I've seen lots of guides for job applicants on how to talk to recruiters floating around the internet, but what I don't see as often are "Tips on how to talk to job candidates." I suppose that's not as required, since the recruiter is typically the one with more leverage in the arrangement and doesn't really have to worry as much about saying the wrong thing and putting someone off. Indeed, when I was unemployed right out of college, if a recruiter called me and said "Scrub my floors with a toothbrush every day for a week and maaaaaaaybe you'll get an interview" I'd probably have given it some thought.
Now that I have a job, though, things are a bit different. I'm not saying I'm planning to stay at my current place forever, but I have a baseline now. I can afford to be picky. Another side effect of having a job is that where I used to go weeks at a time without hearing anything back about applications, now I get unsolicited phone calls and LinkedIn messages from recruiters almost weekly. I've noticed, uh, a few trends. Not that I expect any recruiters to read this, but either way, following is a list of reasons I don't always jump at calling back.
Lack of any useful information about the job. I realize they are bound to respect the client's confidentiality up to a point, but you can give me more than "there's a position at this company," surely. Don't make me pry to figure out the things you know I want to know: What is the salary range? What are the benefits? As I said, in the olden days I'd have jumped for anything, but now I need something that at least matches my current benefits and offers a salary increase sufficient to justify the trouble of moving to an unfamiliar environment. I want to know right up front that I'm not wasting my time.
Awkward pretenses. This might sound harsh but: You're not my friend. I don't know you. I keep getting calls from this one guy to the effect of "Hey man, how's it going? I just thought I'd call and check up on ya, see if you were doin' ok." Bullshit. Stop acting like we're buddies. We both know all I want is a good career and all you want is your commission, so let's not pretend. I got a message a while ago asking me if I wanted to grab a cup of coffee to chat and get to know each other. That's the kind of message people should be sending to each other on OKCupid, not LinkedIn.
Calling at work. I don't mean during working hours. Most recruiting companies are 9-5, I get that and it's cool. What is not cool is calling someone at their direct extension on their current employer's line. Like, it's so remarkably unprofessional that I can't believe people actually do it yet they do.
Meaningless buzzwords. Seriously, I'm not fooled by the fluff. When you say "energetic new company with plenty of potential for growth!" I hear "unproven startup that probably has long hours and low job security that doesn't actually offer anything I don't already have." MckaylaMaroneyFace.jpg
So yeah. That. Hopefully I didn't burn any bridges and screw myself out of a 6 figure position because I drove off the wrong recruiter. Wooooops.
tl;dr I get tons of messages from recruiters now but they're all awkward and unimpressive.