8 reasons to hang-up when a recruiter calls you

  • Post published:20/07/2022
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Woman in lounge chairNowadays, anyone can get into the recruitment business. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry call themselves a headhunter nowadays, even though all they do is shop on LinkedIn and post clients’ vacancies on JobsDB.

Headhunters? LOL – who’s kidding who?

If you think that recruiters help you find a job, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you: Recruiters find people for jobs – they do not find jobs for people.

And please, don’t shoot the messenger (read: me).

When you call or email a recruiter and ask if we can help you find a job, we can only do so if one of our clients has a job opening that matches your experience and skill set.

Recruiters must be focused on their clients’ needs. That is how the business works.

I do apologize if I am stating the obvious

Trust me, most people have no clue about how executive search firms work. 

And why should they?  Once upon a time, I was an ordinary candidate who experienced almost every job search faux pas in the book.

You can imagine the surprise and increased frustration that grew inside me when  I was on the other side of the table (some 20 years ago before joining the world of executive search).

No headhunter wanted to talk to me when  I  called,  they didn’t return calls when I left messages with an assistant or on voice mail, and nobody bothered to answer emails either. Aaarrrgghhh.

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry call themselves a headhunter nowadays

It’s annoying to say, but professional and experienced recruiters are competing with recruiters who should not even be in the business.

It is the kind of small agency that invites you to a hotel lobby or cafe because they operate from home or small office space.

Here come 8 reasons why you should hang-up when the recruiter calls you?

Hang-up reason 1: Professional recruiters say their name

If all the person, who calls you, is saying: “I’m calling from Blue Sky Recruitment Company; are you looking for a job”.

Hang-up because real recruiters are not afraid of immediately introducing themselves by name and company. And will gladly provide you with their mobile, web site and email.

Hang-up reason 2: Rude and aggressive recruiter

You may be spammed, or you may be just a number that some lazy junior recruiter found on LinkedIn.

Perhaps someone who must get your resume to make the KPI for registered resumes in their database.

Hang-up and don’t choose someone who is rude and aggressive. You have to vet the recruiters who call you.

Hang-up reason 3: Perhaps there is a job – perhaps not!

IMG-0456If the recruiter is not able to present the details of a real job opening, department size, reporting structure, or not able to talk about their client’s industry, the client nationality, staff size, location etc., hang-up.

A professional recruiter will have no problem providing you with this information. If no detailed information can be shared on the spot, it’s a bogus call and you should end the call.

Hang-up reason 4: Protect your resume as it was your ID card

If the recruiter is asking for your resume or CV before you are sure who is calling, and I mean the caller’s name and company, their web site and email. If the caller asks for your resume before presenting details of a job opportunity, and by the way a job that appears attractive to your future career.

Trust me; many recruiters calling you may not even have a real job or client on hand. The call is merely to pretend, so they can get your resume and perhaps the names of your friends and colleagues.

Hang-up because the recruiter may not have anything but is simply trying to reach the daily target for new resumes. There is and has never been a job opportunity for you. You are just a part of a number’s game.

Hang-up reason 5: Why should I consider your client’s job?

If the recruiter calling you cannot answer that question, why you should consider their client’s job opportunity, don’t waste your time on an amateur.

If you are in the mood, tell them to prepare better and call you back again. Or just hang-up because real professionals can define and present their client’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) with the snap of a finger.

They can tell you about the real needs and clarify job expectations. They can answer questions like why someone would come and work for their client, why people come to work at the client’s company and why they stay.

Hang-up reason 6: What about your LinkedIn profile?

IMG-0485If the recruiter is asking if you have a LinkedIn profile (and assuming you have one). Hang-up because it’s part of the recruiter’s background check to see if you are on LinkedIn, Facebook or the internet in some form before calling.

Hang-up reason 7: Meeting at Starbucks for the interview

If the recruiter suggests meeting you at the coffee shop or in the hotel lobby, that should start alarm bells ringing in your head. Hang-up because the person may operate a shoe-string recruitment business from their own bedroom or from an office far away from the central business district.

Believe me, you don’t want to sit in a public space and share your career and personal details. Ask for more details about the caller, the company, web site and address. And by the way, I love Starbucks but for coffee and not for interviewing candidates.

Hang-up reason 8: What is your salary?

Junior recruiters are often the first people to get in touch with you. They have a form from their manager to fill in for further vetting. One of these boxes would be to get your compensation details to check if you are too cheap or too expensive for whatever job they have on hand.

Hang-up because a professional headhunter will never start a conversation about your career in that manner. And you are welcome to ask what kind of budget their client gave them. Yes, clients do.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.