When you hear the word “Recruiter”, what kind of person comes to mind? Someone who tries to trick you into taking a new job? Someone who forwards your resume all over town without discussing each opportunity with you, maybe? I have talked to many job seekers and employers during the past few years who think we are just that – questionable “salespeople” out to get you. I would be lying if I said that this is never the case. As with any profession, there are some pretty bad recruiters out there who give the rest of us a bad name. The thing is, if all recruiters were like the negative stereotype, there is no way I would still be doing this job.
I realized that even though there are legitimate bad recruiters out there, the negative stereotype we sometimes get is not always warranted and might actually be due to a misunderstanding of what the process is when working with a quality recruiter. For instance, earlier today someone e-mailed me a resume for a SQL database administrator position. When I called the job seeker back he seemed like a good fit so I asked him to move forward with our online application and testing. This candidate immediately asked, “Why can’t you just forward [the employer] my resume?” I did not submit him. That is not the way we qualify our candidates for recommendation to employers.
In another situation a few days ago, someone called to ask me about a search engine marketing position. I had her resume in front of me, but I didn’t know anything about her besides what was written on paper. I didn’t know what her greatest accomplishments or biggest strengths were; I didn’t know why she left her previous positions or why she had so many work gaps. At this point she was just a resume to me. Right away she started asking me how much the job paid, what the benefits were, and what company the job was with. I did not tell her. That is not the way we maintain our clients’ confidentiality.
And in yet another example, a few weeks ago I posted an ad for a three-year Java developer contract in which I received more than 100 responses to, plus I actively recruited other talent as well. Through the screening and interviewing process I narrowed the list down to my top four candidates to submit to my client. Some of the people who did not make the top four were absolutely not qualified. Some of them didn’t even have the word “Java” on their resumes. Others however, did have Java experience, but their work history, technical scores, or personal interviews were not quite as strong as my finalists.
I remember one candidate who became very angry with me saying he has never had a recruiter refuse to submit him to a position. What he didn’t understand was that I don’t forward every resume I receive to my clients. Our clients take our candidate submissions very seriously because they know we have carefully screened and selected them. If I sent my top 20 instead of my top four, how much confidence would my client have in my screening?
Reflecting on these three scenarios, I understand where these people were coming from. There are recruiters out there who will assume candidates are as good as they look on paper, forward their resumes to tons of companies, and keep their fingers crossed that something sticks. There are recruiters out there who will reveal their clients’ names to anyone who asks, regardless of whether the person asking is qualified for the position, thus forfeiting the company’s confidentiality. There are recruiters out there who will submit as many candidates as they can to a position, just to increase their probability of making a placement. These recruiters are pinning their hopes on chance, rather than their recruiting, screening, and matching skills. Are those really the kinds of recruiters you want to work with?
When I first joined the staffing world, I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard both good and bad things about recruiters and staffing companies. Now I understand that both sides of the fence have good points. There are some pretty bad recruiters out there who cut corners and try their luck, but I am happy to say I don’t have to be that kind of recruiter to make it in this business. If you take the time to get to know your candidates, and understand their goals and accomplishments, your reputation will pave the way for successful partnerships. I am proud of some of the relationships my team has established with our clients, becoming their trusted advisor in identifying and hiring the best people. I am proud of the quality job matches my team has made since we entered the Kansas City market only a short time ago and of the relationships we continue to foster with employers in the Omaha metro area. The more people and companies we find good long-term matches for, the more credibility we will hold. I hope to see more recruiters embrace this business plan, so we can help people see what the word “Recruiter” can really mean.
About Julie Pentis, CPC – IT Recruiter
Julie has been with Aureus Group since 2006 after graduating from Creighton University with a BSBA in Human Resources and Spanish. In 2010 Julie received her MBA from Bellevue University. As a technical recruiter for the Information Systems team, she is responsible for sourcing, qualifying, and matching candidates with job opportunities in the Kansas City area. In 2007 Julie earned the designation of Certified Personnel Consultant and currently serves as Vice President of Membership for a local Toastmaster’s group and Co-Chair for HRAM’s Workforce Readiness Committee. In her free time Julie enjoys spending time with her dog Jack at the dog park and singing in her church choir.