Friday, November 15, 2013

Recruiter Professionalism

I've been searching for a new job since last week, and my life has been pretty much consumed by phone calls and interviews. Some good, some bad, some... ugly.

This morning, a certain recruiter, let's name him Ryu, calls me. Immediately after I pick up the phone, he puts me on hold for several minutes, and then the call ends abruptly. A minute later, Ryu calls me back, saying that he wants me to come in for an job interview with a certain company next week. "This will not be a technical interview," he says, "they just want to meet you, and then maybe you can meet their design team on another day, and if everything goes well they'll schedule you for a technical interview."

All this is really starting to sound like a lengthy process to me, so I let Ryu know that I am expecting offers to start coming in next week, and he of course wants to know which companies I'm expecting offers from. "Two of these companies are through personal connections," I say, "so I can't really tell you what they are." Without giving me the opportunity to tell him about the third company that I can indeed mention, he interrupts me.

"Well I'm not going to represent you if you can't tell me who you're interviewing with!" Ryu says with increasing fervor. I proceed explaining to him that those companies have specifically asked me not to reveal their identities to recruiters. "That's fine then, I'm just not going to represent you!" he repeats.

At this point I feel that this conversation isn't going anywhere. "Okay man, it was great talking to you." I say and hang up. A few seconds later Ryu calls me back. I patch him through to voicemail. Here is the transcription, verbatim:
Ah... I wasn't done, but... I wish you all the best Alex, you shouldn't hang up on me, because it's a small world, but... shame on you. That... That's just disrespectful, and I don't disrespect people, and... ah... I wish you all... all the best, but shame on you and ah... I... I... I... I hope you can work on your people skills, 'cause that was just... unprofessional. Bye.
Hm. Hadn't he just pointed out that he wasn't going to represent me? Twice? I felt the need to reply at this point. Maybe because I was so ashamed of myself. Here's what I wrote to Ryu in an email:
Hi Ryu,

"I'm not going to represent you" sounded pretty final to me. Not sure what else you were going to say, but speaking of being unprofessional: "shame on you", threatening me, and to a lesser extent putting me on hold and hanging up on me (yes, you just did that) qualifies as such.

Not representing me is your own personal choice, and clearly I'm not in a position to convince you otherwise. I hope you have a wonderful day, and many new clients.

- Alex S.
Seven minutes later, he replies to my email. Again, verbatim:
I got disconnected because my phone cut out

You were being irrational and the fact you don’t trust me says a lot

Good luck to you and shame on you for these threats
Uh. I'm not sure what confuses me more: the lack of punctuation, the fact that he is accusing me of being irrational and threatening, or the ambivalent last sentence? Either way, I am very, very ashamed of myself.

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