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Recruiters! I Hate Them!

Do you think a recruiter is standing between you and that job?

I have spoken to many people over the years who are convinced that is true: I am perfect for this job, that job and the other job; I have excellent transferable skills; That recruiter is too stupid to realise how brilliant I am; What do they know anyway!

Today I received such an email.

It all started a couple of days ago when I received an email from a friend on Facebook. He asked if I could help one his ex-colleagues, who was now out of work. I read an email exchange and reviewed this man's LinkedIn profile. I could see room for improvement. I put forward a few suggestions and comments and sent them to my friend, for him to forward.

Today my friend forwarded me the reply.

Here are some snippets:

"…because recruitment agents are naturally lazy, they employ word scrapers on sites like LinkedIn"

True! Recruiters do use search tools. In my case, only LinkedIn’s advanced search facility. With over 100 million profiles, it is impossible to look at them all. Recruiters run key-word searches and sift through the list of matching profiles.

Make sure your key words are in your LinkedIn profile so that you come up on those all important searches.

"Recruitment agents are my largest obstacle. I no longer get to talk to employers directly and explain my skills from an informed position. The agents very rarely bother to look up what my skills actually are. You can imagine their eyes glazing over as I explain it to them. Their preference at that point is to put my CV to one side …"

True! You do have to sell yourself to recruiters and explain both your skills and experience to them (otherwise known as an interview), prior to your CV being submitted to their client. A recruiter’s reputation and ongoing relationship with the hiring company, is based on their ability to put forward the best candidates and be able to answer questions the client has, prior to interview requests being made.

A good way to think of your conversation with your recruiter is as an interview. As important as meeting the company themselves.

"From what I have gathered so far, agents receive a tick list of features from employers that they wish prospective candidates to have."

True again! Recruiters receive a job specification from their client and they are expected to provide a shortlist of up to six candidates who match the role and requirements. This is a combination of work history AND personality! If you are rude to the recruiter they will not risk your attitude with their client even if you have every skill the job asks for.

Remember this is your first interview. You need to impress to get to the next stage.

"They argue that they are only able to put through a certain number of CVs and they can’t be certain that my skills match the requirement."

True yet again! Recruiters are skilled in recruitment, not necessarily your job. If you don’t include ‘it’ in your CV, they can’t be expected to know ‘it’. If you are responding to a vacancy you’ve seen advertised, make sure you have tailored your CV. Some recruiters are mind readers; a lot are not.

Do not risk your jobsearch. Personalise every application and make it count!

"They won’t risk their contract with the employer."

Absolutely right! An unemployed recruiter is never going to be able to help anyone. Their job is to find people jobs. Not to lose their own!

Displaying the right attitude to the recruiter is key if you want them to put you forward.

"The employers don’t care about personal situations; they just want resource for their vacancy. The smoother the process, the better. So they outsource the recruitment to an agency"

Don’t care is harsh. The truth is that they are focused on their own problem; lack of resource. They know there are great candidates out there. They want to find the best one for them. Recruiters take away a lot of the headache of search and CV sifting.

NB: the person they hire may have wanted the job as much, or more, than you do. All of the other applicants are trying to get that job too!

If you want that job, be ready to prove you are the best person for it.

"The result is an agency that employs agents at £15K + commission, to process applicants that they don’t understand the skills for because their last role was shelf stacker at Lidl (which, by the way, is a role I can’t even get!)."

Despite a lot of recruiters being graduates, recruitment salaries are often low. A good recruiter makes their money via the commission element of that equation. Salary does not determine ability to do a job. Years within the role speak volumes.

If you speak to a recruiter who has three+ years experience within their company they are good at what they do. Not placing people and satisfying client requirements is a sackable offence!

"If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. My remuneration, career and future are being dictated by the decisions of people with a 2 digit IQ. With the recruitment process being so ‘black box’ I have few options to get around it."

Not having a job is hard. Not having a regular income is even harder. I understand that. Identifying recruiters as the key that unlocks the door to your future happiness and then seeing those very same people as your enemy is a dangerous approach to jobsearch.

Knowing how to win friends and influence people are key skills to get through interviews. Being able to win over your recruiter can make the difference between them wanting to represent you or not.

I have met people so appealing I have personally championed their jobsearch. Does that guarantee they get the job? No! Does it guarantee they get interviews? Absolutely!

There is another layer to this. Anyone that takes the time to win me over, will take the time and effort to win over the hiring company too. Is that likely to get you the job? You bet!

Now that is a winning jobsearch strategy!