Why do you all hate your jobs?

This might be a bit untrendy, and I’m not expecting to get featured anywhere for it, but I’m going to say it anyway. I think most Recruiters and most H.R. professionals do a pretty good job. I also think that most care about their candidates and clients and add plenty of value to the recruitment process.
I don’t think there is anything wrong in recruiters selling in order to get new opportunities or to get their candidates seen. I think there are plenty of H.R. people who have a level of influence and “get” social media.
I don’t think job boards are dying or will be replaced by Twitter or Facebook any time soon. There, I’ve said it.

For 27 years I have either worked as a recruiter or supporting recruiters. I’ve also had some fairly heavy H.R. responsibilities in my last corporate role. In that time, the recruiters I have come across have been mostly professionals that work more hours and go out of their way to find people work. It is how they make their money and they do it ethically and honestly.

I have heard the horror stories, and I’ve been equally shocked by them, but these on the whole have been very much in the minority. What concerns me is that reading the many blogs out there, it would seem everyone hates their profession and believes everyone in it (apart from themselves of course), have got it wrong. If you were in College and looking at recruitment or HR for a career, and read these blogs or visited the blogging communities, would you choose one of the professions, where the practitioners spend their time bemoaning their colleagues or their lack of integrity or influence? Probably not!

It’s said in the media that bad news sells, seems the same is true of blogging. No one wants to read how a recruiter got someone back in to work or how an H.R. manager solved a dispute where everyone was happy. Good news and good practice is just not interesting enough. Better to point out all the sharp practices and warn how the industry is going to die any day soon.

How about every so often we write something positive. A good news story or a simple praise of the professions that if we are honest, we all love doing. I was privileged to be a recruiter. People trusted me with their careers or important hires in their organisation. I was flattered by that and never lost sight of the responsibility and trust placed in me. I’m sure I was far from alone in that attitude. How about we see something positive for a change?

Be ambassadors for your great profession,


3 comments on “Why do you all hate your jobs?

  1. Hi Bill. Great topic. I agree with your initial contentions about the tools used in today’s recruitment adding to, but not replacing, those used previously.
    I won’t claim to be a star recruiter (I haven’t recruited hands-on for a couple of years now), but in my time was driven by my competitive need to be the best at whichever agency I was at, and especially when it was my own agencies.
    Before I worked for myself, I was with Search Consultancy in Glasgow, from 1990 to 1993, and worked with some of the best, most professional recruiters I have ever met. So much so, that most have gone on to run their own agencies. They deserve a mention; Colin McAdam (McAdam King), Hilary Roberts (HR Consultancy), Gordon Adam (Head Resourcing), Gregor Campbell (Rise Consultancy). The most talented, professional and ethical recruiter I ever met is Rick Potter. I recruited Rick to my agency, Maxwell Bruce in 1995, and he is still there (I’m not). With no ambition to be anything other than a frontline recruiter, Rick is the very best example to anyone of how the job can and should be done.
    Rather than focus on the bad eggs, I believe we should applaud the very best, and name them out loud.

  2. Bill – great points. I actively work in both executive search and coaching and have also had a stint in corporate HR and line management – and have written on this exct topic myself.

    There are horror stories and I regret to say, I have actually encoutered a few of them personally. The recession seemed to bring dubious recruiters out in droves and the weaker ones happily fell by the wayside. But as you well point out, they are still in the minority.

    My own veiw is that as a profession there are limited barriers to entry and almost anyone can set up in this business or join it , with minimal or any relevant qualifications and experience. Bad recruitment practises can be expensive for the client and damaging for the candidate – so I feel that needs to stop.

    Today’s recruiter is caught between the corporate imperative ” find me the perfect candidate ( usually like the person I had before) as soon and as cheaply as possible, otherwise I’ll say bad things about you ” And candidates who say “find me the best possible job, otherwise I’ll say bad things about you! ”

    Until the recruitment process is completely understood by both hiring managers and candidates and becomes highly regarded, I fear that this miscommunication will continue to exist.



  3. As a 20 year HR Professional, I will say that is this one of those reads that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmm.

    First, I think it should be point out that Recruiting is 1 of 7 FUNCTIONS of HR. Executives seemly and unfortunately increasly want HR to only “keep them off the witness stand”. If they would allow HR to FUNCTION as HR and do some training to understand how HR impacts the organization, I believe the myths of the “HR MONSTER” would go away.

    What I’ve seen countless times is because HR is a non revunue driven dept, it’s not always utilized in the proper way. I actually love my work and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I have work for some employers who have ZERO CLUES about the true function and purpose of HR.

    Keep it coming!

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