Why recruiters are bad for your career: the worst 6 types of recruiters

This article originates from a conversation I had with a guy who wants to stay completely anonymous, so I won’t even publish a picture of his socks as I did for the former bastard who revealed dark secrets about the recruitment industry.

This guy works as a consultant in London and found himself dealing with recruiters as a candidate, prospect and client. He contacted me to share six surreal (not to say totally creepy) conversations he had with a bunch of recruiters and HR professionals who convinced him forever that recruiters are bad for your career and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Enjoy, if you can.

The 6 worst types of recruiters you must avoid 

1: The personal data scavenger

– So, who else are you interviewing with, my son?
– I just had my second interview with a medium-sized finance company.
– Can you tell me their name?
– No, I can’t, for obvious reasons.
– Why not? My client needs to know who are they competing against!
– Really? So would you please tell me the names of the other candidates I have been competing against for this role?
– Of course not! This is confidential information!
* Lesson to learn: the reason why recruiters try to gather confidential information is to pitch the companies they know are interviewing: once you get to know that company X is recruiting, is easy to call them to offer your recruitment services.

2: The car dealer

– Hello? Great news! Company X wants to see you for an interview!
What?! I never applied for this job. In fact, I’m not even looking for a job.
– Well, we thought you were the best match for this opportunity and didn’t want you to miss this amazing chance, so we passed your information over to not waste any second! They want to see you ASAP!
– I’m not interested, sorry. And anyway, you should never send CVs without permission.
– But they want to see you!
– Not my problem.
* Incredible but true: bad recruitment agencies bombard companies with candidates’ resumes without permission in order to get as much business as possible. This is bad for candidates and makes them look undesirable and desperate from the employers’ point of view.

3: The gossip girl

– Hey, do you know anyone suitable for this role?
– I may know someone, but I need to check with them first.
– OK, no problem! Can you tell me their name by any chance?
– Sorry, I can’t tell until I speak with them… they may not want to be on the radar.
– Don’t worry! I promise I won’t contact them. Just let me know who they are so that I can have a look at their CV.
– No way!
– But I pay a good referral fee…
* Watch out! Never give a recruiter any information about third parties. You never know what the hell they’re going to do with it.

4: The dishonest

– Hey, good news! Company X wants to meet you for an interview! Either tomorrow at 11 AM or the day after at 3 PM. Which one of these suits you best? Your choice!
– I am working full-time, my office is not in the same area… can we make it before or after work?
– Hey, they can’t, sorry. They have families to look after! Why don’t you ask for a day off at work?
– Because my holiday allowance is limited and I don’t want to spend it on job interviews.
– OK, then call in sick!
* The evidence: when a company is genuinely interested in meeting you, they’ll do their best to adjust things so you can make the interview. Serious companies never give you GP-alike interview slots.

5: The dreamer

– Hey, I have a dream job for you, please send me your CV now.
– Hold on a minute. Do you have any job description to show, please?
– It’s this role, for this salary, in this industry and this location.
– The role is not suitable for my experience, the salary is not enough, I don’t like this industry. And, by the way, I’m not even based in Aberdeen.
– OK! No problem! Have a good day!
* WTF? When a recruiter calls you, they never know who the hell you are.

6: The son of a bitch

– Hello! I have a dream job for you.
– Thank you but I’m recently broke my wrist, so I won’t be able to send you my updated CV until next week.
– I need your CV now. Can you send me the current version?
– I’m in the hospital now. Can you wait until next week when I’ll be able to send you my updated CV?
– No, it’s too late. Bye.
* What else.

★ If you enjoyed this, you’ll be probably interested also Meet the former bastard: an EXCLUSIVE chat with a former recruiter and why recruiters lie and never call back

★ And if you want to laugh out loud at recruiters, also have a look at our 29 ridiculous job interviews comics

Backstabbing for beginners_Do not backstab sign(1)

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Founder of The Shortlisted Magazine

The one behind the wheel.