The bizarre world of recruiting

Linkedin is a weird place. You upload your work history, connect with people (some of which you worked with), and get contacted by companies looking for people with your profile. At least that’s what it should be. The reality, however, is a little different.

Let’s start with the work history. Besides adding a detailed list of my work experience (both the companies I worked for and the side projects I had) recruiters always ask me for a good ol’ CV in PDF format. Why did I bother look up the dates I joined and left those first jobs I had? All they seemed to care before contacting me was:

Then you connect with people. I’m still to see the value of this. At best you can stalk your ex colleagues and see where they are working at without having to talk with them. But it’s actually pointless, it would not change a thing if you didn’t connect with anybody.

Finally, you get contacted by recruiters. This is the weirdest part. A random person (for some reason they tend to be very good looking) throws a bunch of buzzwords at you with some eye-catching title, in an e-mail that looks like a robot is flirting with you. If some of that nonsense sticks and you write back asking for clarification, they will set up a call. It has to be a call.

If you are lucky in this phone call they will ask you no more than 1 awkward question. Usually the awkwardness extends over a good portion of the call, and will leave you wondering if that weird exchange actually happened. Don’t worry, most of the times this will be the last thing you will ever hear from that person. For some reason most recruiters show up, suck up your data, and then disappear back into the email-copy-pasting world they live in.

The few that actually deliver on their promise of recruiting will send you the only 1 or 2 positions they are recruiting for, which means that the talk was pointless and they could have just sent you those openings right away. At this point you may think that you made it, now you are just going to start having interviews. Well, most likely the recruiter forgot to mention that the position requires native level of German, or that it’s a leadership role when you have no leadership experience.

Once you sort all that out, and you go through your first interview, be ready to start doing your recruiter’s work and start contacting both the company and the recruiter to ask them if they decided to hire someone else, or why you haven’t heard from them in 2 weeks. Most likely your recruiter is on holidays and nobody told you, nor did they handover your profile to anybody else. It’s like they keep your data in a paper notebook in someone’s locker who takes the key with them every night.

Keep in mind that no matter how bad the recruiting process is, that’s rarely a reflection of the company itself. Don’t judge a company by their recruiting process they say. However, the opposite tends to be true in my experience: good and smooth recruiting processes tend to be a sign of a good place to work. But don’t quote me on that.