I’m writing this piece in light of some recent LinkedIn posts. There’s a lot of bashing around of IT recruiters going on. While I am aware and agree that many so called “IT recruiters” lack work skills and ethics, I find it unjust towards the rest of them.
I’m thinking of those doing a proper, professional job, with respect towards ethics while equally acknowledging all three interests involved:
- the candidate’s.
- the client’s
- their own
Regarding the IT Recruiter – IT Candidate relationship, everyone seems to ignore the elephant in the room. There’s sometimes a lot of unprofessional behavior on the candidate’s part.
Choosing to apply the concept of “Lay low, don’t say anything so you don’t upset anyone” or, even worse, “Try to make them like you and agree with them”, no one talks about this. I couldn’t be in greater disagreement! Ignoring problems will never solve them. Granted, it’s not easy nor convenient trying to solve problems, but in the end you’re better off doing it.
My expectations of IT professionals
Understand we consider ours to be a win-win relationship
My goal as a recruiter / head hunter is to offer you an opportunity. A good chance for advancement or progress, as the dictionary says. Revenue wise, I will always offer you something better (on par, at worse) than what you have now. Career wise – I can’t be sure, but that’s why I’d like the two of us to talk, so YOU can tell me what YOU see fit for yourself.
Respond to my emails or phone calls
I can’t know if you want something, or what you want, without having a conversation. Be it either by email or over the phone, all I’m trying to do is find out if you’re interested whatsoever in the opportunity I intend to present you with. And, please, don’t vanish once we agreed upon having a phone conversation or a meeting. Not taking my calls or standing me up will make me think you’re not trustworthy and unprofessional. All that while I was just trying to offer you a good opportunity.
Talk to me, help me understand you
Although I do my best to share the information I consider relevant, I still can’t ask all the right questions. Remember that I’m probably proposing something you’d be interested in. I don’t intend to make a speech, but to have a dialogue. Surely there are things you’re interested in – ask me about them. And by doing that don’t pretend like you’re doing me a favor. I’m trying to act in your best interest. We’re both mature professionals, politeness is mandatory.
Be polite, be mature, be honest
Don’t patronize me, I won’t be impressed, trust me. Rather be the person you’d like to find on the other end of the table / line / keyboard. Don’t ever try lying to me, as I’ll find out sooner or later. It will ruin my trust in you and you’ll most probably never going to be on another list than the “Do not contact under any circumstances” one. I had people who only used me and my client to get a better counter offer from their employer. Needless to say that in their time of need I wasn’t willing to meet them. I will treat you with respect and also respect your choices. I’ll always have in mind your time is precious and I’ll do my best not to waste it.
Please respect my time and energy
I’m in no way inclined towards wasting your time. My time is as precious as yours. Don’t delay your answers for days and weeks, once we discussed everything there was to talk about. Understand that I depend on your answer and that my client depends on me. On the other hand, there surely are other people I’m in contact with. If someone else answers in due time it may just happen that by the time you make up your mind the position will have been filled. Don’t hesitate to tell me you’re not interested, it’s not the end of the world. Things don’t always work out at fist, but over time circumstances change.
Keep in touch, it’s in your best interest
Not having contacted you in a while may mean I don’t like to be pushy. But things could change for you faster than I predicted and you could have already decided to quit your job. If you thought I’m trustworthy and behave professionally, email or call me when you think of changing your job. I could already have something interesting available for you.
Knowing when it’s worth your while
Being connected with a good recruiter may help you professionally. My advice regarding shady recruiters is, first of all, don’t accept any connection invitation you receive on LinkedIn. It’s not that hard to check a person’s profile and making a general impression. Did you misjudge a couple and they’re spamming you with countless messages? Disconnect them.
Unprofessional recruiters will flood you with messages and propositions you’re not interested in. They will alter job descriptions just to manipulate you. Some of them won’t know anything about the job itself or the company they’re recruiting for. Some may try to “sell” you to the highest bidder (company), regardless of your best interest. They won’t provide feedback or answer your inquiries,
Good, professional recruiters, will always respond when you’re trying to reach them. They will most surely present you with the best opportunities that suit your expectations. On many occasions a professional recruiter will have access to “hidden” opportunities, positions that are not advertised on the job market. If they consider you to be particularly skilled they’ll also try to introduce you to companies that have no current vacancies. That’s because a good recruiter considers you two to be in a win-win relationship.
Recommend the recruiters you found to be good professionals to others. Don’t hesitate to do the opposite when having met shady ones.