Sometimes recruiters have a bad reputation, but here is their reality.
I am a recruiter and in my work, I am caught between my candidates’ desires and the demands of the businesses that hire me. The gap widens between a population looking for balanced work and businesses looking for productivity.
The next generation of candidates have learned to to assert themselves in organizations, build a network, sell themselves, and have a career plan conforming to their life objectives. On the other hand, organizations have not changed an iota of their recruitment techniques. Employer branding is no longer a fashionable business objective. In fact, this is how recruitment works nowadays.
1. A vacancy opens up
Theoretically, managers plan the shifts, verify the budget, and manage the transition while waiting for a replacement. In fact, he received a letter of resignation Friday morning and entered the recruiter’s office full throttle on Monday asking for the names of candidates for next week. As if we make candidates in our basement over the weekends.
If the recruiter is lucky, there is already a realistic job description in hand, not a list with endless qualities, demands, and diplomas impossible to combine. The recruiter will have met with the resigning employee to better understand the context and profile of the desired candidate. Internal candidates will have been evaluated to avoid the frustration of recruiting externally when the expertise could have existed inside the business.
In reality, the recruiter’s office will already have dozens of jobs to fill and he will spend the time verifying emails to see if the miraculous candidate is not there. Job advertisements will be posted on the Internet and the recruiter will search his dysfunctional, outdated database (Yup! Candidates move quickly without leaving their addresses).
3. The selection committee is organized
Qualified candidates should be invited to meet the recruiter and manager to be evaluated according to the same criteria over a period of time.
This is not the reality. The recruiter interviews non-stop without having the time to study each profile while simultaneously satisfying multiple clients. He does his best. The manager meets candidates one after another with regards to his schedule and the receipt of applications.
What is the result? The manager forgets candidates at the beginning of the process, loses patience, and incessantly demands that the recruiter finds new candidates for comparison. Finally, the best candidate met three weeks ago withdraws and the process starts anew. Other candidates were ruled out, the recruiter thanked them without really explaining why, and everyone is frustrated.
4. The final candidate appears
The final candidate sits down in the recruiter’s office in the presence of the manager and is bombarded with questions, all while boasting about the businesses’ merits. Rushed by the organizations’ demands for help, the recruiter skips some steps and an offer is made to the poor candidate who cannot believe his eyes and asks for 48 hours to think it over.
On his way home, he calls his friends and learns that the business has been recruiting unsuccessfully for many weeks. Doubts surface, he hesitates, but the recruiter pressures him. On second thought, the candidate accepts on the condition of seeing the manager again to make sure. The latter is impatient and offended by his request.
5. Finally, the business decides to close the file by promoting an employee internally
The recruiter is happy to pass on this mandate so he neglects to call back the candidate (or else he will feel really uncomfortable because he prefers turning his back on his lack of courage). And he moves on to the next mandate.
So recruiters are evil, you say?