Recruiters behaving badly

Recently, I blogged about an issue I had with the telephone system at work – which turned out to be a recruiter phoning me.

Well, I had another phone call at work today, from another recruiter.

I’m not sure why this is a thing. It’s not a problem I’ve had before. These recruiters are not getting my direct work number from my LinkedIn profile. I deliberately don’t publish any of my contact numbers on there. What is actually happening is that they are seeing where I am currently employed from my LinkedIn profile, and phoning the reception where I currently work to get put through to my work number.

I’m getting more annoyed by this behaviour. I specifically mention in my profile that any contact should be done either via email or through a LinkedIn message. I am open to being contacted. Not because I’m on the market for new work, but because I can occasionally forward on a recruiters details to my connections who are looking for work, or just because a once in a lifetime opportunity may show up.

So. I publish no contact numbers, and ask specifically to be contacted via other means. Now, while the majority of recruiters respect this, it’s apparent that a small minority see no issue with trampling this rather simple boundary. I feel that contacting me at my current work place to try and poach me for another position when I’ve barely been here five minutes, is kind of rude to me and my current employer.

This isn’t the only time I have encountered recruiters behaving badly. I’ve experienced my CV being doctored to attribute skills to myself that I have no claim to. More insultingly, they introduced some typos when they did this. This led to an experience where at the interview stage, myself and the interviewer realised that they had been missold my skills, just as I had been missold the role itself. My jaw dropped when I looked at the copy of my CV that they had received. That interview was terminated early, with apologies all around, upon us both realising that I would not have applied if I had not been lied to – and that they would not have interviewed me had me skills been correctly represented. The end result was that time was wasted on all sides. Also, embarrassment for me.

Then there was the recruiter who told the place where I was interviewing that I was a contractor. I’m not sure why she did this – I’ve never been a contractor, so I don’t know what she hoped to achieve with this. In fact, I spoke with her in the initial conversation and explicitly stated that I have never been a contractor. The role for which I was interviewing was a permanent role, so there was really no reason to misrepresent me like that. Strangely enough, I didn’t get that job.

That said – I have dealt with many recruiters, and usually have a positive experience from it. Out of all of them, this is only 4 that have behaved badly. This is definitely only a minority. The main result of their shenanigans is they get removed from my connection list, and possibly from their clients, so ultimately they shoot themselves in the foot. I still find the behaviour mystifying though.

Surely it would be better for all parties if they attempted to recruit in a more honorable fashion? Misrepresenting candidates and clients in this way can only lose them business.

My conclusion – people are strange.

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