“Toto We’re NOT on Campus Anymore.”

An original series for job seeking young 20 somethings (and beyond) and the companies that hunt them.

Dear Recruiter,

Stop lying. Oh, I’m sorry. That may have been a bit too strong. Let’s try that again.

Dearest Recruiter,

Stop misleading potential employees as to the actual work environment for which application is being made. Stop making every applicant feel guilty for seeking employment, as if there is some shame filled scarlet letter hanging about their neck for being Unemployed. Step down off that pedestal of secure and smug confidence and feel their pain and nervousness if only for a moment. Stop preying on their most certain desperate need for a job and their willingness to do just about anything.

I get it though, you have a difficult task. First, you yourself must get noticed on behalf of the firm. Then you must filter through potential talent, meet and greet, engage, inform, and then win over the best and the brightest of applicants. And this is just the start of your pitch. You and your firm must now go on to be perceived as bigger, faster, and more popular, with greater reach and influence than the competition. The pitch has got to be, well, sexier than the competition.

It must be exhausting. Being responsible for all of that hyped propaganda. The tales told of an amazing wonderland of corporate nirvana.

This approach lacks professional authenticity. You are left exhausted at the end of the day and the masses seeking jobs are left ill-informed and disillusioned. Let’s go for better. Much.

You have a cool job, as an ambassador for your company, a gatekeeper of sorts. I genuinely appreciate the (your) profession. You have a rare opportunity to impact the lives of individuals in one of the most vulnerable and exposed environments of their lives. Tread lightly, with honesty, clarity and wisdom. Maintain your high level of professionalism. Relate to your applicant and potential candidate as a professional themselves.

Yes. Go for authenticity.
 
 I hope to remind you, Dear Recruiter of your high calling. To represent well, the company that employs you, while at the same time respecting the potential candidate and their journey. 
 
 Perhaps it’s the mediator in me that wants both sides to have an equal voice and clear shot at the truth. Perhaps it’s the dad in me wanting all young millennials to have a shot at improving our planet with their first big-person job. Perhaps it’s the ex-executive boomer in me that craves authenticity.
 
 Don’t mistake my message. I understand that you are not responsible for the applicant’s readiness for the employment search. You are neither their Scout Leader nor Den Mother. You are an employment recruiter, a good one, a professional. 
 
 So be that authentic professional as you represent your company honestly, with a discerning eye as you assist applicants in moving closer to their next opportunity. Leave a bit of yourself with each of the applicant files with which you have contact, a bit of professional, objective, encouraging authenticity. 
 
 Sincerely and Authentically,
 Scott

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photo credit — Getty Images