The Perception of a Recruiter

Having been a Technical Recruiter for the last 13 years, I am still somewhat surprised at the responses I sometimes get from new clients and candidates when I tell them I am a Recruiter.  Occasionally, a candidate will tell me that I don’t work with Recruiters.  I have heard that more often now that some Recruiters call candidates about an opportunity they are not a good fit for e.g. I am a Java developer with Oracle on my resume and the (bad) Recruiter calls looking for a SQL developer with several years of database development experience.  On the flip side, I have good clients that I have worked with for years that say I can’t believe this call I got from a Recruiter looking for business – they typically come off sounding like a cheesy salesperson full of empty promises of several web and Java developers looking to work at the client’s company, but then there’s no follow through.

The strangest thing I have run across happened recently. I was invited to a client company’s open house as they had moved into new offices and were looking to show off their new digs.  I had gotten calls and emails from employees at that company, as well as from other members of a technical user group that I had hosted at my office who wanted me to attend.  When I arrived, I was asked to enter a raffle.  I had no idea what it was for, but I won’t refuse a free gift if offered.  It turns out they were giving away an iPad.  And wouldn’t you know it, with 200 people attending, I ended up winning.  In no time, I had the Director of HR congratulating me and thanking me for attending… until she realized I was a RECRUITER at which point she lost it and demanded that I return the iPad.  I gave the iPad back as it was not worth the hassle, but nonetheless was shocked: not only was their reaction rude and unprofessional but also they didn’t seem to recognize that I was there as a partner to get selling points so that I could find them the talent that they desperately need.

After writing this blog, I can’t still be surprised at the perception that some have of Recruiters in general, but you never know when you, someone in your family, or a friend may find themselves looking for a new opportunity, or looking to add technical talent to their team.  So, the next time a (good) Recruiter calls, you should be happy they called, and if they are good then form a business relationship and keep in touch.  As a seasoned Recruiter with a loyal following of candidates and clients and established business relationships, I have realized that other Recruiters in the industry have now ruined it for the good ones and that only persistence and good actions can show a doubtful subject how a good Recruiter can make your life a lot easier.

Doug Stuart

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