Dammed if you do, and if you don’t

We’re experiencing an interesting phenomena here.

By extending the courtesy of a response to every HR professional who would like us to help them find a new job, we’ve opened quite a can of worms.

If someone has gone to the effort to email us to request job seeking help, or applied for a career role that we’ve advertised, we think its decent courtesy to acknowledge their contact and advise immediately whether we can assist, or not.  We know that the biggest frustration of all job seekers at all levels, in all sectors and professions, is lack of acknowledgement.  We’re making our own stand to help fix this. 

If we can help, we make immediate contact.  If we cannot, we send a prompt response from one of our team, personally signed and with a clear explanation of why we cannot assist.  We don't claim to be able to assist all HR professionals, because our stable of clients, and our hiring remits tend to be very precise and niche in scope.

Our HR professionals outside of the UK, unanimously acknowledge our responses with thanks – thanks for the effort of replying to their application, thanks for letting them know the result, thanks for giving a considered and personal response over any bog standard automated reply.

Our HR professionals within the UK however, fall into 3 camps.

1. Those who receive our response, and do nothing further – we don’t mind, we’re not asking for action.

2. Those who respond like their international counterparts – pleasantly surprised at receiving any kind of personal acknowledgement from someone in the much maligned (and often deservedly so) recruitment industry.

3. And those who are plain rude.  This group really puzzle me.

Comments I’ve received from this group include:

“You don’t know what you’re talking about so do yourself a favour and put my CV through your client if you want to make some money.”

“What a f*****g pile of s**t”

“Bog standard automatic reply, don’t know why you bothered you moron”

“You’re wrong, your client will be p****d off at you that they’re not meeting me”

"I know I'm perfect for this job, so you will put my CV forward or else"

And other such gems.  Some even follow this up with an argumentative and abusive phone call.

It’s puzzling, because these are invariably well educated, accomplished HR professionals, with 15+ years of work experience.  They’re mature, life savvy, and supposedly in the peak of their careers.

How do they not understand the knock-on effects of their reactions? 

Do they not appreciate that it’s a small world and a relatively tiny professional community and we’re bound to run into each other at some point?  That as talent advisors within the HR community, we’re constantly asked for our official (and unofficial) opinions on person X or person Y within networking events?

Surely they understand that this kind of reaction to a polite but negative response from a search firm, forces us to question to how professionally they behave when facing negative or difficult situations in the workplace?  And that whilst they may have not been the right fit for this hire, they may have been for another, but that such a response assuredly discounts them from any further consideration.

Presumably, if they respond this way to us, they're taking the same approach to other firms.  Where they may not be so lucky in finding a recruiter who just dismisses such silliness.  I mean, why would any HR person want to risk making a stranger in a recruitment agency irate, given they've just shared all their personal and professional details including those of their current employer.  A vindictive recruiter could cause some real inconvenience.

Maybe this venting is out of frustration with the whole job search process? I struggle to accept that its a genuine belief of British HR professionals, that we should be desperate to talk to them because they’re the best thing since sliced bread and are really the only person in the world who could be the absolutely perfect fit for any given HR vacancy?

Maybe it’s a by product of the much debated entitlement culture within the UK?

I just don’t know.  But I can fully appreciate why this behaviour may cause companies and recruitment agencies to stick to automated and anonymous responses.

Dammed if you do.  Dammed if you don’t.