Why People hate third-party recruiters

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Originally Published on LinkedIn


I was a third party recruiter for more than 40 years.

I remember recruiting for an IT project manager position in Texas and received a call from another third party recruiter with a follow up to a resume he sent to me. The resume was for a non-technical product manager who lived nowhere near my client and obviously I wasn’t interested in the referral.

“Hi! Did you look at the resume I sent?”

“Yes and I wasn’t interested.”

“But he’s a product manager who wants to work in a project manager role in that town,” I was told.

“Am I supposed to care? I don’t see why that makes a difference. Their experience doesn’t fit what my client wants and, beyond that, everything you are saying is irrelevant.”

“But . . . “

That was the last word I heard because I hung up.

I’ve heard tales of woe from many job hunters who talk about being bludgeoned by a recruiter to go on an interview for a job they are neither qualified for or interested in.

“You’ll never know unless you go,” one explained they were told. Another candidate said they were pitched by someone saying, “They are a great company. You’ll really like the hiring manager.”

“But the salary is $25000 less than what I’m earning now, I’m not actively looking for a job and the position is at least one level down from where I am and possibly two.”

“But they are a great company!”

I apologize for “the badly behaved people” in my former profession.

There are so many wonderful people who really try to master their craft and provide great service to both institutional customers and job hunters alike.

Yet the bad experience that employers and job hunters alike experience is real, just like the complaints I wrote about in previous articles about resumes being spammed to recruiters and people who never return phone calls to recruiters after sending them their resume is also true.

I also want to acknowledge that I make mistakes sometimes. Words are misspelled in my notes or in my ezine sometimes that get through a spell checker (or I forget to spell check). I am sometimes confused by the time zones people are in. I am handling an enormous schedule for myself and sometimes am confused as to where you are or confuse you with someone else. That does not make me “a moron” and worthy of condemnation.

The incompetent recruiters who try to ram a square peg into a square hole are worthy of your and my contempt. They screw things up for a lot of us and cause others to distrust those in my profession who do try to do well and work hard to help both sides get what they want.

Let’s get together and not reward the incompetent ones and look for the good ones to work with,

© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2015, 2021


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes.

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