Recruiters Are People Too, You Know.

By Lia Malec

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*This was written in response to a conversation with an industry contact on their bad day in the office, ending in “they just don't get it."  So here you are. These comments are stated as an opinion, and simply a staffing insider’s view from somebody that has been around the industry for a while. Who knows, I may change my mind tomorrow. 

Every industry has bad apples; and every recruiter has bad days. So consider this my rant, because I am NOT a bad apple. Most days I love my job. Some days I want to bang my head on a brick wall or throw my computer out the window. I want to shake sense into my clients and biff my employees. It happens; well, in my head anyways.

I willingly have chosen to be in a relatively thankless industry. Poor me, right? If it’s so bad, why do I keep doing it?

Ok, it’s not that bad. I’ve been here for over 6 years, and don’t plan on going anywhere; I love it. I’d be lying if I said money had nothing to do with it. I counsel people every day on why to keep/leave/accept/change careers. Money does NOT make the world go ‘round. If money is your only motivation, good luck. I’ll talk to you in 6 months when you are miserable and desperately seeking a new job. But yes, being able to pay my bills is a definite perk.

Back to original question: Why do I (we) do this?

Simple answer; I help people. I help my clients not worry about their hiring initiatives; I take it off their plate so they can focus on running their business. Sometimes candidates want a great career move, some just really need a paycheck; I help them too. I change peoples’ lives; hopefully for the better. I engage them, I get to know them, I mentor them and ultimately I hope to enhance what inevitably will be a predominant influencer in their lives. I save them time and money and I make them money. Throughout all that, I get the thrill of the chase that all sales people crave. Win-Win.

What makes my day? Believe it or not, I get more excited about a sincere “thank you” than I do knowing what something will do to my commission check. Cliché? Sure.

In everyday business transactions, I believe in:

  • Candor and a direct approach (no sugar coating here)
  • Being genuine and sincere
  • Smiling when I answer the phone
  • Never promising something I can’t deliver
  • Saying thank you
  • Getting to know you as a business AND an individual
  • Appreciating your business, and knowing it’s not a given
  • Working to prove that you made the right choice in working with me

One of my favorite quotes credited to John Lennon, “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Be happy in what you do, and with the people that help you do it.

Moral of the story – thank a recruiter today. If you have a recruiter/agency you work with that you appreciate, let them know. No need to kiss the ground walked on, a simple "I appreciate your work" will do. You have no idea what it will mean to them, and I can almost guarantee they will work even harder for you. We all know what we signed up for; the good, the bad and the ugly. We do our best to take challenges in stride, and we work tirelessly for those glory moments of a “deal closed” and recognition. But at the end of the day, recruiters are people too you know…

Rant over. 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

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