Why are 1st recruiting jobs so awful?

4 real life horror stories

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I feel bad for junior recruiters. So many start out at awful firms and think that’s what the industry is. And quit.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Not every company is a pile. Here’s 4 real life horror stories from our team about places they worked previously.

If these hit close to home, don’t quit the industry. Just quit that company. 

👉Colleague 1: “While recruiting for Big 8 accounting firms, I was told to avoid sourcing overweight candidates. If a candidate was overweight, my internal leadership team considered them too lazy as they didn’t have the decency to take care of their bodies. Ohhhhhh, how I wish I was making this up!”

👉Colleague 2: “My first firm was really rigid about start and end times. And very intolerant of calling in sick/last minute absences. If you were not at your desk by 8:30am, you’d get an earful.

One morning, I was biking to work, a car cut in front of me and hit my front tire. I flew through the air and landed hard on the concrete. If not for my helmet, I would've been seriously injured.

My first thought was not "how injured am I?" or "do I need medical attention?" It was "I need to call the office and let them know I'm going to be late.”  Then instead of going home or to the hospital…I rode to work. Stayed the entire day, fearing they wouldn’t understand. Still pissed at myself for putting up with that BS.”

👉Colleague 3: “At a previous agency, my 1st placement had a family emergency 3 days before his start and needed to delay. I was bummed, but I understood. Then my manager told me to stop letting the candidate walk all over me. He was costing us money. They told me I was having a bad day, and bad days were not allowed. And my desk was moved away from the rest of my team, leaving me isolated. 

Another leader later told me the cure for burnout was hitting the phones even harder.🤷

And of course...I was stiffed on thousands of dollars in commissions when I resigned.”

👉Colleague 4 “My CEO belittled & mocked me on a President's Club trip in front of the entire team for not sending back mediocre food. In front of the entire team.  I was told it was indicative of me as a person that I would be stepped on all my life if I didn't take charge and make others do what I want.

(Note: yes, you read that correctly. Making people do what you want was reinforced was a ‘positive’ trait.)

A month later I went to a client meeting with my CEO, only to hear the client tell me CEO “didn't I tell you three years ago we would never do business with you again?" That ended that account…”

Every recruiter’s got a story like this. What’s yours?


Full episode of The 10 Minute Talent Rant, Ep 43, "Signs You're Working At A Sh*tty Recruiting Firm" available here.


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