There is often a tenuous relationship between recruiters and job seekers, which is funny because they need each other to be successful. But, they drive each other nuts and that came out to be blatantly obvious when a recruiter posted his pet-peeves about candidates and the candidates responded.

Ciaran Hardie wrote on LinkedIn that these are some of the things that bother him about job seekers:

  1. They apply to jobs which they are clearly not suitable for.
  2. They don't respond to personalised outreach messages.
  3. They lie about their preferences (e.g. contract or perm) in order to rally up as many options as possible.
  4. After an offer has been made at the salary they've asked for since the beginning, they ask for more.
  5. They keep applying for jobs despite being in the final interview stage with a client.
  6. They won't give them their references in the first phone call (lol).
  7. They lie on their CVs (more common than you'd think).
  8. Their LinkedIn profiles list more jobs than their CVs or vice versa.
  9. They don't turn up for interviews.
  10. They attend interviews for permanent roles and ask for contract.

Clearly, not all job seekers found these things realistic complaints.

Julian Agudelo responded: "It annoys you because your agenda is weighted more towards securing a candidate for the client and furthering *your own* career, rather than furthering the career of the candidate. Candidates are just live-stock to many recruiters."

Brian Swan pointed out his reasons for "annoying" behavior: "I don't give references until after an offer because recruiters call me with a bogus vacancy and all they want is my contacts in order to place someone of their own in the firm I have just left. Or something even more dishonest. The reference system is being widely abused by recruiters and employers.

Others pointed out that recruiters send what amounts to spam. Having been a recipient of many LinkedIn messages from recruiters asking me if I'm interested in jobs in quality assurance just because they see a pharmaceutical company on my profile, has me siding with the job hunters on this point.

On some things, Hardie is spot on: Far too many people apply to jobs for which they aren't qualified. On the flip side, though, some job descriptions are written so poorly that you'd be hard-pressed to know if you're truly qualified.

Point number 5, though, caught my eye especially. Of course, candidates keep applying for jobs until they have an offer. 

Dorothy Dalton, Founder and CEO of 3 Plus International, a talent management consultancy, said it's not practical or advisable for candidates to stop looking for a job until the ink is dry on the offer. "I always try and maintain a good relationship with a candidate and ask them to keep me in the loop for any other processes they might be involved in. I've never had a problem with this approach." 

What struck me the most was the adversarial relationship between two groups that need each other to survive. Candidates, heaven knows, do stupid things, but so do recruiters. Let's try working together instead.