An Open Letter to Employment Recruiters: Please Suck Less

Dear Employment Recruiters,

As much as I can appreciate how hard it must be to try and match jobs with the thousands of people in the job market, I believe the way in which many of you conduct your business could be be doing a much better job. That is why I am putting out this request to all employment recruiters on the Internet (should they be reading this): Please suck less.

You know who you are: You cold-call and send out mass emails in desperate attempts to fill a position with a company that has engaged you, without regard to the people that are looking for a job. You are noncommutative, masters of the slick salesman talk and dishonest in your intentions. Not all employment recruiters are like this, but 99% of you are and the other 1% are about as common as Bigfoot sightings. To aid you in becoming better, I am providing a few items that when addressed, I believe, will help you and your way of conducting business with job seekers suck less.

  • Communication: When I am filling out the information for the position that you have me in mind for, you are great with the phone calls and emails encouraging me to send it over so you can submit me ASAP. Usually, this is where the communication ends. After you have what you want, I rarely hear from you again. To get a status, I often have to reach out to you to find out the job has already been filled. A phone call or an email would be nice.
  • Be Honest: Don’t tell me that you really care for me and my career goals when you don’t. It’s like having a waiter in a restaurant telling me he really cares about my diet. Like they said in The Godfather: It’s not personal, it’s business. If you have a position open with a company you are working with and you are trying to get me into this position, just say so. But don’t feed me the line about trying to match me with a bunch of positions, because you ain’t, and that you care about me getting my dream job, because you don’t.
  • Don’t make me do all the work: A firm that I worked with recently had me re-do my resume, write a new cover letter, take a personality quiz, write up a few success stories and then input all this information into their custom system. Job leads from all this work? Zippo. Calls back from the agency on my search status? Bupkis. If you are working for me, why am I doing all the work? To return to the restaurant analogy, it’s like telling the waiter what I want and then having to go back to the kitchen and cook my own steak. You have all my information, you fill in the forms.
    On a personal note: Please stop sending mass emails about a position with the caveat “If this isn’t a match for you, can you please forward it to any of your friends who might be interested?” Yeah, right. Why don’t I wash your car while I’m at it.
  • Research my background: The positions you send over to me often are a reach for my skill set at best. Recently, I got an email from a recruiter about an accounting position. Look at my profile: do you see the word “accounting” in there anywhere? I am guessing that a more focused search on my skills would gain you more positions filled than the Johnny Appleseed approach: “He knows how to use a computer, I’ll send him a job for a Analytics Intelligence Director!”

Job recruiters, these are simple fixes; a little courtesy and effort on your part would go a long way to sucking less. Gain a good reputation and these job seekers will beat a path to your door: I guarantee it.