Select Page

Where were you taught, Idiot Recruiter School?

I’ll admit it: I recruit! While I pride myself on dedicating myself to the well-being of my candidates—truly investing my time and effort in discovering who they are as individuals and helping them find the right paths for themselves personally—of course, not everyone is going to understand or know it to be true  from my title alone.

I remember one particularly confronting experience, when I had emailed a potential candidate about a position I thought might be a good match. The response I received was laced with angry words and threats and the memorable question: “Where were you taught, idiot recruiter school?!“. Ouch.

I walked away from that situation stunned and wondering when and how, exactly, recruiters got such a bad reputation. We used to be considered helpful, right? Career match-makers…. Wrong.

What’s Changed?

In one word: money.

Financial incentive seems to be the force driving the pharma recruitment industry today. At many companies, recruiters face a lot of pressure to land the commission—which means they merely need a “bum in the seat” (in the words of one of our recruiters who worked with one of these types of recruiters). They transfer this pressure to their clients, seemingly more worried about making the sale than finding the right match. The result: candidates don’t feel in control.

How to Get the Control

First of all, just don’t waste your time trying to work with bad recruiters. You know them when you see them: the ones who apply too much pressure or promise too much. The ones that just feel wrong.

Then, when do you find a recruiter worthy of your time, make sure you are clear with them. About what you are looking for, about your experience and abilities. They won’t know what makes you a special candidate or what would make you a happy unless you tell them! That being said, the right recruiter will likely have some worthy questions and suggestions you hadn’t thought of yourself…

You, however, should be the one to control the contact. If you don’t want recruiters to email you at a certain address, do not include that address in your LinkedIn profile. You can even hide your email address to ensure that you will only be contacted through LinkedIn, allowing you to check in on any potential prospects when and only when you like. To receive the widest range of opportunities, display an email address that those in your network can use to contact you with new opportunities.

You should be the one to decide how and when you want to hear from recruiters as well as what you will do from there.

It’s your career—so get in the drivers’ seat!

Written by Kieran Canisius, co-founder of Seuss Recruitment. Want to learn more? Watch Kieran’s June 2015 presentation at the annual DIA (Drug Information Association) conference in Washington DC here.