What Were Your Best/Worst Recruiter Experiences? (Replies & Article)

I recently asked this question on LinkedIn and wanted to share the replies:

During a Job Search, Most of Us Work With Staffing Agency Recruiters or Corporate Recruiters in the Application, Interviewing and/or Hiring Process. What Were Your Best/Worst Recruiter Experiences?

After reading replies (and posting a comment) to last month’s NYT’s web article:”Google Lays Off 100 Recruiters” (link @ end), I began to question experiences job-seekers have with recruiters in the job search, interview and/or hiring process.

—- Background —-

I share these LinkedIn answers and comments on my Job Spot Seattle yahoo blog http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Job_Spot_Seattle/ to help members become more successful. Please answer publicly if you’d like to be quoted, Feel free to include a link to your webpage. If you want to answer but have your name left confidential, please state this in your response.

— Question —

Think back to your best and worst experiences with a recruiter and share your replies to the 5 questions below. Answered candidly, these questions may shed light on potential issues and best practices.

* Exclude identifying recruiter & company names
* Include if Agency or Corporate Recruiter (company-employee)

1. What was positive about your experience with the recruiter?
2. What was negative about your experience with the recruiter?
3. What was lacking that could have made your experience better?
4. What suggestions would you make if the recruiter asked for your feedback?
5. If you spoke to that recruiter’s boss; what would you say about the recruiter?
(Good, bad or otherwise)

NYT article link with comments: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/google-lays-off-100-recruiters/?scp=14&sq=google%20layoff&st=cse#comment-172651

Here are the non-confidential replies I received:

Ken Walker, Supply Quality Manager in Seattle says:


I had an experience today with a recruiter that I believe is my worst. There were two positive elements in this experience the “Hello my name is….” and “Have a nice day”. I feel that the rest of the converstion was pretty unprofessional. He first told me that he gotten my information from a Monster.com posting. He then started to tell me how bad the information from Monster.com was. He then proceded to ask me what my salary was in my last position. When I told he proceded to comment on how carefully I had read the requirements and that the listed salary was below what he had put in the posting. I told him that I realized my qualifications were close to what he had posted and I would be will to negotiate the salary. He quickly replied that there would be no salary negotiation, what he posted would be the salary. He then requested a Word file of my resume, which I immediately sent . With in 30 minutes he called back a procedes to lecture me about needing a resume that told a “story” and it had to be a chronological resume. He said he was not going to “read through all of that to find out what I had accomplished”. I had changed from a chronological resume a couple years ago as I received a lot of negative comments about the chronological format and that my accomplishments would stand out more in a different format. I then sent him an old resume in the chronological format. He called back about 2 hours later and wants to use this old resume to present me to a client. I am still considering telling this recruiter not to present me to any client as I do not feel he has a professional approach. I need a job, but I am not sure that his unprofessional approach will be an asset for my job search.

– Ken

Brad Carlon, Senior Account Supervisor says:

Hi Terry,

The industry I work in relies heavily on recruiters, and I get called at least once a week. Some annoyances I find: The SAME recruiter calling and introducing himself to me. Keep better records – you should know we spoke previously and you should be able to reference that discussion. On the topic of keeping records, I notice some recruiters don’t take good notes and always come back with opportunities that are not in my desired geographical area or not in the type of company I want to work for. I have told the same recruiters multiple times that I do not wish to work in New York City, yet the same ones always call with opportunities in – you guessed it – NYC! There a few quality recruiters that I maintain contact with because: 1. They know the type of opportunity I would like and only call when they find something 2. They know where I live and how far I am willing to travel (I suspect they may even use Google maps to see how far I would need to commute) 3. They are friendly, cordial and I actually enjoy speaking with them I actually had one recruiter leave me a belligerent voice mail asking that I return his call and let him know if I am not interested so that I can stop wasting HIS time!
– Brad

Mark Richards says:

Terry, I have worked with recruiters as a client, candidates and running a job transition group. I’ve put my thoughts on recruiters on my website designed to help job candidates to be more effective.

Mark Richards
CFO at Reshare & Alvenda

Please share your thought or comments as well!



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