The Seven Worst Things We’ve Heard About Top Recruitment Companies: Part 1

There are two different worlds in the recruiting industry and every recruiter knows which side of the line they stand on. On one side, there are the recruiters looking to help companies fill roles with the most suited candidate, and help candidates find positions in which they can thrive and build their careers. This method involves the art of match-making, understanding both the technical requirements for each position and the personalities involved so that everyone is happy where they end up.

On the other side of recruiting are the “Black Hats”, recruiters who stopped caring about the candidates and companies a long time ago. When a recruitment company, even among the top in the industry, starts to care more about their commission fee than the results of a match, bad decisions start being made. If you’ve heard horror stories, we’re here to say that unfortunately, they’re all true. Here are the seven worst things we’ve ever heard about the activities of top recruitment companies.

1) Posting Fake Positions to Troll for Resumes

The power of any recruiting company is in their network of connections. The ability to call up a company with an open position or an ideally skilled candidate in waiting is incredibly powerful, allowing them to make instant connections. Recruiters know that having good candidates draws in clients, and that means collecting resumes before there is a position open.

Rather than being honest and posting a general position or working the network, they post a completely fake job opening to try and lure out “good” resumes loaded with the skills they’re hoping to tempt clients with. This effectively gets the hopes up for several skilled professionals for a job that doesn’t exist and begins the stringing-along process.

2) Re-Writing Candidate Resumes to Make Them a “Better Fit”

As recruiters start caring about nothing but “selling” a candidate, they stop caring about making sure that the candidate is actually right for the job. When this happens, it’s not uncommon for a recruiting company to actually re-write a candidate’s resume. Not for grammar and punctuation but literally adding skills that weren’t there before in order to make a candidate look better to a client.

This “trick” is most often used for technical positions where the recruiter doesn’t know what PHP or C++ means so they just throw on some extra “buzz words” to make the resume more appealing, and they do so without the knowledge of the candidate. This is not only terrible for match-making, falsifying a resume is also grounds for firing which can ruin a candidate’s career.

3) Re-Writing Job Posting to Be More Vague

One very important thing to understand is that commission-fueled recruiting companies need for candidates and companies not to find each other. This means that even if you hire one to find you candidates and give them a very considerately written job description, that may not be the listing that candidates get to see. Recruiters will often remove the name of your company and any identifying information from the listing if they don’t completely re-write the job description to something very vague.

They do this because otherwise, candidates can simply apply directly to you once they see the listing. They even sometimes remove the contact information from resumes before submitting them for the same reason. The problem is that vague job descriptions prevent candidates from doing their own due-diligence to figure out if that they are a good fit for your company and a recruiter who starts re-writing listings certainly isn’t going to do that match-making for them.

4) Submitting Resumes Without Invitation or Permission

One of the most prominent bad practices in the recruiting industry is sending resumes without approval from both parties. Almost every recruiting company in the country has made this mistake at least once out of eagerness or opportunity, but agencies that have gone black-hat do it like that’s the only way to recruit. A recruiting company trying to win a client may list a position without permission, gather willing candidates for it, and then approach you un-invited pushing their stack of resumes for commission. While this isn’t welcome or appreciated, the alternative is even worse.

Another, similar, recruiting tactic used even by top recruitment companies when they think they can get away with it is applying resumes for positions without the permission of the candidate. This means that employers are considering a person who doesn’t even know they’ve applied and might not want to take the job if offered. This tactic not only invades the privacy and volition of the candidate, it can also compromise their ability to get a job with these companies later on without their knowledge.

This is only the first half of this incredible list. If your head isn’t already reeling, join us next time for the second half our two-part article where we’ll talk about pretend candidates, non-compete contracts, and active sabotage.

Originally published at