I’ve been in the Tech space for over a decade. I’ve been in the startup culture for about eight of those years, in both permanent and consulting roles. I’ve worked with some really amazing recruiters who have represented me very well, even in times where I may not have gotten an offer. I’ve also had instances where I didn’t feel I was well represented.
So i’ve decided to compile a list of the types of recruiters, you should never hire. I’m writing this article from the experience of an interviewee, interviewer, and co-worker.
The Stockpile Recruiter
A Stockpile recruiter is someone who sends you a bunch of resumes without asking for criteria. It’s one of the laziest tactics used and if you are not seasoned, you will assume it’s one of the most efficient. Essentially, a stockpile recruiter makes it look as if they’ve done the work for you. However, all they’ve really done is what you could have done yourself, on websites such as Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com.
Resume stockpiling is done in hopes that you’ll eventually find the candidate on your own, but you will still be contractually obligated to pay the Stockpile Recruiter for their “services”. You should never hire someone to recruit for you, that does not ask for your criteria. This is also a red flag in regards to the candidates that they will send you.
Often times you may have a candidate come in for an interview, who does not fit any of your criteria. Or maybe they only fit a small aspect of the criteria, that doesn’t really equate to much. If you have an immediate short term need, this can be a waste of your time. In some cases, candidates have either not been properly briefed or not briefed at all. This can lead to a very awkward interview for yourself and the candidate. Each side not realizing they’ve both been duped by the stockpiling process.
The Automated Recruiter
An Automated Recruiter is someone who only sends out emails to potential candidates. You can tell they’ve rarely ever picked up a phone or spoken to a human. They search job websites, scan for candidates, plug email addresses into their template and hit the send button. Scanning a job website for a candidate is not the issue.
The issue is the badly formatted emails, with serious grammatical errors and jumbled text. I can’t tell you how many times, i’ve seen emails addressed to me with the following greeting, “ï»¿Dear Professional” or “Hi”. Yes, the bad characters were included in the greeting.
I’ve also received the same email 4 to 5 times within ten minute intervals, from different recruiters in the same office. In cases where I actually decided to respond back, I either received an automated response or no response at all. In addition to receiving emails with subjects that appear as follows: “#Need WPQUGH (Quality Assurance) Company Name”. So along with this badly formatted email, your company name may be attached to it in some cases.
What makes the Automated Recruiter an awful choice, is that they are bad for your brand. You have to remember that this person is representing you and your company. Candidates who are sticklers for presentation, will avoid these types of recruiters at all cost.
As any knowledgeable candidate assumes that if you can’t properly recruit, your company is probably a disaster as well. Candidates who take note of such things, are often the kind of candidates you want. Unfortunately, you’ll miss out on them.
Being able to analyze the most meticulous things are often signs of a potentially great candidate, who will care about the work they do and your company. In any job process, I am certain that there is some type of automation.
However, the emails should still look professional and personalized. They should not translate to spam once submitted to the candidate. In my opinion any automation a recruiter does should be minimal. Otherwise, this becomes part of the process you could do yourself.
The Clueless Recruiter
A Clueless Recruiter is someone who has little to no idea about the industry they are recruiting in. When it comes to explaining what your company does to the candidate, they usually have a small snippet, but it’s never really anything impressive. Your company could be fighting for world peace, but all the candidate knows is that “you’re in some sort of fight”. Maybe the world peace statement is a bit drastic, but you get my point.
Putting someone who is clueless about your industry or your company at the forefront of recruiting, isn’t a great way to garner talent. You should never hire someone to recruit for you, if they don’t care enough to learn about your industry or company. As they will never truly understand the needs of your company.
No matter what your company does, in order to remain successful, you have to keep up with the needs of your industry or the industry that you are targeting. This is not to say that the recruiter should know everything, but they should at least be able to “hold a candle”, in the industry they are recruiting in.
How do you hire the right recruiter, to recruit for you? It’s pretty simple. You ask them 3 important questions:
- What is your recruiting process?
- What do you know about my company?
- What do you know about my industry?
While the StockPile, Automated and Clueless recruiters are not actual job titles, they are important characteristics that you should look out for. As they are all signs of people who just want your money. Obviously we all work for pay, but in any industry if you want to do well, money should not be your only focus.
You want recruiters that can give a nice personal touch. You want recruiters that see promise in candidates that you may not see initially. As well as recruiters who know nonsense when they see it. This is what makes recruiters valuable.