A recruiter’s plea to job applicants

I have seen so many posts on LinkedIn recently slating recruiters!

To those job hunters who have complained about poor service from recruiters – I apologise on behalf of the industry if you haven’t been treated courteously. Every applicant should be treated with respect throughout the recruitment process whether by recruiters or direct employers and if that hasn’t been your experience I apologise.

But, while some recruiters must certainly do better, so must some job applicants – read on to make sure you aren’t part of the problem.

As a recruiter who tries my very best to treat everyone I encounter with respect I would ask that job seekers please:

  • take the time to read the job advert before you apply
  • make sure you are interested in the job – odd but read on to understand!
  • make sure you meet at least some of the criteria stipulated
  • make sure that your CV is fully up to date – including your work history and contact details
  • make sure your CV details how/where you have the required skills, experience and qualifications
  • if you don’t meet the full criteria, provide a covering email to tell me about your relevant transferable skills or how you propose to overcome any potential shortfall
  • don’t respond aggressively to my polite email advising you that you have unfortunately not been successful
  • call me back when I telephone, leave a voice mail and follow up my call with an email telling you we would like to progress your application
  • if you are approaching me on spec, please don’t be offended if I tell you that we don’t operate in your sector, at your level or in your area
  • arrive on time and appropriately dressed for the initial meeting I schedule with you and remember I am assessing you on behalf of the ultimate employer and I will assume that how you interact with and speak to me and our team is how you will present to the ultimate employer
  • appreciate that I will do my very best to progress your application in a timely manner, it is how I earn my living but, please realise that I can only move at the speed of the ultimate employer
  • realise that I will do my very best to provide you with useful feedback at every stage beyond your initial application and I will do all I can to illicit such feedback from the interviewers – I am however only able to pass on the feedback I receive
  • let me know if your circumstances change and you are no longer interested in the role

If you think all of the above is obvious, brilliant – you are a part of the vast majority of job seekers who are a joy to work with. But, you would be amazed at the number of applications we receive from individuals who:

  • have none of the qualifications, skills or experience we have listed as required in the advert
  • have not the slightest recollection of the role when we call to progress an application because they didn’t take time to read the advert
  • have absolutely no interest in the role due to location, salary, hours, duties etc. – again because the failed to read the advert
  • fail to respond to any of the calls and emails we make trying to follow up their application
  • tell me they are no longer working with the company listed as their current employers and that their CV isn’t up to date
  • email to aggressively tell me where I can stick the job I had the temerity to tell them they weren’t suitable for
  • fail to arrive on time for agreed meetings without any explanation or apology
  • mysteriously disappear part way through the recruitment process, failing to answer any calls or respond to any emails – bad recruiters ghost candidates, bad candidates ghost recruiters.

To all candidates – I promise to continue to treat you with the courtesy and respect you are due, all I ask in return is that you treat me and the work I undertake on your behalf with the same respect!


Article Written by Neil Scarborough, Managing Director at The Recruiting Office


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