What in God’s name convinces some people that they would be good recruiters? I ask because I’m shocked by the behavior shown by a recent recruiter interaction.

Lest I make myself sound too good here: I admit that some part of this recruiter’s frustration is my own fault. I wasn’t prompt in replying, I didn’t provide this person with a CV after I decided the role wasn’t a fit, and (worst of all) I didn’t stand my ground very firmly in telling this person I wasn’t interested in the role.

Then again, it wasn’t until after I said I wasn’t intererested that the quality of the interaction really started to decline. This was when the tone started to shift from “professionals talking about a career opportunity”, to something a little closer to “trying to start a fight”. At best, it was unnecessarily pushy. At worst, it was aggressive and condescending.

Here’s a brief selection of quotes:

  • “Are you even being serious or what?
  • “I remember those days when the economy wasn’t so good and candidates were more sincere”
  • “Thats how you guys operate by evading, flaking and faking”
  • “You’d be less arrogant when the economy becomes worse”

Let me reiterate: these were messages sent after I indicated I wasn’t interested in the role we’d discussed. Moreover: I was very upfront with the fact that I am pretty happy with my current situation, and unlikely to move without a very good fit or a very good opportunity. As soon as it was clear to me that this role was neither, I tried to end the conversation.

I suppose I wasted a little of both of our time here, but in total that amounted to about 10 emails, and a 20 minute phone call. Hardly what I would consider a huge time sink!

I’m not Sherlock Holmes, but I know enough to figure out who the corporate client is. There are only so many companies that fit the mold of being a certain size, in a certain place, and working in a certain sector. I have zero doubt that client would shit a brick if they found out this was how a recruiter was representing their brand, even by proxy. (How the hell are you supposed to report a third party recruiter, anyway?)

On a professional level: I have an electrical engineering degree, and close to a decade of experience. I’ve been lead engineer on three consumer products. I can design electronics, sling code, manage projects, and meet deadlines. I have a high demand nexus of skillsets in a hiring market. Furthermore, I have a job that rewards me pretty handsomely for the value I create there. I can afford to be choosy.

I especially choose not to work with anyone who feels the need to denigrate me just because my skillset can’t be rolled over into a commission at a moment’s notice.

More succinctly: I don’t have to put up with this bullshit.

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