Reader Response: How Recruiters Make Their Own Problems

This comment from Not Buying It is a response to yesterday’s post by Wall Street Services, which explained the job search from a recruiter’s perspective.

I have no doubt that recruiters are receiving many applications that don’t fit their specifications. But I find the recruiter’s response disingenuous and misguided.

To start, the recruiter falsely believes that the only people who can do a specific job are the people who have done that job before. How is that realistic? In a world where that’s true, how would any job ever be filled? Recruiters SHOULD be spending more time actually doing their job and, yes, inferring! how a qualified candidates’ past experiences could translate to the role required. That’s the whole point — in an open and free market, you are recruiting candidates who are flexible and moldable to many different roles.

Second, as someone who has been through a job search that lasted 18 months, I can say with some impunity that I’ve seen thousands of job postings. And the vast majority of the ones I saw are seeking candidates with unrealistic amounts of experience. Entry level jobs (for subsistence wages or worse, an “internship”) seeking candidates with 3 or 5+ years experience. Mid-level jobs (with entry level pay) seeking ONLY candidates with graduate degrees and 7+ years of niche-specific experience! With the glut of job seekers, recruiters are taking the path of least resistance and seeking the desperate but experienced candidates who are willing to sell themselves into indentured servitude just for a job.

I daresay that the frustration the recruiter is experiencing is entirely of his or her doing. As he or she has plainly made clear, recruiters are setting unrealistic expectations and then reaping what they sow — candidates are applying to anything they can, because recruiters are setting expectations that can’t be filled. If companies were willing to pay for the talent they’re seeking, and if recruiters were willing to find candidates who experience fit the pay, they wouldn’t be in this situation.

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