Sometime you need to bail on your recruiter

5 Clues Your Should Bail On Your Recruiter

There are many world-class recruiters in the business. Just like any other profession, there are some bad apples that give the rest a bad name.

A recruiter is a professional matchmaker, connecting companies with new employees. They usually make a meager salary, but make big bucks when they place a candidate in a job. That’s what we call a professional salesperson where I come from.

Recruiters can either be freelance, work for a staffing company, or be on salary at a company (in-house). But make no mistake- they are working for the person writing their check (hint: that’s not you).

I don’t hate recruiters. They have a job to do, and when they’re good at it, they’re actually quite handy to have around. I do not tolerate unprofessional or unethical recruiters, however. If you see these signs you likely have a dingbat, and it’s probably time to drop them like a hot potato!

1. They demand to know your salary history.

This one is one of my biggest pet peeves. According to Liz Ryan, recruiters often ask your salary so they can “extend an offer than makes sense, which is not only a lie, it’s doesn’t make any sense!” I 100% agree with this, and it has bitten me more than once. It’s only used by them to pay you less. Plus, it’s none of their dang business!

According to Liz Ryan, recruiters often ask your salary so they can “extend an offer than makes sense, which is not only a lie, it’s doesn’t make any sense!”

If the recruiter asks this and won’t let it go, you probably have a dud, and you should probably break up with them. “Deserving” to know your salary history shows that this recruiter is not that good, and they need every bit of leverage. Remember: most recruiters don’t get paid unless they put you in a job.

2. They talk down to you and tell you you’re lucky to be working with them.

If you find a recruiter that thinks or acts like they’re the best thing ever and you are a worm, ditch them. The old paradigm in business was that the employer was in charge, and the job seeker had to grovel. This is not the case any more, and weak recruiters try to bully job seekers. If you knew there was better out there, they know you’d leave them in a heartbeat.

The IT job market is heating up, and job seekers are back in the driver’s seat. Don’t put up with a recruiter like this. Trust your gut.

3. They don’t communicate regularly.

This is a huge pain point for many people in the IT field. With all the easy ways to communicate, no candidate should be left behind. Unfortunately, it’s radio silence for you. This is a hallmark of a recruiter that is either overworked, disorganized, or just doesn’t care. Any of those warnings should let you know it’s time to move on.

The IT people are waking up and the market is shifting to favor job seekers. Good recruiters will get better at keeping you in the loop and not delaying bad news, either.

The IT job market is heating up, and job seekers are back in the driver’s seat. Don’t put up with a recruiter like this. Trust your gut.

4. They try to send you to interviews for jobs you’re grossly under-qualified for or that don’t fit you.

If your recruiters tries to get you into positions that don’t fit, they either don’t care or don’t really know you or what you can do. You deserve a recruiter who “gets” you. Don’t let them send you to an interview for a Software Developer if you are a Systems Admin or Senior anything if you are a Junior.

Something to remember here- a recruiter is an HR person, not a technical person and in some cases may not realize that there’s a skills match.

Sometimes, unscrupulous recruiters will send unsuspecting jobs seekers to shops they know you will not get a job at. They pump you for information when you come back to them. They’re essentially sending you in for free reconnaissance.

Something to remember here- a recruiter is an HR person, not a technical person and in some cases may not realize that there’s a skills match.

5. They try to pressure you into accepting job offers you don’t want.

Let’s say that you get through all of the above and don’t see any red flags. You make it through a few interviews and the company offers you a position, except instead of Senior Network Engineer, they put you in for Desktop Support and it’s a lowball offer. If you go back to your rep, and even though it’s not right, they pressure you to accept, dump them.

This scenario obviously doesn’t work for them, but remember, sometimes they can get desperate to make a placement. Don’t tolerate than nonsense. It won’t work our well for either of you because if you take this gig, you will make less money and be unhappy. That will probably make you leave the job early on. Not a win for anyone. You’ll know when the offer is right. Accept nothing less.

Recruiters are not all bad, but you have to be wary when you deal with them. If you see any of the above, it made be time for you to let them go.

Have you had a great or terrible recruiter story? Comment below and let me know about it!

Thanks for checking out this article! Please join my email newsletter at the top of the page or in the right sidebar so you can find out when new content is published.

Feel free to follow and reach out, I would love to hear from you. You can connect with me on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwitterlinkedin

4 Comments

  • Avatar
    Ryan Jones Reply

    I haven’t had the opportunity to work with many recruiters, nor do I know where to start, most of them find me, which I guess is kind of cool. But I have to say, I have had that “you’re lucky to have me” type guy before, he was apparently on the inside of the company and friends with the CEO, he knew his recommendations were the best. When my interview was over with the company, yeah I was in love with the idea of working there, but the very fragmented view of what they wanted was so confusing, and wasn’t a job for 1 person, it was a job for a team, and they didn’t see that.

    At the end of the day, they ended up hiring an MSP due to their size and lack of IT understanding, and would’ve been great for them to have a whole IT team. Through the whole ordeal though, the recruiter just kept pumping me up and trying to make me sound like IT super man… it wasn’t an enjoyable situation.

    • wowitsdave
      wowitsdave Reply

      Well Ryan, it really looks like you dodged a bullet there. It’s clear that if you’re recruiter had placed you in that position it would not of been a good fit for anyone: you would’ve probably been overworked and looking for a new job, the recruiter would not be looking great to the company, and the company would probably have service issues because of their stressed out admin. It is nice to be called an IT Superman sometimes though, LOL. Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar
    Glenn_P Reply

    Much of the bad recruiter pain can be avoided if you begin by interviewing recruiters before selecting one (at least for the independents and agencies). I see it this way – they are representing me to the employer, so they need to meet my standards. I wouldn’t want an ambulance chaser representing me in court and I don’t want a hack representing me to potential employers.

    • wowitsdave
      wowitsdave Reply

      Couldn’t agree more, Glenn. You can’t just sign up with the first recruiter to fall off the turnip truck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.