Thursday, March 17, 2011

Are Recruiters To Blame For The Job Market Blues?

Posted by Adrienne Graham

As A recruiter, I sit on both sides of this issue and I’m bound to make a few people mad. But so what, the truth hurts because, well, it’s the truth. Recruiters aren’t to blame, but they sure don’t help!
Now, before all of you recruiting professionals go grabbing the pitch forks and torches, I’m not throwing my recruiters under the bus. And I’m not blaming all recruiters because we don’t make the hiring decisions.

But I can’t help but notice that recruiters aren’t exactly trying to ease the market woes either. If you read any of the articles that talk about job search, job market, unemployment, etc., you’ll see various comments (ranging from disillusioned to angry) about how a person’s experience is going with their job search.

There’s an air of frustration, and rightfully so. Recruiters aren’t getting back to candidates to close the loop. Applicants are submitting resumes into the black hole we call an applicant tracking system. Companies spend thousands of dollars to make their websites look pretty and reach out (and I use that term loosely) to candidates via social media to say “Hey, come work for us.”

You’re giving candidates mixed messages!  The bottom line is whether or not they even get a phone call, people rarely hear back from recruiters after that initial contact (unless they are lucky enough to get called in for an interview with the hiring manager) and that’s a problem.

How many of you feel that it’s getting increasingly pointless to apply for jobs any more? I’ll venture a guess and say a great deal of you feel that way.

It’s understandable. The gloom and doom jobs and unemployment reports are enough to discourage even the biggest optimist. But when companies ARE hiring and you still hear nothing, it can be frustrating.
The biggest complaint I hear is that people aren’t getting feedback. And if they are, it’s the generic, canned “thanks but no thanks” email. How impersonal!

In this economy,the least companies can do is make people feel human. People are shocked when I call them to tell them they won’t be moving forward in the process. One woman told me that she wasn’t expecting to hear anything because “that’s just the way things are today.” It saddened and frustrated me…and I’m a recruiter!

I’m not perfect, and it often takes me a while to get back to people. But I do try. I don’t always 100% deliver but I do try. I’m woman enough to admit that publicly. It doesn’t matter if an applicant is applying for a janitor or VP position, they deserve the courtesy of a follow up.

And, no, a canned email is not enough. People want to feel acknowledged, human. It’s hard enough for someone who has been out of work for an extended amount of time to go through the humiliation of deafening silence, especially when they know they’re a fit. And even if they aren’t, don’t you owe it to them to let them know they’re not and why? I think so.

Now don’t think I’m letting you job seekers off the hook that easily. You take some of the blame here too. I understand the market is tough. But apply for jobs that fit your skills or that you have a chance at getting.

Be upfront in your cover letters (yes, people still do write those) if you’re looking to make a career change. If you’re a Wal-Mart pharmacist and you send a resume for a HP project manager position, of course you’ll end up in the reject pile. But if you send a cover letter stating your intent to change careers, perhaps that will open the door at least to a conversation. Then it’s on you to close the deal.
Also, ask about the etiquette of follow up. calling and emailing a recruiter five times a day is excessive and annoying. You want to stay in touch but with respect. Don’t make a recruiter avoid you. So do your part too! It’s a two way street.

Read The Rest Of The Forbes Article

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