Job Seekers’ Pet Peeves About Recruiters and HR People

Job Seekers’ Pet Peeves About Recruiters and HR People

Approximate Reading Time: 2 Minutes


The internet is crammed full of pet peeves lists that recruiters, consulting agencies, HR people and employers have about job candidates. We as job candidates also have some legitimate displeasures and gripes about recruiters and HR folks. I’ve been doing this for over twenty years, and have seen lots of bad habits and annoying practices that simply need to stop. Here are my suggestions on how you can handle things better.

1. You need to provide good customer service! This concept is not just for the retail or restaurant industries. Think of EVERY job candidate as a customer – a real, live human being. We’re not just another faceless resume. How about providing a great candidate experience? Learn about us, get to know us, and just don’t do the bare minimum to keep your job.

2. Don’t leave us hanging – follow through and close the loop! Yes, I realize that you deal with dozens or hundreds of calls, emails, and people per week. Guess what? So do I! That’s no excuse for forgetting about us. Often I will have a recruiter excitedly email or call me about a great-sounding position that would be a perfect fit. I express enthusiasm about being submitted for it. Sometimes they need to “contact their account manager” before submitting my resume to the client, or they will send my resume right over. And then…I won’t hear from them again. Weeks and weeks can go by. Um, what’s going on here? Has the position been filled? With a few extreme circumstances (is your mother’s health failing, and did you have to take off two or three weeks from your job to help her out?), there is no excuse for poor communication. Good or bad news, please get back with us with an update so that we’re not left wondering.

3. Don’t contact us if our resume doesn’t match with the required skills of an open position. I get daily calls and emails for IT positions where required skills are ones I have ZERO experience for. It takes you all of ten seconds to open my resume, hit Ctrl + F to do a search of skill A, B, or C to see that I’ve never done those. Please do not waste my time with an unnecessary call or email. Focus on quality, applicable, fruitful communication instead.

4. Overly-long online applications…<sigh> With modern technology and resume parsing, why are you still requiring me to fill these out? I get worn out after the 12th page or the 35-minute mark. Just look at my resume; 95% of the same information is on there.

In my experience as a job seeker in the tech industry, I’ve encountered people who ran the gamut from being fantastic to work with to “why are you wasting my time? Go work at McDonald’s!” My hat is off to the friendly, professional, hard-working recruiters and HR people who believe in constant communication and treating us candidates like valued customers…like real people. Thanks!


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