Bitter Recruiters, Hire Miserable Employees!

Want great employees? Hire great recruiters, who love your company and love recruiting!

There are over 40,000 recruiter openings right now on LinkedIn. You are currently running lean because it is so hard to find talent. Every single employee you have, and every single new employee you hire, better be really strong, or you are going to be hurting.

During the most recent ten-year run of good fortune that most organizations have had, we’ve made some really crappy recruiter hires. Recruiters who don’t really like recruiting and most of them don’t even like working for you. They are miserable. Miserable, but need a job, so they aren’t going anywhere.

The pandemic actually helped some organizations weed out miserable recruiters, at first. But the last year has burned out a ton of recruiters that were left and many are flat out miserable. They hate you. They hate candidates. They hate hiring managers. They hate the job.

Sometimes you need to give someone a gift. If they are miserable working for you as a recruiter, they will recruit other miserable people.

On the opposite side, people who love your organization make the best recruiters even if they have never recruited before. That doesn’t mean run out and make those who love your company recruiters! That might actually make them miserable! It’s the balance of loving your org and loving to recruit which is the secret sauce! But I do think you can grow recruiters, especially if you use employees who love your organization!

I keep hearing about organizations that are paying insane salaries for average and below-average recruiters, simply because they have recruiting experience. I would rather hire two people with no recruiting experience that I know will actually, at a minimum, tell people how great it is to work with our organization.

When I work with organizations to improve their recruiting I usually find a few common threads. First, they do some dumb process elements that actually detract from recruiting not add to better recruiting. Second, they don’t use their technology to its fullest, Third, and this happens every single time, they have people recruiting who hate their job and hate the company! Every. Single. Time.

So, be better! 

There is actually one more common mistake organizations and Talent leaders are making, they are not investing in developing their recruiting teams. In fact, on average, recruiting teams might get fewer development dollars than any other department in the company!


That one is easy! Because no one knows how to recruit to begin with so they don’t know what to do when delivering recruiter training!

Great TA leaders are recruiting great recruiter talent right now like no other time in history. Most are overpaying for that talent, but that’s what the market is demanding. They are also investing in their recruiting teams with great training. When I’m speaking to recruiter training technology companies and stand-alone recruiter trainers their phones are ringing off the hook!

The last piece that makes you better, faster, is dropping those recruiters who hate their job and hate your organization. You think you can’t because you’re so desperate for recruiting capacity, but losing this dead weight will actually help much more than you know!

One thought on “Bitter Recruiters, Hire Miserable Employees!

  1. Tim – While I agree with you directionally, I would like to see some solid data that backs up your premis.

    The research would need to be tied to employee surveys with recruiters, hiring managers and candidates alike to breakout any correlation to all levels of miserably tied back to individuals.

    I know we all agree a happy pre-hire experience can quickly errode to a miserable post hire experience that can be totally out of the control of happy recruiters.

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