GUEST POST: The Recruiting Backlash By David Kagan

The Recruiter Backlash By David Kagan

A few years into my recruiting career, the big topic of conversation was around the great hope of the internet. We talked about how it would be a great tool to improve how we recruit and engage candidates. It seems like a lifetime ago that our primary source of resumes was running classified ads in the Sunday employment section. Though we had to open hundreds of envelopes at least we were guaranteed to see each resume. Yes, more work for us but candidates knew their credentials were being reviewed and at the very least it gave them a shot to get a call back. The process was cumbersome but we were very engaged.

Fast forward almost 15 years and the idea of receiving snail mail resumes seems like something out of the dark ages. Undoubtedly technology has made recruiters more effective in many ways, except it has all but killed the candidate dialogue. How many times have we heard from candidates about the dreaded “black hole.” You know, that not so mythical place where resumes go to die while applicants wait for a response they likely won’t get. This mythical place turns out to be our own ATS databases. It seems obvious that we would make the best of those resumes, when in reality recruiters often overlook their ATS, and often in favor of some unproven new sourcing methodology.

It’s not only about resumes; the larger issue at play is how we communicate with candidates on an on-going basis. It’s also about how we keep talent engaged in a dialogue about our business, our industry, our new products and services, big wins and acquisitions so when we’re ready to work together the relationship exists. Keeping candidates informed keeps candidates interested. Recruiting is about the relationship with candidates, the candidates we need today and the candidates we’ll need tomorrow. I’m not writing this from some ivory tower, I’ve been in the trenches dealing with hundreds of resumes for each vacancy. I know how daunting it can be but it’s high time that we figure out how to use technology to communicate in a two way dialogue and without feeding the “black hole.”

A candidate backlash is well underway. They are fed up with organizations that are unresponsive. If you’re thinking it’s a buyer’s market and you can dictate the terms of the game, think again. Hiring is increasing and candidates are savvier than ever. Your organization can not afford a bad reputation about how you recruit. It’s not just word of mouth you have to worry about, it’s word of internet. Web sites dedicated to candidates dishing about everything from unresponsive recruiters, to broken recruiting processes to bad interviewers are popping up everywhere. Take back control, communicate with your candidates and set expectations. There’s no doubt recruiters are swamped, we’ve become a catchall for everything in staffing. However, with the use of smart technology and engaging talent in a two-way dialogue we’ll be on our way to creating a sustainable, winning recruiting culture.

Kagan has been a recruiter for nearly 15 years in a variety of industries, including several years consulting for major corporations. He has filled hundred of positions, managed campus recruiting, lead diversity initiatives, reorganized recruiting processes and organized an internal outplacement program for displaced employees. David has functioned mainly as an IT Recruiter with additional experience in Retirement Services and Investments. He’s had the unique opportunity to experience the various waves of recruiting from the days of sourcing resumes through newspaper ads to the internet revolution. He lives in NY and loves watching his beloved Yankees.



Networking BreakThrough Tips

Jan Marino, Executive Advisor

Networking today is a must for successful job seekers. Most of us want to make the networking process easier and we’ve been hoping the web would help us out. One of the best tools available is LinkedIn®. If you’re like most of us, you’ve received several invitations to join LinkedIn®. You sit and stare at your screen and think “what IS this website and how do I use it”? Here are a few facts and tips to help you out:

LinkedIn® is a business-oriented website launched in 2003 for online professional business networking. It has 20 million users from 150 different industries.

  1. LinkedIn® is a free service, but you can also upgrade and receive more tools for a monthly free.
  2. The website address is
  3. It’s perfect for job seekers because you can market your skills easily. Use LinkedIn® as your mini website.
  4. Promote yourself by directing people to your LinkedIn® page when you send out emails. Include your public profile address under your signature.
  5. Include your LinkedIn® profile address on your business card.

LinkedIn® provides a profile page where you can highlight your current and past business positions, education, as well as industry specialization. In addition, you can write a summary about yourself to talk about your skills, experience and uniqueness. There is also space for your picture and I recommend that you invest in a professional head shot so that you convey your professionalism.

LinkedIn® will never take the place of face-to-face networking, but they are very useful tools to “warm” up cold calls, research target companies and make connections. They are excellent for job seekers who need to market and brand themselves and reinforce that “WOW” factor.

Feel free to view my LinkedIn® page at and visit my blog at