Job Hunting Secret: The Recruiter is Not On Your Side


By Evil HR Lady

Here’s a secret in job hunting:  The recruiter doesn’t care about you.  They care about their clients–the hiring managers.  They don’t care about closure.  They have jobs so they aren’t stressed out about your job search.  They don’t think about filling a particular job day and night, they way the candidates do.  Their sense of time is very different from the candidates’ sense of time.  (I’m speaking about in house recruiters here, of course.  Headhunters aren’t paid until a candidate is placed, so they are generally more attuned to the candidates.)

This isn’t because they are bad people.  Think of it this way:  If you’ve ever been pregnant (or become a father), you know that that particular pregnancy is the longest thing in the universe.  Never before has 9 months passed so slowly.  But, when your next door neighbor says casually, “Guess what?  We’re having a baby!” it seems like two weeks later the little bundle of joy has appeared. You’re always shocked and think, “Gee, I thought she was just barely pregnant!”  You forget that 9 months passed for her too.

So, while the recruiter may take a long weekend and not think about you at all, you’re constantly focused on your application.  This isn’t bad or good, it just is.

Now, this isn’t to say that the recruiters aren’t focused on their jobs.  They are.  It’s just not all consuming like it can be for the job seeker.

Recruiters aren’t thinking, “Gee, I never responded to 300 people that applied for this position.  I hope they know I got their resumes!”  The recruiter is thinking, “Gah, 300 resumes to slog through.  50 of the people are qualified, but I only have 5 interview slots.  This is going to take me for-freaking-ever to get through.”

Contacting a recruiter is unlikely to yield you good responses.  It’s not likely to damage your prospects either.  However, if you are obnoxious it will damage your changes of getting in for an interview. Obnoxious behavior includes multiple phone calls.  Keep in mind that recruiters can sometimes get hundreds of resumes for a position.  If every person who submitted their resume wants to talk to the recruiter, all she’ll have time for is talking on the phone to candidates.

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