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If you want to be a big-swinging dick on LinkedIn, there are a few simple things you can add into your posts to please the algorithm Gods. Firstly, use emojis like a thirteen year-old girl, with particular preference for that little rocket one. Secondly, add ridiculous spacing after every sentence so that your haiku takes up the entire screen. Thirdly, post about the lesson your 6 year old (preferably autistic) child taught you about business or humanity. And lastly, write a post about how awful those recruiters are who don’t acknowledge your application. If you really want to play to the gallery, combine any of the above. And that’s the thing with LinkedIn; it’s full of people trying to look good, and people looking for jobs. If you were to post about how your recruitment firm acknowledges every application with a bottle of bubbles and a handy, you’ll get a thousand responses from “consultants” who have experienced the opposite from Hays, and how awful it is that they didn’t get a hand-written letter in response to their lazy click of “apply now”.

This has created, or is a creation of, a recruitment sentiment that looks as binary as this; Responds to every applicant = good recruiter. Doesn’t respond to every applicant = bad recruiter. Well, because I’m in the mood to upset recruitment GMs who care more about winning awards than making placements, I’m going to tell you something. This is utter bullsh*t.

Let’s look at an example. I’m currently enjoying recruiting this Recruitment Country Manager role. In the advert, I state that I’m looking for the following:

  • Strong people leadership skills with the ability to inspire and excite the current team
  • Recruitment industry experience with a good understanding of running a professional services recruitment firm spanning both permanent and contracting recruitment
  • Well-connected recent New Zealand networks and understanding of local business culture
  • A proven leader within the New Zealand Recruitment industry

Now of course I don’t think it likely to place such a role via an advert, however, it is a string to the search bow. This role could be based in either Auckland and Wellington and was ran on SEEK in both locations, and has attracted nearly 100 responses so far. Would anyone care to care guess how many of these 90+ applicants have ANY direct recruitment experience as clearly stated in the advert? 3.

Thanks SEEK.

Now as these hand-wringing LinkedIn influencers would decree, I must respond to every applicant. And sadly for me, some form of recruitment guilt has lead me to click our “reject with email” button on every one of them. However, now I think about it, I’m not going to do it anymore. The vast majority of these applications have been wholly inappropriate. I’m not talking General Managers in HR Services firms. I’m talking students, supermarket workers, scaffolders, factory staff, factory managers, overseas factory staff, tinkers, tailors, candlestick-f*cking makers. All of whom have received an email telling them that I’ve “read their resume with interest” and that they won’t be progressing due to a “particularly strong response” and that I’ll keep their CV for “other, more suitable opportunities”. All absolute lies. These people have disregarded the prerequisites, and wasted my time, and yet I’m to feel guilty if I don’t have a CRM that gives them a response to a job they should never have applied for in the first place. If you think this is harsh, go into Bunnings and ask them for a Big Mac. Go the police station and tell them to fill your car with petrol. Ask your butcher to fix your cracked phone screen. Do any number of weird and wildly inappropriate actions and then jump on LinkedIn and complain that Pak’n’Save wouldn’t provide you with solid legal advice. See how far you get.

And this bring me back to the title of this blog. Notice “candidates” is in inverted commas. I could claim to be a candidate for the upcoming US election, however I actually can’t as I’m not a US citizen. In order to be a candidate, I need to be eligible. If you apply for a job that you have none of the prerequisite skills or experiences for, you’re not actually a candidate. Why should you be treated like one?