Why do people hate recruiters?

What are recruiters?

Why do people hate recruiters? Let’s start the discussion with what a recruiter is…

There are different types of recruiters, which have been explained nicely in the post by Marissa Peretz on Forbes, but essentially they do the same thing. A recruiter is someone hired by a business or organisation, to assist in the hiring process, by going through CVs, interviews, and vetting processes to find the best-qualified person/s to fill job openings for the employer. You can find a more detailed breakdown of the responsibilities of a recruiter, in the post by SmartRecruiters.

While a recruiter is good for both the employer and the employee, by helping both parties through the hiring process, there, unfortunately, are recruiters that do not do their job very well, and create a bad name and image for the entire field.

Why do people hate recruiters?

Why do people hate recruiters?

The reason people hate recruiters as a whole boils down to the age-old mindset of “a person can do something right a hundred times, but they will be remembered for the one time they did it wrong”. There are many good recruiters out there who value the people they work with and value their reputation – doing the best job they possibly could.

However, some recruiters spoil the bunch, that value metrics and money above all else. There will also be recruiters who lack knowledge of the industry and are just ignorant of doing things appropriately. Recruiting is fairly easy to enter the field, and has high earning potential and incentives, this can explain the reasoning behind these shortcomings – as explained by Kenneth Ryu inhis reply on Quora.

What are the bad recruiters doing?

Bad recruiters often have the same practices they follow that give them the bad name that they have. 

The most common unethical practices they have include not screening CVs properly, which results in candidates being put up for positions they are either under or overqualified for, or not even interested in at all, ghosting candidates who do not get accepted, spamming candidates, or badgering them for intrusive personal information, and even lie or misinterpret either the candidates or the job.

All these unethical practices can lead to prolonged hiring processes, become an annoyance to candidates, and result in unhappy candidates and employers. They have put in unnecessary positions or career paths they do not want to be in. Most of these practices were explained quite thoroughly by Jeff Smith in his post on HireWell.


As with any field or industry, there are bad apples, with most of the problems in recruiting stem from the ignorance and incentives that this industry provides. But, do not let the bad deter you, as there are also many good recruiters out there that have your best interest at heart.

Do yourself the favour and look into recruiters you wish to use, just as you would want them to look into you when placing you into an open position. If all candidates do their homework on recruiters and make use of the good ones (of which there are many) the bad ones will eventually be filtered out completely.

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