The Recruiters From Hell

I never imagined that HR personnel and recruiters, also known at the entry point or face of a company, could treat prospective employees like less than humans. Through my job search, I encountered many recruiters and HR employees and there are clearly multiple problems with recruitment practices in Canada.

Through this journey, I applied to 72 jobs and had more than 30 interviews. I’ve seen it ALL!

  • Being ignored for weeks after an interview
  • Not being told the position was filled
  • Not knowing the position was already filled when I interviewed
  • Being sent the wrong job description before an interview
  • Not being escorted back to the entrance after an interview, just being left alone in the meeting room
  • Being told for 6 weeks that I had the job but there was no one to approve the contract
  • Being declined a job because I didn’t have a “specialist” title, even thought I exceeded all requirements
  • And so much more

If you think some of those examples are appalling, this story will give you chills and you will never want to apply to a job again, especially through a recruitment agency! Some recruiters really are from hell.

Beginning of the Nightmare

It was about 30 minutes after I applied to a job I found on that I get a phone call from a recruiter. Already she was rude and pushy but I think nothing of it, however, some of her questioning made her seem unprofessional, but books a meeting with me for the next day.

Not knowing what to expect, I always revise my CV before going into an interview, even with an external recruiter. Little did I know, with Annie, I didn’t need to revise my CV. The interview starts off like any other, but once again she is rude and way to straight to the point; education, job experience, strengths, weaknesses, and salary expectations. At this point, the interview takes a turn for the worse. Annie starts laughing and then goes on insulting me. She tells me my expectations are WAY too high (they were not, I checked) and that my time away from work, 7 months at the time, made me worthless and unemployable. Bringing me down in any way she can to lower my salary expectations. In the end, she sent my application with “her” much lower salary expectation since the employer would think she is crazy. Good bye.

You are worthless and unemployable!

The next day while I’m minding my own business at Starbucks and trying to to forget my experience from the previous day, Annie calls. She explains that the employer would like to see me and it has to be TODAY! Remember that at this point, I don’t even know what the company is or have the full job description. Annie explains that she will send all the information soon and will call me to prep for the interview, which is in less than two hours. I made it clear to her that prepping a few minutes before an interview is not good and that I will manage by myself. Well little pushy Annie doesn’t understand and tries to call me four times in a row, leaving messages to tell me to PICK UP THE PHONE!

During the interview with the wonderful HR lady, I’m asked why I wanted to interview so quickly. Especially since the manager hiring was on vacation. I could have had an extra week to prepare… We both realized that Annie forced us to meet unprepared and for no reason!

After all that, I refused to keep working with Annie, her manager took over the communication and the set-up of the second interview. In case you where wondering, I did not get the job, however the recruitment office told me I did and for 6 weeks I was asked to wait just a little longer. I eventually just gave up.

Congratulations, you got the job!

Can you imagine how I felt knowing that I had finally found a job… and then didn’t…

In the end, I was told I was worthless, my experience was useless, I shouldn’t ask for the on-market salary, I was sent to the interview unprepared AND I was told I had the job even though I didn’t.

Afterwards, I had two other bad encounters with the same recruitment company; one person wanted me to take a job I had no experience doing for a very low and the other sent me to an interview with the wrong job description. It is very difficult for me to not mention the name of that company right now, but it is best I stay diplomatic.

The main lesson here is to never let yourself talk down by anyone. It is so difficult when you are out of work and don’t want to miss an opportunity, however, self-esteem is crucial during the interview process. If at any point you do not feel like a recruiter has your back or feel uncomfortable in away, walk away because more opportunities will come.

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