ATLANTA, GA - LinkedIn Answers (a great resource, btw) featured a question last week called "Do recruiters have a bad reputation?" The inquiry continued ...
"It seems like I see more and more stories on LinkedIn about bad experiences with recruiters. Do you have a good story about a recruiter or have you had a positive experience with a recruiter that you can share?"
Good questions, indeed.
Do recruiters have a bad reputation? In my experience, "YES" -- and one of the main reasons is that the contingency recruiting business pays recruiters $1,000-2,000/month draw versus straight commission. That's a run rate of $12-24K per year with NO benefits -- even though a new recruiter who does not close a deal in his first three months on the job at a well-run agency is fired.
Would any bright, aggressive, empathic, resourceful, business-oriented person with a lot of professional options sign up for that kind of deal? It's unusual.
The result is that most contingency recruiters are incredibly transactional in their approach to developing candidate relationships: They are "incentivized" to pick the lowest hanging fruit they can find, taking any search assignment a client will give them regardless of how it aligns with their own expertise. Candidates suffer the consequences on the front end of this process, while the tail end of the recruiting process is fraught with serious conflicts of interest. For example, asking your recruiter if you should accept his client's job offer is like asking a barber if you needs a haircut.
Retained recruiters are under a similar type of transactional pressure, although the economics of the retained search business are different, and I won't get into that here.
The bottom line is that the compensation systems in the recruiting business engender the kind of short-termism that gives the industry a less-than-stellar reputation.
Candidates, you can read good stories about exceptional recruiters in their LinkedIn testimonials. Great recruiters are out there, but like I said: They're exceptional.
What are your thoughts?