Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Adventures In Recruiting: How Recruiters Get A Bad Name

Another recruiter once called me to ask for my advice.  It seemed that she had a candidate who had accepted a job, resigned from his current job and on the Friday before he was to start work the next Monday had the offer withdrawn.  It appeared that he lied on his résumé.  When the company did its due diligence, it was discovered that there was no record of him graduating from the college listed.  She asked me if there was anything I could tell her.

I told her that there was nothing she could do, but asked what happened.

The recruiter told me that the candidate did have a college degree, but not from the one shown on his résumé.  She told me that the candidate told her that another recruiter had told him to change his college to a more prestigious school. So he put down that he graduated from Princeton, although he had gotten his degree from Rutgers. My response was shame on the candidate for making a false statement on his résumé.  I also told this recruiter that the headhunter who told him to change his résumé should be banned from the business. She told me about the candidate and, in truth, there was no reason to change the college on his résumé since he was over fifteen years out of school and had had a successful career. 

Of course, there was nothing he or she could do about it.  She lost the placement because the candidate lied about his background. End of story.

Well, not quite.

Some months later I was having lunch with a recruiter friend and we were exchanging war stories.  I told her this one.  She asked me who the recruiter was.  I told her.

The person I was having lunch with started laughing. She almost choked on her food she was laughing so hard.

It seems that she knew the whole story.  The candidate was also working with her (I did not know him) and had told her the entire story.  She said to me that, aside from the fact that the candidate was an idiot, it was in fact the same recruiter who called me and who had told him to make the change in his resume. This recruiter told the candidate that no one checks those things.  So the candidate made the change.  My recruiter friend told me who the company was.  The irony was that I knew this company and that they could have cared less, at this point, about the candidate’s education; but, of course, they did care that he lied on his résumé.

So the recruiter brought it on herself.  But why call me?  She probably called me to see if there was a way she could save it.

My friend and I both had a good laugh. What was this recruiter thinking?  How could I possibly help?
Ironically, the recruiter is still in the business.  It is a shame because it gives us all a black eye.


  1. What a slap in the face to those of us who have conducted our business with integrity. It's amazing that these people still survive.

  2. I'm a freelance advertising CD/AD. Would you mind giving your POV on staffing agencies? I used to contact up to three independent recruiters that I knew when I was looking for work. But it seems as in the last few years, the industry has been swarmed by companies such as Solomon Page and Syndicate Bleu, who want to pay me on a W2, and offer absurdly low rates. I haven't taken any work from them, but I try to be nice because I've noticed their people sometimes end up inhouse at an ad agency. My questions are: how have these places inserted themselves in the hiring process, how are they compensated, how much of a cut are they taking from their recruits, is it ever advantageous to work with them, do ad agencies really work with them and take them seriously? (It seems as if these places are always putting out cattle calls on job boards, which makes me think no one wants to work for them, or else they're so lazy they never remember who they've interviewed.)Also, how do real recruiters such as yourself compete against them? Thanks in advance.

    1. Mostly, we deal at higher salary levels. Ad Agencies actually save money by outsourcing hiring since they don't have to pay payroll taxes or benefits.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. That's messed up


I would welcome your comments, suggestions or anything you would like to share with me or my readers.

Creative Commons License