6 Things You Must Know When Working With Recruiters, HR, and Hiring Managers

This article was originally published here

January 22, 2015

Six rules to follow when dealing with recruiters, HR, and hiring managers.
By Bob McIntosh, Career Trainer

The Angry Young Job Seeker written by Amy Ala, speaks of the ignorance and downright audacity of a talented gentleman this recruiter was trying to place. Demanding, belligerent, and arrogant, are just some of the adjectives I would use to describe the subject of Amy’s account.

In reading the article, you get a sense that the author was trying to help the job seeker, while also keeping in mind the needs of her client. She demonstrated patience, diplomacy, and understanding. In the end, she couldn’t in good conscience recommend the job seeker for the job. There are those who go to great lengths to help job seekers find employment.

So when job seekers commit follies—like the one Amy was trying to place—it’s hard to believe the lack of common sense they display. It makes one scratch his or her head and wonder, “What makes people behave this way?” Let’s go over some basic behaviors to avoid when engaging in relationships with recruiters, HR, and hiring managers.

1. Don’t forget your manners.
Remember when your parents taught you manners? These manners were meant to be practiced throughout your life. In Amy’s article, the job seeker surely didn’t exercise his manners and this did him in. He verbalized his displeasure with having to go through another round of interviews, was inflexible in terms of meeting for an interview, and demanded “relocation” fees.

2. Understand the role of a recruiter, Human Resources, and hiring managers.
It is their job to find the right person for a position that needs to be filled. If they recommend or hire the wrong person, it doesn’t bode well. Your job is to make them see you as the answer to their prayers—not expect them to be the answer to your prayers.

3. You are not the center of attention.
You are a means to an end, namely serving the organization that hires and houses you. This is an extension of the previous point. Your objective is to get an interview, land the job, and keep the job. As you rise in the ranks, your leveraging power will increase. Until then, do as you’re told.

4. When the workday ends, those who can help you realize your goal have other obligations.
This is my little rule. When the workday ends, I have my kids’ events to attend, not unlimited time to conduct business. Some recruiters, et al, may be more flexible of their own free will or because their job calls for it. In other words, they don’t work for you.

5. You are better than a buffoon and a squabbling fool.
If you’re a bit irritated but generally agree with what I’ve written, thank heavens. If by chance, you’re saying, “who the @#%& is he to be stating these rules?”, chances are you’ll find it very difficult to land and keep a job. But honestly, you’re better than someone who would break these rules, including the job seeker mentioned in the article.

6. Keep your dignity.

With all this said, don’t be taken advantage of. Any recruiter, HR professional, or hiring manager who treats you wrong isn’t worth his…or her…weight in salt. Many job seekers approach me and ask what they should do if they haven’t heard from a recruiter or employer after many attempts of contacting them. I tell them to continue to follow-up but don’t hound or stalk them. They’re sending you a message, albeit a poor one. Your dignity is worth more than hounding fools who don’t know your value.

Read the article, and you’ll wonder how The Angry Young Job Seeker could be so clueless. The landscape of the job search has changed and the rules may not favor the job seeker; but as I tell my job seekers, eventually it will be a sellers’ market. What a wonderful thing that will be.

About the Author

Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer at the Career Center of Lowell, where he leads more than 20 workshops on the career search. Bob is often the person job seekers and staff go to for advice on the job search. As well, he critiques resumes and conducts mock interviews. One of his greatest accomplishments is starting a LinkedIn group, which is one of the largest of its kind in the state, and developing three in-high-demand workshops on LinkedIn. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Please visit Bob’s blog at www.thingscareerrelated.wordpress.com.

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