My Horrible Experiences With Job Recruiters


I may be in the minority here, but my experiences with job recruiters range from underwhelming to below mediocre. I now shudder at the thought of leaving my professional future in the hands of someone else. Never Again!
First, I just want to be clear that this post isn’t a slam on recruiters. I’m venting more on the overall vetting process and the aftermath of dealing with a recruiter.
I looked into using a recruiter after my first lay off. I got a call back and was super excited. When I sat down face-to-face with the recruiter who called me in, he was wearing his desperation on his sleeve. He also didn’t do his homework on me. The job he wanted me to interview for was an administrative assistant position, despite my education and work experience clearly defined as journalism and marketing. Apparently, it was my volunteer work in high school for the Variety Club that ‘told’ him I would make a great receptionist. For the next 15 minutes he was selling me on why I should do the interview and how there’s potential for me to move up in the company. I’m quite certain my ‘Huh’ face offended him because I wasn’t more animated about this ‘amazing’ opportunity.

I politely declined the interview and walked away. The next email I got from him was reminding me that it would only be fair if I didn’t work with other job recruiters because he was helping me find a job. He also wanted me to keep him posted on jobs/interviews I searched for myself. I never contacted him again.
Since then, other recruiters have passed through the revolving door to my life. All with varying competencies. I was brought in to get vetted, then told that Company X was looking for someone with my skills. It sounded like a great fit and I was waiting for my official interview at the company. One week went by and nothing. I contacted my recruiter and he told me that he ‘forgot’ to tell me that Company X had already filled the position. Ass.
I had another recruiter who wouldn’t tell me the name of the company or even the address until two hours before the interview started. It had something to do with their confidentiality agreement just in case I bailed on the interview (I still don’t understand it to this day). I didn’t bail on the interview, but the boss behaved like a sleaze ball and it made me feel unsafe. I was offered a different position within the same department. I declined.
But don’t let my lacklustre experiences scare you from using recruiters. Here are some reasons that you should use recruiters:

  • Recruiters do the work for you, which means you can relax a little.
  • Recruiters have a wider network than you.
  • Recruiters work hard to get you work because then they get paid, too.
  • Recruiters can fill you in on a company’s core value and culture before your interview starts.
  • Some companies use recruiters exclusively to avoid wasting time by sifting through a pile of resumes.
  • No part of your salary will go to a recruiter. It all comes straight from the employer.

In the end, using a recruiter is up to you. If you had great experiences with them, continue using them. If you’ve never used a recruiter before and are thinking about it, give it a shot.


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