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An Open Letter to Recruiters Everywhere


Recruiter’s Everywhere,

1 Recruiter Street,



R12 X567.

Dear Recruiter,

I’ve been working with Social Talent for just over 2 and a half years now. And although I started off not knowing anything about the recruitment industry, what recruiters did, or how it all worked/should work, I now know quite a lot about what sets a great recruiter apart from a no-so-great recruiter. Which is why I now feel now is the right time for me to sit down and compose this open letter to all those not-so-great recruiters out there.

But while, I don’t mean to offend any of you with this letter (I ultimately want to help you be the best recruiter you can be), I will warn you that I do have a number of grievances I need to get off my chest!

Here goes…

Do you really care that I’m “well”?

Every InMail/email I’ve ever received from a recruiter has begun with some variation of the phrase “Hi Síofra, I hope you are well”. Now, I know you mean well when you start your pitch to me this way, but really?! Is that the best you can do? It sounds a little lazy.

I just tweeted about I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Why not start off by asking me what I thought of last night’s episode or how I felt about that disgusting bush tucker trail they made Kieron Dyer do? That’d get my attention!

Let’s talk about me for a second…

If only I had a euro for the number of InMails I’ve received from recruiters telling me how much having me on their team would benefit their client or their company. Here’s the thing: I’m valued in Social Talent. I have friends here, I enjoy a good salary here, why would I want to leave all that just to please your client, if it’s not going to directly benefit me in some way? If you really want to entice me out of my current role, you should be telling me all the things you or your client can do for ME. Can you offer me a shorter commute? Can you offer me a higher salary? Can you offer me more vacation days? Tell me what you can do for me. It might sound selfish but…

Stop being so God damn secretive!

“Hi Síofra, I have a role on my books at the moment which matches up brilliantly with your skill set, I’d love to chat to you about this opportunity.” What opportunity?! You haven’t told me about any opportunity or why my skill set matches up so “brilliantly” to one, in your opinion. What’s worse is, when I asked this recruiter for more information about the role, they replied asking me to send them my CV before receiving any information… Why would I want to send my CV to someone I know nothing about, for a role I know nothing about? Just tell me what the God damn job is!

Have you even looked at my profile?!

This is kind of embarrassing for you considering you just told me that your role “matched up brilliantly” with my skill set… but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been contacted by a recruiter asking me (in all seriousness) if I’d like to take “this great opportunity” to become a Senior Graphic Designer or a Recruitment Consultant. Hang on a second, did you just message the wrong person or confuse me with someone else? Sure, my LinkedIn profile may contain the words “Photoshop” and “InDesign” because I use them a little for work, and one of my listed educational achievements is a diploma in desktop publishing, but I have never formally studied graphic design, nor have I ever worked as a Graphic Designer. So what makes me qualified enough in your eyes, to work for your client as a “Senior Graphic Designer”?!

Similarly, just because I work for a recruitment training company, doesn’t mean I’m a Recruitment Consultant. In fact, I quite clearly state that my role here is as an “Inbound Marketing Executive”. Do your research people, because you just wasted a perfectly good InMail.

Give me a specific time and date to “chat”.

Ok, I’m interested in the role you’ve sent me and I’d like to talk about it further, but as I’m sure you can appreciate, I’m a busy person. I’m in charge of all content marketing for Social Talent, which means that if I’m not writing a new blog post, I’m designing a piece of Sales collateral, or if I’m not designing collateral, I’m composing an email marketing campaign or a heap of promotional tweets. You get it, I’m busy. My day is usually pretty full. I presume yours is too. Therefore, I’m always fascinated by recruiters who ask me to let them know when I’m “free for a chat”.

See, that’s the thing, I don’t just have free periods in my day I can use to call up recruiters, my time is used up doing all that I need to do for work and for all the other things I’ve got going on in my life. You need to compel me to reply to you right now, otherwise I won’t, because checking my schedule to see when I’m free would take me too long and as I already told you, I’m busy. Try closing your message to me with a time specific call to action like “Can you take a call at 6:30pm this evening to discuss further?” or “I’m going to be near your office on Tuesday. Can you meet me for coffee at 12pm to discuss?”. This makes it easier for me to check my schedule and invariably elicits a must faster response from me because I know I have to answer you by a certain point.

Respect my time.

I can’t stress this point enough. If I’ve agreed to speak with you about the role you’re offering at 6:30pm this evening or at 12pm in Starbucks on Tuesday, please, please, PLEASE respect my time and ensure you actually show up. I had a very aggravating experience with a recruiter in the not too distant past, where, after agreeing a time to call me, the recruiter failed to get in touch as promised. 20 minutes after our agreed time (when they still hadn’t called me), I emailed them to see whether I actually had gotten the time wrong. 10 minutes later I received an email informing me that the recruiter was with a client and they’d ring me in 20 minutes (what were they doing with a client during our agreed time?). 20 minutes later I received another email from the recruiter telling me they had lost my phone number (it’s in my email signature) and could I please forward it on for them to get in touch. I obliged, only to finally receive a call from them 40 minutes later – almost 2 hours after we had agreed to “chat”. ARGH!

What’s worse is, when that recruiter did eventually ring me back they told me they were ringing me while on their commute home, which meant I spent most of my time trying to hear them above all the train noises at the station they were waiting at… not professional.

Let me get a word in edgeways.

The definition of a chat is “a talk between two or more people in an informal way”. Notice how that description mentions that a chat is between 2 or more people? That’s because it takes at least 2 people to have a chat, not just one. I’ve had several instances where the “chat” I was supposed to be having with a recruiter has turned into a one-sided preaching session on the recruiter’s part.

I have the job spec, I don’t need to read to me verbatim all over again. Stop talking and let me ask some questions!

If you say you’re going to do something, do it!

I once had a conversation with a recruiter which ended on them telling me they would send on the full job description and they would call me the next day to talk it over. I didn’t receive a job description or a phone call the next day, or the day after that. 3 days later I received an apologetic email with the job spec attached and no call. Meanwhile, I got another job offer; Social Talent. You snooze, you lose!


Yours sincerely,

Síofra (and every other passive/active candidate on the planet)

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