We Offered That Role Last Friday

Source: flickr.com via @id-iom

The thing about this job hunt is that the power is clearly on the recruiting side. You can point to all manner of factors: a weak economy (hence soft job supply), a recruiter looking to maximize returns so filters all responses to applicants, and maybe even my own skill set which could be deemed either too senior or too junior.

The worst aspect is the inability of recruiters to be fully truthful or to maintain an ongoing relationship (of course, there are exceptions but they’re just that, outliers). Their task (it seems to me) is to plow through as much inventory (applicants) to quickly find the right fit for the client and not care too much about how they treat said supply. The “Dear Applicant” letters are such an example – I go to the effort of being cordial and I get this impersonal response.

So, when I applied for a juicy role and met with the recruiter, I was enthused. She appeared happy with my background, even to the point of saying, this role sounds a lot like what you’ve done in the past, yes? After interviewing with the hiring manager (which I thought went swimmingly), I heard nothing from them – not the recruiter, not the company. Being accustomed to this, I sent an email a few weeks later to the recruiter asking for feedback about my technique and how I could position myself better for future roles. Surprisingly, she said that she had no update from the company and would follow up and I’d hear from her that afternoon. There was a little flit of joy but in hindsight I should know better. Delays of this sort are never good. I didn’t hear from her that afternoon. I didn’t even hear the next day. I finally received an email a day later saying that the role was offered the week before but she would call me to give some feedback. That phone call never happened.

I’ve read that people who are in my position tend to not trust people once they get back into work. After these recruiter experiences, I think there is some truth to that. Now I’ve got a few roles in the works, I know better than to put too much stock in a recruiter’s words. Such a shame.


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