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Recruitment is a key part of Human Resources – it gets you your people! From understanding market movements to identifying the key hires for your company, recruiters are essential for every business. As a recruiter, we are the first in line when it comes to attracting talents and representing the brand well; doesn’t matter whether it’s an agency or in-house.

But why are recruiters hated so much?

Reading through a few blogs and having firsthand experience in recruitment, there are a few reasons to why recruiters get a bad rep. Let’s dive a bit further and see the common opinions people have for recruiters.

1. Keyword addict

Most candidates that are actively looking out for opportunities would have their fair share of experience with recruiters that ignores the context of their CV or have spammed them with opportunities that are not relevant to their expertise. Most of the time, these recruiters would find candidates that matches their Boolean searches and immediately spam these candidates with messages without even looking at their LinkedIn profile or CV. And this would lead to the recruiters misrepresenting a candidate that is not suitable for the employer.

2. Recruiters are salesmen chasing KPIs

Most candidates/employers are aware around the sales nature of recruitment. And what is the common problems with salespeople? They don’t listen.

Due to that, they know when a recruiter is fishing for a CV/interview just so the recruiters can achieve their KPIs. This sometimes led to recruiters calling candidates during the weekends or after working hours without any regard to one’s personal life. Furthermore, most candidates and employers feel that recruiters tend to oversell the role/company to the candidate or the candidate to the employer.

3. Master ghoster

Some recruiters, especially those that fits point no. 2, have gone through the extreme measures to get in touch with you. They have called you, messaged you, emailed you and even showed up at your office building just so they can have you attend the interview. You finally attended the interview but unfortunately that was the last you heard from your recruiter. AWOL. Radio silence. And then, a new recruiter emerges, and the cycle continues.

What can be done?

Whether it is in-house or agency recruitment, when it comes to recruiting for people, there will always be an element of sales. Unfortunately, most recruiters are introduced to the art of sales before the art of recruitment, and this is where the problem stems from. When the entire practice revolves heavily around human interaction, people, and lives; having KPIs to handle such practice is counterproductive to people’s livelihood. It creates a whole generation of recruiters that are transactional and reactive; people who only care about earning money, chasing KPIs and promotions which then leads to recruiters thinking that they always know better and starts being rude to the market.

Learn empathy, dear recruiters. Understand that we are all humans, and our job revolves around the second of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and that affects people’s sense of security which evidently affects their self-esteem and livelihood. At the end of the day, recruitment is all about people and matching them with the right opportunity. Listen to the employer’s problems and find a talent with the ability to solve such problems and vice versa. It might take a longer time, but the value and impact are wide. It is what Human Resources is supposed to be about and we recruiters? Clearly, we must do better.