Recruiting: What Others Think You Do vs. What You Actually Do

September 18, 2015

Tell somebody "I am a recruiter" and within a few seconds they will have a very strong opinion about what your job exactly entails (even without you opening your month). For some, you are the person who is constantly on their phone, for others, you are their ticket to a nicer job.

However, no matter who you ask -- your mother, best friends, clients, job candidates -- they all have a completely different perception of what you do.

Here is a rundown of some of the funniest perceptions of your job:

1. How your parents see your job

“Can’t you ever put that phone down? We’re having dinner.” This probably sounds familiar. And no, you can’t put your phone down - not if you want to be able to pay for this lobster risotto sitting right in front of you at the restaurant. Gosh, mom and dad, it’s not like we’re playing angry birds here.

2. How your grandparents see your job

Facebook? Twitter? Online job boards? Your grandparents are always concerned about just how you know these job candidates you bring into your life and office. What about the good old-fashioned days when people responded with a resume in hand to a job ad the CEO put in the back of the local newspaper. Flying candidates around? Skyping to another country? Taking them out to lunch? This all seems like a whole lot of added confusion to the elder generation.

3. How acquaintances see your job

Mention to a person you went to high school with or a friend of a friend you met at a dinner outing that you work in recruiting and suddenly you realize just how many people are out of work, or desperately want out of their jobs.

They quickly want to know who you’re hiring for, what kinds of jobs are open, and—as stealthily and smoothly as they can fit it in—if you can recommend them for the role. Recruiters are never surprised to see an updated resume and cover letter in their email inbox the morning after meeting someone new.

4. How your clients see your job

According to the companies paying recruiters to find them new talent, you have some social media network voodoo to bring the most fitting people to their interview conference rooms. They know they couldn’t fill the position without you, and more importantly, they don’t want to. All they know is somehow the right people for the job always end up at their doorstep like magic.

There are always the ones who want to micromanage—they absolutely need three and one-third years of job experience and a background in juggling—but that’s just because they think recruiters can make someone appear out of thin air. You should take that as a compliment.

5. How candidates who don’t get the position see your job

Recruiters are the gateway – you shut the door in their faces. It couldn’t possibly be that the candidate showed up 15 minutes late for the interview or that they didn’t seem like the right cultural fit for the company, that the client wanted someone else, or that a much more qualified candidate happily accepted the role. It was you.

6. How candidates who DO get the position see your job

Recruiters are straight-up heroic. You matched the candidate with their dream job, You boosted their visibility to the client company and let them know how great this candidate would be in the open graphic design position. You were like a mediator on their way to success, and now they are ready to throw a party for you.

7. What your job actually is

As a recruiter, there are hard days and there are jump-up-and-down happy days. You feel under-appreciated, and you feel glorified. The reality is somewhere in the middle. Just remember: You’re the one that finds that proverbial, mystical needle in a haystack that someone else cannot.

Psst, but really, let's be honest, you truly tend to see yourself like this:

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* Featured image by 007

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