Career Recruitment — 26 June 2012
Beware of the ‘bulldog’ recruiter…!

Earlier this week I stumbled upon a great blog post titled “how to deal with a rude recruiter”. Having read the post and the comments associated, I can understand why the recruitment industry tends to portray a negative impression.

This particular blog is compiled by an ex-recruitment industry manager, business owner, and author of “How To Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager”. In a nutshell, a candidate writes in for advice as to how to manage calls from recruitment headhunters, after a very bad experience.

The candidate writes that the initial conversation runs smoothly between the two parties (candidate and recruiter) until the headhunter raises the topic of salary compensation. Immediately the tone, transparency, and direction of the call changes when the candidate feels uncomfortable and doesn’t want to answer the question asked. The recruiter then becomes aggressive, pushy and condescending.

Big mistake. In recruitment, we call this the “bulldog approach” and in my opinion, it needs to be wiped out.

As a candidate, when you engage with a recruiter who contacts you, find out exactly who they are, what company they work for, what they specialise in, what they know about you and why they think you are suitable for “x” position. Are you really going to trust a recruiter to represent you who has little idea about what culture suits you or your professional skill set? Working with a recruiter to find a new role should be painless. Make sure you meet them face-to-face and ask them all the right questions.

Be yourself, be transparent and remember that you are in control of your future career prospects. You need to ensure that the specialist recruiter you choose to work with advocates you and your skills in the best possible way.

And if you’re ever in a situation where you never hear back after an interview (we hear of this happening often), try this very cool online tool for job seekers that generates an anonymous letter to the employer (below), telling them how rude their silence is.


A job candidate you recently interviewed asked to have this letter sent on his/her behalf and is utilizing this anonymous message service because he/she knows that writing personally would burn bridges.

The candidate never received a response from you about the outcome of his/her candidacy.

As you probably know, most job candidates put significant time and effort into preparing for a job interview: Many spend hours reading up on your company and industry and thinking about how they could best offer something of value to you. They may take a day off work and spend time and money travelling to you. And then they wait … and wait and wait, anxiously hoping for an answer, any answer.

A quick email or formal letter advising the candidate that he or she is no longer under consideration — that’s all it takes. Candidates deserve that. And so does your organisation, which looks unprofessional when you leave candidates hanging.

On behalf of your past and future candidates, won’t you please reconsider your practices?

A Fellow Hiring Manager.

At the very least, you will ensure that the next person that engages with that particular recruiter or employer will have a positive experience! Spread the love and pass it on.


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(4) Readers Comments

  1. I think the quote you had about transparency is right on target. All too often people tend to be entirely too focused on winning the job that they forget to truly treat the process as 2 way. Remember, the recruitment process is just as much about how the opportunity/organization fit with you as you fit with them.

    Greg Moran

    • Thanks for the great feedback Greg. Completely agree with you on this!

  2. Over the past decade I’ve applied for many contract positions. After the automated response to your application, it more often than not falls into a hole. You hear nothing. On the occasions where I’ve gone into a recruiter meeting, it feels more like a skills tick list. More about the skills, and less about fitting the true abilities to do and learn, and character of the person to the company and employees. If I do get sent to the interview, there have been times when the interview revealed details that the recruiter failed to include. Again, you fall into a black hole. How hard is it for both the company and the recruiter (if used) to create a database, a series of acknowledgement/informational emails? I give all my details up front, and yet get little back. They call themselves professional – and they’re demanding high calibre marketing professionalism from me, and they often under deliver themselves.

  3. Pingback: Thinking about resigning? Here's how NOT to do it, Career

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