Recruiters Behaving Badly

Given the demand for engineers and salespeople, recruiting plays an essential role in the media and technology industry. Finding great people can be difficult, and recruiters can help. But there are some recruiters — especially the younger, more aggressive tech recruiters — who act unprofessionally. Here are some examples:

They’re annoying. Sometimes I receive multiple unsolicited messages from the same recruiter in the same day. Not only is this annoying, it’s a terrible way to manage a lead-generation process.

They’re unscrupulous. I’ve had recruiters mistakenly call my personal mobile number in an attempt to reach someone at my company. When I ask the recruiter who they are and where they are calling from, they stammer and then hang up. Clearly, they are trying to recruit my own people away at the same time they are trying to pitch me their current candidates.

They’re impatient. When bad recruiters places candidates, they sometimes urge the candidate to give as little notice as possible so that they can lock in their commission and get paid quicker. This leaves the company who has lost the employee in a lurch, trying to fill a position with little warning.



They’re indiscreet. I’ve received unsolicited resumes from recruiters about candidates who were still currently employed. What would happen to these candidates if their employers found out that they were being shopped around like this?

They’re relentless. A few years ago, I made an offer to an employee I met via a recruiter, and then was constantly harassed. The recruiter would call me every day until the candidate’s employment letter was signed — even after I assured him it would be. My requests for him to stop were ignored.

There are some fine recruiters out there. But the ones who cross the line and act unprofessionally give the entire industry a bad name.

2 comments about "Recruiters Behaving Badly".
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  1. The digital Hobo from, October 14, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.

    While I don't disagree with anything here, I wonder why its being published at all. I don't think its unique to online, publishing, advertising, technology or any other industry.

  2. Max Kalehoff from MAK, October 14, 2013 at 12:32 p.m.

    Ha. I had a recruiter call me during my second week in my new role. My status was clearly marked on my LinkedIn, my personal blog, and covered in trade press. Obviously, I was part of a blanket campaign, disguised to seem personal and well-intentioned. When I responded and suggested she should do her homework before contacting people like that, she told me a "simple thank you would be more appropriate next time." Seriously?

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