A couple months ago I wrote a post on Why I Hate (Most) Recruiters which put me squarely in the cross-hairs of pretty much every recruiter out there, and I took a bit of a beating. I did learn, however, that recruiters are able to learn – 90% of the wrath happened over email. Thanks guys, it’s much easier for me to take it on the chin that way! A funny thing happened as I was sifting through insults and F bombs – some of you had an important point: HR is just as much to blame for failed company/recruiter relationships and does a lot of stupid things that undermine the relationship. Let me give you my favorite examples:
- We Expect You To Be A Magician: We call you up, give you the jobs specs (which by the way is usually one of our toughest jobs to fill), and as soon as you start telling us how long it will take to find candidates, we stop listening. Why? Because we think you have this secret crystal ball that you look into to magically conjure up candidates or that you’ve got a bunch of candidates sitting right there with you in your office just waiting to take the job. You tell us it will take 2 weeks? We hear 2 days.
- We Show Off: Let’s face it – most HR Pros think that bringing in a recruiter somehow reflects poorly on them and they want to prove otherwise. So we show off. You think you know the market, Mr. Recruiter? Ha, let me tell you how WE find candidates. Or we say things like “we have some great candidates already, we’re just looking for you to help us round out the field and give us some good comparators.” Or we try to prove just how good we really are by listing off our staffing fills from the last 10 years. Also, did I tell you, I once scored 4 touchdowns in a single game?
- We Nickel and Dime You: This is my favorite (and I have to admit, I’ve done it myself). Clearly we’re calling you because we have a hole that we’re not capable of filling ourselves. So once we’ve told you we expect you to pull a rabbit out of a hat and have wowed you with stories of our recruiting prowess, we go after your fee. 25% fee? How about 20%? 20% fee? How about 15%? The number doesn’t really matter when we’re negotiating with you – we’re just looking for a “win” so we can go back and tell our HR pals that we knocked down the agency fee by X%. Meanwhile, what we don’t know is that 5% fee knockdown is probably the difference between having an experienced recruiter work on your opening instead of the new grad we’re going to get now!
- We Use You As A Scapegoat: Yes, you sent us 5 really qualified candidates, fully vetted them and gave us the full rundown on the timing of their other job prospects. But we took 2 weeks to get them in for an interview and surprise, surprise, we lost them. Rather than telling our internal stakeholders that we dropped the ball we take the easy road and blame the recruiter. Doesn’t matter really what we say you did or didn’t do, we just say “the recruiter messed up.”
- We Never Call You Back: I’m sure this has to be the personal favorite of every recruiter out there. After putting in hours of hard work sourcing, prepping and debriefing candidates, we give you the ol’ high school break-up move. We avoid your calls until you get the picture. No explanation, no discussion, we just fade away into the sunset leaving you to figure out what to tell your candidates.
That is, until we have another tough job to fill and we call you up and start the whole process over again.
Andy Porter is Chief People Officer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, MA which means he works with some wicked smaaht people. Some days, he indeed does wear short shorts around the office(call it a morale booster) but it really just makes people uncomfortable. Other days, he spits some mad game on cheese. No really – he’s somewhat of a cheese aficionado. But more importantly? At Broad he gets to his small part to help change the world of healthcare.