivators… needs etc. They will also explain the role in detail and answer questions or concerns the candidate has about the role;
  4. The recruiter will introduce the candidate to the client and begin a formal interview process;
  5. Following the required number of interviews, testing and background checks (these are unique to each role and client) a formal offer of employment will be made.
meditatingSo Dr Claydon… just to be completely clear. The recruiter was not calling to offer you a role. They were calling to gauge your interest in continuing a process. Additionally no recruiter… no person for that matter… who has never met you will be calling with an understanding of what is meaningful to you… why? Because we don’t know until we have spoken with you…. Simple.
The writer closes off by re-iterating that all the phone call achieved was to break his work flow and implores the recruiter not to call back unless they ‘can give me a good ‘why’’ he should be interested in the role.
If I was the recruiter I would be asking myself a different why… Like why should I waste my time with… wait… Craig… breathe…
What I meant to say is Recruiters are not mind readers… believe me, it is a skill all recruiters would love to have. We simply do not know what candidates are thinking and what motivates them. We don’t know if there are family… flexibility… travel or other issues sitting in the back of their mind when considering a move. When we call you for the first time all we have is a Linkedin profile… maybe a referral from a shared contact… and perhaps a cheeky squiz at your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter presence. The rest we find out from you.
So before you close the door on what truly maybe the greatest career move of your life… sit down with the recruiter… help them to get to the why
Images: Shutterstock

This article first appeared on LinkedIn on October 10th, 2016.

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