My recruiter’s heart is bleeding

A- A+

I did not want to end the season with such an article, but we must admit that we will have some work to do at the beginning of the school year! 
I apologize, for this is a post which might seem resentful to you. However, its purpose simply is to shake things up a little, and to allow introspection, including for myself. 

I feel angry. 
I know. We should never write under the influence of anger. I waited for 48 hours, for 72, for 1 week and more, yet I still am. I am disappointed with all the expectations that we, as recruiters, set. 
We make promises on our websites we do not keep. 
I am disappointed to see companies crying out for labor shortage while, in fact, they do everything to discourage candidates from applying.

I have been promoting this position for over 25 years. I am still convinced it is a wonderful job. I love practicing it, teaching it. It is multifaceted, varied, requiring many different skills, and in which you can learn everyday. 
But here, indeed, the recruiter in me badly hurts. 

I have been helping a new immigrant in his job search for over a month. I thought I could help make his search easier. In reality, he is the one who has helped me the most, as it has made me realize that many things have not changed.

I referred him to several recruiters, contacts, people I know from various sources. None of them knew I was the point of contact. We went through dozens of career websites to apply, along with career fairs. 
He did not always have all the requirements for the job (not mentioning the wish list is sometimes so exhaustive!). However, he had at least the basic ones.

Here are some of my observations: 

  • Way to apply:

On websites: Forms to register can take more than 2 pages (up to 6!). You need to register, create a password, and log in each time. A few of them happened to crash, in which case you need to log back in and start over. This is very surprising as it comes from companies which advocate a strong employer brand!

  • Posts on social networks (LinkedIn mainly):

Recruiters who praise their human side on social network, who ensure a response to everyone, or who say they will answer e-v-e-r-y call, well they don't. 
We only create expectations and as a result even more disappointments. Our reputation is tarnished. We lose credibility on our behalf, but also on behalf of the company. I might be able to understand we don’t respond to all the applications we receive due to a lack of time. But can we please say the truth? 
Let's keep our promises, that's all.

  • List of positions not updated:

Candidates understand that there is a recurrence of recruiting for certain positions. But it might be a good idea to adjust the publication date. In any case, the candidate may think:

•    the position is too old
•    the site is not up-to-date
•    no one is interested in the position 
•    the salary is too low
•    the company does not prioritize this job
•    there is a large staff turnover 
In any case, the perception is negative.

  • Application process:

Some of the processes take a long time, some still request cover letters (even if it is requested to send an additional message to the recruiter). 
Is it really necessary for all positions? Including first-level positions?
What is the purpose of posting a job ad in the current context of labor shortage? To attract or to evaluate?

  • Lack of response:

More than 7 out of 10 applications he sent remained unanswered. Nothing. Not even an automatic e-mail. Total ignorance. When it comes to communication, there is nothing worse.

  • Job Fair:

I accompanied him to 2 job fairs. I was very curious to see how it had evolved since the pandemic.
It sounds silly but there are still stands where people take more than 5mn to respond to visitors, ignoring them at first (reading stuff on their cell or chatting).
And there are still people who are not informed of the position they are recruiting for. The information is very compartmentalized. Most of them were not even aware of all the vacancies in the company. 
Maybe it would be wise to know this beforehand, right? What is the purpose of a career fair otherwise?

  • Onboarding:

Another case is the one of my nephew who recently started a job in a DIY store (a large company which cries out for shortages with an attractive recruitment campaign). He was left alone on his first day at work: no training and no one to welcome him on the floor. He felt so embarrassed not being productive on his first day that he called the next day to announce that he was not coming back (another offer was waiting for him elsewhere).
And I can imagine the (typical) comments of the manager: "I don’t understand this new generation who doesn’t want to work and is not reliable".


I would love to say these cases are isolated ones. I must have been living in a fantasy land to imagine we were a little more advanced in the recruitment process. The famous "H to H" (Human to Human), we "advocate the human", we promote "diversity", we are "open to atypical profiles", etc.

Sometimes I really feel like I'm reading bullshit

Is your challenge to attract candidates?

If so, then be attractive! 

Be your own mystery candidate.

Apply for your own positions.

See if you like your own process.

It may already solve a number of problems.


Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.