When you first start out on your career, you dream of a day when you get a phone call from a recruiter. It means that you’re on the radar in your field, and there are some truly outstanding professional recruiters out there helping connect the right people with the right opportunities. However with the help and recognition that recruiting can provide, there are some pitfalls, specifically, those recruiters who can have some rather funny quirks sometimes.
Here are ten sub-genres of recruiters to watch out for:
1. The Private Detective: This person will find out your mother’s mobile phone number to get in touch with you, even though the role isn’t right for you, and hasn’t been in 5 years. The chaser will even call you at your current employer, so you can embarrass yourself.
2. The Disappearing Act: The opposite of the chaser, though they might start out the same. The disappearing act will act like you’re perfect for their role, and you’ll never hear from them again, despite reaching out to them a zillion times.
3. The Shoe-horner: “You’re perfect for this job!” (Which isn’t even in your vertical, or is something you have even the basic level of experience in.) “It’s fine. Once you’re in the room, they’ll love you! (Spoiler alert: once you’re in the room, you can watch their faces as they realise you aren’t qualified for the role.)
4. The “It’s My First Day”: This recruiter is well-meaning, but between not getting the area of town the office is in right, and not remembering to tell you that there’s a language aptitude test you will need to perform, they’ve lost the plot.
5. The Reading Is Fundamental: This person will call you for a job because a piece of software told them to. Little do they realise they are calling to place you at a company you already worked at 3 years ago.
6. The “I’m Outside My Comfort Zone”: This type of recruiter has probably been around for a long time, and as a result, might not understand the distinctions between a product manager for Oreo and a project manager for Buzzfeed. They simply read a job description and do the best match-up they can, attempting to sell you on a job that you could never do on a bet.
7. The TMI: This recruiter seems like they would be ideal: they can give you a really detailed heads-up on not only the job you’re interested in, but the company, and the personal lives of everyone in your future department. It sounds great, until you pause to think what they may be telling others about you.
8. The War Hero: This recruiter used to work in your line of business, and as a result likes to bash it/tell 20-year-old stories about it, or generally discourage you from continuing in your chosen field.
9. The MLM Salesperson: This person will spend an inordinate amount of time asking you to help them fill positions, because you “know people” in that line of business. Expect an e-mail avalanche.
10. The Tweaker: they want you to make 1000 changes to your resume, redesign your website, etc., and you never really had a fair shot in the first place.
How to Find a Great Recruiter
Make sure your resume is up-to-date and update it regularly. This will draw attention from recruiters in your area of expertise. Once you’re called, go in and ask a lot of questions. Not every job will be for you. Most importantly: make sure to give constructive feedback along the way. If there are things you don’t like, vocalise them. Remember: you hopefully won’t have to work with a recruiter for a prolonged period of time, so keep your eye on the prize: a great job at a company you like.
Remember that your future office might have people you don’t get along with all the time. Practice constructive conflict resolution.
If you love your recruiter, show them some appreciation by referring other candidates to them. It could pay off, literally: some recruiters offer bonuses for referrals (from $500-$1000) for placing the right person!