Poor Communication Remains A Big Rap Against Recruiters

Last week John wrote about the recruiting brand of employers, which is shaped by how they hire and fire their employees.  Today he looks at the talent acquisition process — the treatment job applicants receive at the hands of corporation, their internal recruiters or their outside agents, executive search firms.


I was a finalist in a high-ranking executive search for a major east coast health system.  It has been nine months and I still have not heard from the recruiter.  Why do recruiters treat their applicants with such disrespect?  It is unbelievable.”

Regrettably it is not.  It happens all the time, and it is the most common complaint that career transition advisors hear about corporate recruiters and executive search firms.  To be honest, I am not sure why, since calling an applicant, even with bad news, does not take that much time or energy.  

This behavior is about as silly as corporate recruiters refusing to divulge base salary information — even at times saying that a candidate’s salary request will not be a problem — until the end of the search.  I have had dozens of candidates over the years complain about this practice.  It usually goes something like this:  “They told me my base salary would not be a problem but when it got down to the end and I received an offer, they were 30, 40, or 50 percent (pick one) below what I was currently making. Why would they waste my time and their money?”

That is another good question.  I have written several times in the past about these talent acquisition oddities.   I have asked for feedback but recruiters are largely silent on the subject.  I guess some organizations have decided they do not need to change because they do not need to change.  Ignore the pesky noise and it will go away. 

This is transactional recruiting at its worst.

Are there good firms who keep their candidates informed? Yes.  Are there scrupulous internal recruiters who care about not wasting the time of their applicants?  Absolutely.  

I am not trying to pick a fight or alienate my friends and colleagues in the search business. I am lucky to have many in firms and in corporate recruiting offices who I respect a great deal.  I raise this issue because I think we all can and should do better with our communications and transparency.   

It you have questions or comments, you can reach John at CareerTransitions@JohnGSelf.com.