The other day I was dealing with a recruiter who was “representing” me to a hiring manager.* We had arranged for her to call me at 9am to discuss the position, but when 9:10 came along and I hadn’t heard from her, I tried calling her office number she had in the signature of her email.
The phone rang on and on with no answer. So I went back to work, and figured I would try later. A bit of phone tag later, and we finally were able to talk and prepare for an interview with the hiring manager.
When she asked me to call her after the interview was over, I related the issue I had reaching her earlier. Her response? “I was getting too many telemarketing calls on my office line, so I unplugged it. Call me on my cell phone. I guess I should take my office number off my email, huh?”
A woman whose entire job consists of talking with hiring managers and job seekers didn’t see any problem with disconnecting the phone number she was handing out as contact information. And this level of incompetence is by no means unique when dealing with recruiters.
I have a hard time feeling sympathy when recruiters tell me the past few years have been difficult when the entire profession seems to combine the non-value adding qualities of HR departments with the clueless and dilettantism of bored housewives who get the idea to start up their own business to feel productive that ends up never really turning a profit if you factor in all the business expenditures, which they never do. (Real estate agent and pyramid scheme marketing are the other two big options for the later quality)
Sorry that this post is all complaint, no solution, but sometimes that’s all ya got.
*The other big joke in the recruitment field is the nebulous relationship each recruiter has with everyone else in the process. The hiring manager often has contracts with a few different people, so they see the recruiter as representing the prospective employee. The job seeker is often lulled into thinking the recruiter is on their side, which is a little true, in that they don’t get paid unless the job is offered (and accepted). But, the recruiter is making “matches” based on the job offers they represent, not job seekers. In the case above, I was only working with this buffoon because she was in the same recruiter network as another recruiter I work with and respect, and she had this offer on her desk. So while I never chose her, her unprofessional manner reflects on me, not the hiring company.