Why Does Nobody Like Recruiters?

Politicians. Journalists. Recruiters.

None of them are winning popularity contests any time soon. 

In the case of recruiters, why is this?

After all, a recruiter is just someone who can help you find a nice job.

So why does nobody like recruiters?

It’s a topic we cover on the latest edition of our podcast that is appropriately named Nobody Likes Recruiters. 

Even if you’re a recruiter, you can’t argue against the notion that recruiters can be a bit annoying…

How many times have you been approached by a recruiter and felt let down? How many times have you sold the dream only for it to appear as a nightmare? How many times have you bemoaned a lack of communication from someone who is supposed to help you win a dream job?

It’s all too common.

In the show today, we unpack why nobody likes recruiters but more importantly what can be done to change perceptions?

Let’s dive in.


Do you hate recruiters or the recruitment process? 

As always, one needs to separate individuals from the environment they reside in. Of course, there are many, many lovely people who work in recruitment. 

The process they have to undertake can be where problems arise, especially on the agency side of the industry.

On our podcast, we have spoken at length about the cut throat nature of recruitment agencies. 

Recruiters can fall into bad habits when they are driven toward a number.

Equally, internal recruitment can be just as pressurized. You may work for a business that has, for whatever reason, stumbled into a staff shortage and you’re being pressed to find a solution.

“We need more people to do the job, go out and find me three new members of staff by next week”.

That, as a recruiter, can be stressful.

Pressure can lead to people feeling that they have to cut corners. If you’re up against the clock, you can be forgiven for having to potentially skip a few steps of the standard (and recommended) recruitment process.

This could, and frequently does, lead to problems down the line. But when you’re under the cosh you have to look for solutions.

This plays out in the real world with bad experiences and false expectations.

Candidates are not properly vetted and are sometimes sold a pipe dream in order to get them over the line quickly.

Good recruiters will know the feeling. They’re trying to do the right thing by their employer and the candidate and this is a tough score to settle.

Recruiters are stuck in the middle. And at times they’re handed a process that is less than ideal. All of this results in bad experiences for everyone, and thus, more people dislike recruiters. 


Recruiters deliver a lot of bad news

When you think about it, recruiters have to deliver bad news on a daily basis. A large proportion of your job is telling people they’ve not been selected for a role. 

You have to ponder how this negatively affects the perception of recruiters.

I’m not making excuses for bad practice. There is a lot of really poor things that go on in the world of recruitment. We have been able to create a podcast dedicated to the topic!

Even if EVERY recruiter was an angel, thousands of souls would have negative interactions with them every day.

As we all know, there are positive ways that you can deliver bad news to a candidate, but sometimes it’s very hard.

A bit like the checkout supervisor who is forever having to help customers with the robot checkout devices, recruiters are also having to deal with negativity, frustration and disappointment.


A low bar to entry

As I point out in the show, there’s a very, very low bar to entry in recruitment.

Any Tom, Dick or Harry can grab a laptop and position themselves as a recruiter on the internet.

Adam suggested in the show that the industry may be improved with regulation.

Maybe it would be better if recruiters had to sit some kind of exam before becoming a recruiter?

I can’t imagine how that would be policed but it’s not a bad idea. 

Given that there are no credentials needed to recruit we see some bad apples spoiling the cart.

Moreover there is a very clear profit motive in place for recruiters. Get a person into a role and earn commission – this also provokes bad behavior and has people in our industry acting more like Jordan Belfort than a recruitment consultant.


Tripple Dipping?

I elaborate more on this on our latest show, but ‘triple dipping’ is a rather nebulous term I became familiar with recently when I was recruiting for a recruiter for another recruitment agency (stay with me).

The guy told me with glee that he had poached someone out of a job and then recruited him for another job. 

Just after the three-month grace period had concluded, and the recruiter had received his commission, he then went back to recruit the same candidate for another job!

That’s not all. He went to the original company and re-recruited for the position of the person he’d poached.

Crazy, right? 

Needless to say this is not good recruitment practices and probably something that pisses people off.

So, what, if anything would you add?

We go into more detail on the podcast and you should definitely give that a watch or a listen.

This is a big topic and we really want to hear from recruiters or anyone else who can articulate why recruiters are not held in high esteem and what we can all do about it.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the show.