save your careerOver the years, recruiting firms have gotten a bad rap and here’s why: There are around 17,000 staffing firms in the United States with over 35,000 operating offices. In this mix of companies there is bound to be a bad recruiter that gives us all a bad name through “shady” practices. If you choose to work with a recruiter, make sure that you are working with one who listens and helps you plot out the career YOU want, not what they want. Pay attention to red flags and avoid the following recruiters to protect your career:


The Drive by Recruiter: You get a phone call, short conversation about a position, may have an interview and then NEVER hear from recruiter again.

The Absent Mentor: They seem great up front. They talk to you, get you an interview, and a job. After that they offer little to no communication or contact. Like ever.

The Game Player: Similar to the drive by recruiters, except after the short conversation they will blast your résumé to a ton of jobs, most of which you haven’t heard of and are in no way aligned or interested in. We will get to position/ company alignment later.

The Pay to Play Company: You should never be charged for a recruiter. Professional, reputable and responsible firms provide all and more.

The lazy or clueless recruiter: This recruiter won’t fill you in on a specific position or a company very well, because they don’t actually know a lot about the position or the company. If they can’t devote the time to research, they won’t devote any time to your wants and needs.

Bait and Switch: This recruiter or company will withhold key information about a position, and tell you what you want to hear. When it comes down to an interview or placement, they will try to strong arm you into positions which you have no interest: less money, different location, etc.

Thankfully there are plenty of recruiters who want to protect your career, listen to your goals and place you with a company where you will succeed. If you look out for red flags, you will be able to separate the good from the bad.

Author: Elyse Lopez