Reader Response: How Recruiters Make Their Own Problems

by admin on April 20, 2012

This comment from Not Buying It is a response to yesterday’s post by Wall Street Services, which explained the job search from a recruiter’s perspective.

I have no doubt that recruiters are receiving many applications that don’t fit their specifications. But I find the recruiter’s response disingenuous and misguided.

To start, the recruiter falsely believes that the only people who can do a specific job are the people who have done that job before. How is that realistic? In a world where that’s true, how would any job ever be filled? Recruiters SHOULD be spending more time actually doing their job and, yes, inferring! how a qualified candidates’ past experiences could translate to the role required. That’s the whole point — in an open and free market, you are recruiting candidates who are flexible and moldable to many different roles.

Second, as someone who has been through a job search that lasted 18 months, I can say with some impunity that I’ve seen thousands of job postings. And the vast majority of the ones I saw are seeking candidates with unrealistic amounts of experience. Entry level jobs (for subsistence wages or worse, an “internship”) seeking candidates with 3 or 5+ years experience. Mid-level jobs (with entry level pay) seeking ONLY candidates with graduate degrees and 7+ years of niche-specific experience! With the glut of job seekers, recruiters are taking the path of least resistance and seeking the desperate but experienced candidates who are willing to sell themselves into indentured servitude just for a job.

I daresay that the frustration the recruiter is experiencing is entirely of his or her doing. As he or she has plainly made clear, recruiters are setting unrealistic expectations and then reaping what they sow — candidates are applying to anything they can, because recruiters are setting expectations that can’t be filled. If companies were willing to pay for the talent they’re seeking, and if recruiters were willing to find candidates who experience fit the pay, they wouldn’t be in this situation.

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One comment

Not Buying It, we hear you. There is an unrealistic expectation with a significant percentage of current openings and there is dramatically less opportunity for candidates who’s resumes are not a perfect match to get noticed. There is not a lot of room for inference. A couple of things you missed in your consideration – we recruiters don’t set the requirements, the hiring managers do. We respond to their request. What is more, hiring managers are getting their expectations met. It is taking some time, but openings are being filled. The state of the job market is such that hiring managers have the expectation of finding perfection and for the most part they are finding it.

There are instances when we can advocate for a strong candidate who is not a perfect skill match – but we need to see clear evidence of a consistent history of success. Often resumes indicate that someone has experience in an area but no accomplishment. Our clients want more.

In 2008, our world shifted dramatically. Candidates who were once sought after were being passed over, our clients dramatically reduced hiring and became less communicative with recruiters they worked with. We spent a lot of time bemoaning the change in process and expectations. When we accepted our present situation as the reality we were able to deal with it and take appropriate action necessary in order to stay in the game and play to win.

by Wall Street Services on April 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm. Reply #

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