Calling Hooey on You

Hate peopleHooey. If you aren’t familiar with this term, it’s a nicer and friendlier way of calling “BS” on something or someone. It’s when your words and your actions don’t line up and your hypocrisy has been exposed. Such is the case with Recruiters. I am calling “hooey” on you today.

I have been in recruiting for around 10 years. During that time, I have interviewed and hired countless other recruiters. I have conversations with other recruiters all of the time just talking shop and exploring strategies and processes and so on. One of the things that I always find myself asking is, “How did you fall into recruiting, since no one ever really sets out to be a recruiter?” What I really want to know is, “Why are you a recruiter?” One of the universal answers that I hear well over 95% of the time is, “I love people. I really like helping people.” To this, I call hooey on you.

More and more recruiters are seeking out technologies or apps to do their work for them. Companies invest small fortunes into their recruitment technologies to try an minimize the human element in recruiting now. As a result, many candidates now can go through the entire application process – and within seconds afterward, the rejection process as well – without a single human being ever even knowing that they applied or considering them for a job opportunity. Recruiters love people so much that they want to minimize any interaction with people. Robots are the preferred method of dealing with people. Let them scan a resume seeking out exact matches to keywords found in a job description, and if enough of them can be found, then you might be a special enough person to a recruiter’s attention. Just a quick question though, what about the candidate who is fully qualified for the opening but they used a different term than they one used in your job description? Oh, silly me….candidates are supposed to re-write their resume for every single job that they apply for and make them robot proof…got it.

Want further proof of your hooeyness? For those recruiters who are generous enough to lay eyes on a resume, you spend an average of 6 seconds on it. Yep, you enjoy helping others. After your 6 seconds is up, you discard that resume and never even consider sending an email, a phone call, a text, a smoke signal – nothing – to let that person know they were not going to be considered. Instead, you’ve decided that you love people so much that you’d send them a message when they applied that thanked them for their time and letting them know that you would be in contact if it was a match (presumably letting you off of the hook for any future common courtesies). I would consider giving you a gold star for this effort if you had sent it from your own personal email address, but instead you sent it from a “do not reply” email address so those people that you love helping couldn’t possibly know who you are or reach out to you.

As I mentioned at the outset of this post…I’ve been in recruiting for about 10 years. Do I spend hours pouring over every single resume that I receive and place individual phone calls to each and every candidate that applies for my openings? Absolutely not. But I do provide them with feedback – every single one of them. I’m sure I may have missed a handful of them over the years, but I do try to give every candidate information (good or bad). Am I anxious to answer the phone every time it rings, especially when I know it’s the candidate who has already called me 15 times in a 3 day period…no. I roll my eyes and I dread answering that call…but I do or I call them back. Am I a saint for doing these things…nope. But here’s what the point is for this post…

Behind every resume that we receive is a person – a human being – a family. Many are in a desperate situation. The mortgage is due. Car payments need to be made. Groceries need to be purchased. Their kids have a school or church event coming up and they need to register. We sometimes think we just live in a world of resumes, but each one has a face and a story.

The way forward is to have a balance of high tech and high touch. There is no way to do effective recruiting today without a heavy dose of technology involved…but they should be used to make the process more effective and efficient for the candidate, not as an excuse for the recruiter to do a lesser level of work. There are some recruiters who truly do love people and gain great satisfaction in helping others. To you, I applaud your extra efforts and keeping the big picture in mind. But for those recruiters who say they love people and want to help them, but actually loathe people and cannot stand talking to them – please get out of my industry because you make the rest of us look really bad.

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