What is one major pet peeve of a Recruiter?


Every person has pet peeves, its normal, but I wanted to chat about one specific pet peeve I think many recruiters experience. So what do you think this pet peeve could be? Well, I wanted to touch base on rude / impolite candidates that recruiters sometimes work with.


I have seen many candidates being extremely rude to Recruiters, who are there to assist them in their career advancement. I find in any situation that being impolite or rude can lead to the working relationship feeling awkward and difficult, which is not ideal when making as big as a decision as changing your career.

Let me give you a quick example of a situation I found some previous colleagues facing:


These colleagues I was working with wanted to meet a fairly senior candidate, to get more information on their profile. They went to meet the candidate and travelled to a coffee shop right by the candidate’s workplace, so the candidate didn’t have to travel to the recruiter’s office. The candidate was interested in the role they had to offer and hence agreed to the meet up.


(Please note, this candidate would not have gained access to the opportunity any other way, so what we had to offer was something they would have otherwise not had access to.)


However, when meeting with the candidate they didn’t realise the kind of meeting they were about to have. Facing comments from the candidate along the lines of ‘hurry up because I am busy’, ‘you should have all this information as it is on my CV’ and ‘you are wasting my time’ was, to say the least, a little bit of a shock.


Yes, there is always a certain amount of information on a CV but, one must remember that a CV doesn’t tell a recruiter where you want to work, why you are moving and what kind of role you are you looking for going forward? It doesn’t tell the recruiter the way you present yourself and how you communicate face to face. Talking over the phone is a very different experience compared to face to face, and it’s always good to meet each other and put a face to the name.


The meeting was uncomfortable and they left feeling very confused and underappreciated, as if their time was seen as no more than a waste for the candidate. They went out of their way to accommodate the candidate, as they knew the candidate was very busy, to have 15 to 30 minutes of their time, only to feel unwelcome.


For a recruiter a situation like that could be confusing and a tad bit frustrating I am sure. Recruiters are there to help and understand your requirements. So why would you be impolite / rude to them? If it’s because you don’t want to work with recruiters, then no problem. Politely tell them that you are not interested in working with a recruiter and leave it there. No harm, no foul.


Another huge concern when dealing with a situation like the above is, if that is how a candidate potentially treats or acts in front of a recruiter, how will they act in an interview? What kind of behaviour can the client expect and how can this reflect on both the candidate and recruiter because ultimately it’s the recruiters, candidates and recruiters company name, being represented.


It is actually quite a scary thought when you really start to think about it. When a recruiter finds themselves in this situation, they will most likely remain polite and continue working with the candidate, which would be the right thing to do. In some cases however, they may even decide to politely turn the candidate away because working with a rude candidate is a nightmare, and every phone call, meeting and email, is dreaded.


So a little insight into how a recruiter may feel when dealing with rude candidates:


  • They may feel their assistance and guidance is not appreciated
  • They may feel the candidate does not have respect for other people
  • They may feel the candidate views them as inferior


None of these are any good for anyone and I do believe that there shouldn’t be any cases of rudeness, but ultimately, we do not live in a perfect world. I would like to highlight a few points that I really think every candidate should kindly remember when working with a recruiter:


  • Recruiters often have jobs that are not even advertised yet. Jobs that candidates do not have access to and recruiters are bringing those opportunities to those candidate doorsteps
  • Access to these opportunities is completely free
  • Recruiters represent you to the client, organise interviews, manage your diary, negotiate for you, give advice and much more, FOR FREE (They even reformat your CV because, well, some people are unfortunately not good CV writers). Recruiters are like your very own personal assistant
  • Recruiters guide you on interview technique and etiquette tips, again, free of charge. Unless you do hours of research on how to interview, most people don’t know how to deal with common and tough questions faced in an interview


All of the above is absolutely free and costs a candidate nothing more than a little bit of their time.


To add a few more things and to give a little insight into what recruiters do in their line of work throughout the process. Things a candidate may not even realise:


  • Recruiters are constantly in negotiations with the client, whether its interview times through to the offer
  • Recruiters not only send you for opportunities they have on their desk but also create one’s for you. They are always knocking on doors that may not be active and selling you, so that you can have multiple options to consider
  • If recruiters find that time is of the essence, they are always following up and making sure process go as smoothly as possible
  • Recruiters help you build your professional network
  • Recruiters make you look good by performing tasks such as formatting your CV to having you properly prepared for an interview
  • Recruiters are like mini psychologists, they are always bouncing ideas off of you and you do the same. They help you to see each opportunity from multiple angles, that you may not have thought of
  • They are your career coach, building on your strengths and providing constructive feedback to help you build on your weaknesses. They help you identify where may need work and what you can use to your advantage. They know what their clients are looking for and coach you on how to approach your interview answers in a structured and understandable way


Yes, recruiters need candidates, especially in a scarcely skilled market, however, it is also a recruiter’s job to have more than one candidate per role. You may have the perfect skill set but that doesn’t mean there are no other potential candidates out there. If a recruiter is sending multiple candidates for one role and one candidate is impolite compared to the others, it highly likely the client will select polite over impolite candidates. How you present yourself in an interview speaks volumes for the client and clients want people who are easy to get along with and would potentially integrate into a team, as quickly as possible.


Ultimately, Recruiters have a job to do by meeting their clients’ needs and by helping candidates ace their interviews. If, for whatever reason, you feel you are superior to a recruiter, then you can choose to not work with them. Just remember, they can help open so many doors you didn’t even realise existed and they can give you so much valuable information, that you can use throughput your entire life.


Be respectful in a working relationship and appreciate that every person is an expert in their own way.


We all serve an important purpose, we just choose to do it differently.


I leave you with this thought:

“…a moral consideration of the utmost importance for us: we must respect individual differences, yet we must coordinate, work together, and act as one.” – Norman Lamm


PS: Any other recruiter or candidate pet peeves you may have? Comment Below!


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