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No offence to you as a recruiter but...

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by Mark Smith

about 1 month ago

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Sydney has some great restaurants and recently I was out with a couple of friends at a fantastic, loud and noisy Greek restaurant in Potts Point, called Apollo. I highly recommend that you give it a go if you get the chance and make sure you order the haloumi! Anyhow, despite the great venue, the conversation turned ugly just after the main course.

No offence to recruiters but… was how the sentence started. Now I have a thick skin and as a 25 year veteran of the industry, I have been thrown under the bus, abused and accused too many times to remember. It’s normally because recruitment consultants are the middle ‘people’ in any hiring decision, so it’s easy for either the person hiring or the person accepting the job to blame a poor decision on the person in the middle. This being the recruiter, although they did not make the offer or indeed accept it.

This wasn’t the case on this night, however. Instead this was a job seeker who had recently made a life decision to leave a role he had been working in for 15 years and was experiencing ‘job seeking’, for the first time, in a long time.

“No offence but I seemed to be getting blocked by recruiters all over town for jobs that I am good for.”

Offence taken! I decided not to let this one go through to the keeper and respond, because I think it belies a problem that jobseekers believe that recruitment consultants or talent acquisition specialists have the express objective of ruling people out from being offered a job.

WRONG! Speak to any recruiter in an agency or in a corporate internal role and they will tell you that they are desperately trying to fill the positions they have. They are not endeavouring to stop anyone, instead they want someone to get the job quickly. Most are rewarded on fill rates or through commissions from fees and they are not rewarded on the number of people they reject.

So when  you are not being asked to attend any interviews or call backs, it may be time to consider the roles you are applying for, your salary expectations, the quality of your CV or telephone manner as maybe a contributing reason as to reason why you are not going to progress to the next stage. The recruiter WANTS someone to get the job. Instead of blaming the recruiter, look at the facts. Test the market. Maybe you could have a conversation with the recruiter to get a better understanding of the job specifications. Maybe you are not being considered, because you are not the right culture fit. I have written before about this here.

The night ended well, (a good Pinot Noir helps with that), but I did make the point in as strong a manner as possible, that jobseekers need to take account of the fact that as recruiters, our primary objective is to fill roles, not to block candidates from them.  

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