It’s the Recruiter’s Fault I Took a Bad Role

A friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook asking me if I knew of a good IT recruiter in DC. Since I am not living there anymore nor am I working for a company within the metro area it was a valid call on her part. I am a helpful person and, well, I knew a lot of solid recruiters in the area and offered to help. I told her of a recruiter group I am still part of there and offered to help. I even dropped a name of a recruiter in the non-government space that is always looking for talented IT folks in the beltway area.

I went back to my business, and then I got another message from her;

“My friend is a jackass now. He is saying recruiters don’t know anything and use buzzwords.”

Yeah, even though she is miles away from me and she could not see me shaking my head with the notion of yes he is probably right and hearing me laugh out loud. Another silly statement with plenty of kernels of truth in it that rings of anger and venom with riotousness. The guy has a point though about many recruiters within the IT space, especially the younger ones in our industry that knows virtually nothing about what they are selling. That is until this statement came across the line;

“He just switched jobs due to a recruiter and is miserable in it. So I don’t blame him for being sour.”

I stared at the screen trying not to lose my patience and write a thought that would agree and tell her that it would be ok and that the people that I know are good people and have been in the business of IT for years. IT recruiters mostly understand what goes with what and yes as I stated before earlier. However, recruiters should not be held accountable for the decisions of others it is not right, and I am beyond fed up with it, and you should be as well. My response elicited, well, a rant that I should have probably taken some time to think about but the hell with it, I am human, and sometimes I just got to let it go and fire off some truth people don’t want to hear;

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“He is an adult, no? He interviewed with the company and made a choice to take the role, right? He made a poor choice. I have made poor choices in the past and learned from them, but I have blamed only me for making those choices. The manager he met with and or the team decided on bringing him on not the recruiter. We almost never have a say with who both parties choose. Sure, we negotiate on behalf of both parties to make a perfect union or hope that is what it is.  We are not in charge of employee retention, most of the time we don’t get to sit in interviews nor do we have the time to do so since we are normally working on more positions than we could hopelessly fill and usually have incompetence making the choices.  Therefore I have not only no sympathy for him but zero interest in helping him.”

To say that I lost my cool is an understatement for unquestionable and as my good friend, Steve Levy has said in the past, “Measure twice and cut once.” I could not help myself. There is a limit to what we should have to tolerate. We fight a two-front war, and as history has shown us, you can never win that war. There is a reason we have burn out at an alarming rate in this industry, and it is unfair. We have some ways to fight back though, and that is by coming together as a team arm in arm. By educating ourselves within our industry and lifting one another up instead of tearing each other apart. Join me won’t you? There is no downside here, no matter what people tell you. There is nothing to lose here as we all have our stories to share and learn from and that is what we are all trying to stay above the water.

I will be at SourceCon in Atlanta, and I will be in Amsterdam next year as well, and I will be attending as long as I can. I will be writing for us, to us, my brothers and sisters that I have given all these years to standing up for us and calling out those who disparage those of us both from within and without. Let’s chat if not publicly than privately as we cannot change perception without education. #truestory

Derek Zeller draws from over 20 years in the recruiting industry. The last 16 years he has been involved with federal government recruiting specializing in the cleared IT space under OFCCP compliance. Currently, he is the Director of Recruiting Solutions for Engage Talent. He has experience with both third-party agency and in-house recruiting for multiple disciplines. Using out-of-the-box tactics and strategies to identify and engage talent, he has had significant experience in building referral and social media programs, the implementation of Applicant Tracking Systems, technology evaluation, and the development of sourcing, employment branding, and military and college recruiting strategies. Derek currently lives in the Portland area. Now, he is the Director of Recruiting Solutions and Channels with Engage.

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