The Top 5 Lies of Every Agency Recruiter!
June 23, 2023
Recruiter Lies

As someone who has worked for a number of years in the technology field, and in a hard-to-find, niche capacity, recruiter solicitation is inevitable.

Surprisingly, the recruiter (agency or corporate) will attempt to “fill in the blanks” about a company even more so than the hiring manager is willing to divulge.

Unfortunately, those responses seem more about my pacification than they do about conveying an accurate truth. This is important because I am basing all this input on whether I wish to move forward in the process and entertain an offer.

At some point you are going to stumble upon details about the job opportunity that do not seem to sync with what the recruiter has shared.


The Top 5 Lies of Every Agency Recruiter!


1. “There’s no salary range for the position.” or “The hiring manager is processing the salary requirements from candidate submissions.” 

a) While there are “net new” positions from time-to-time, they’re still going to be assessed based on a fair market rate for that region or state.

b) The prospect of staffing agency recruiters or corporate recruiters allowing candidates to set the price equilibrium for a role will never happen. Companies are run based on labor cost projections for which their openings will need to adhere to some level of budget control. All part of the approval workflow before a job requisition even comes into existence.

c) Whether a full-time roll, contractor position, or consulting role through a 3rd party vendor, someone at the company is or was performing that same role. Due to equity (rate analysis of a position as it relates to others with the same job code), there is not going to be large deviations from the compensation that is currently being (or was) paid out.


2. “The project could be extended.”

a) Having worked on multiple optimization and implementation projects, even key stakeholders are not always as informed of the changing timelines of a project. Budgets and priorities can shift on a dime. How a recruiter could have the foresight and vision to tell you about the potential for an extension, being so removed from a company’s operations, especially so early on in the resource planning phase for a project, is mind-blowing.

b) It’s a higher probability your project will end sooner than the 6 months you were contracted for. The standard 6 months contract for consultants and contractors is merely a bookmark.

c) Unless it’s in writing from the client that the contract period is longer than what the recruiter has stated, then the assignment period is all that is binding.


3.  “You’ll be attending the occasional meeting and simply advising the client at a high level”. or “You can expect a lot of downtime. Should be a piece of cake for someone of your technical proficiency.”

a) This is the dawn of when salary/rate negotiation begins. It’s the idea that you will be compensated for low productivity requirements.

Don’t fall for it!

b) If you work in a technology role, you’ll have very little time to adapt to the company’s work culture and organizational structure.

You’ll hit the ground running, facilitating meetings with various stakeholders and gathering business requirements.

Leadership/management will expect you to have a clear, concise image of what their problems are, when they occurred, how they occurred, ending with a pragmatic solution that meets everyone’s approval.

c) From there, it’s a cycle of constant configuration and  testing at a very high level of complexity and consequence.

Not sure where the notion of “occasional meetings and high-level advisory” ever came into play? Do you?


4. “Are you available?” 

Seems like a fairly innocuous question, right? Where is the lie?

The lie comes from omission:

a) They want to walk into a sales / initial discovery call (with a new / prospective client)  with your resume in hand as a form of enticement and/or to bolster their reputation of having a “virtual bench” of project managers and SME’s at their disposal, when required.

There is no signed MSA. They’re not even an approved vendor at this point.

b) They heard through the grapevine that the resource who is currently placed may be experiencing performance issues or might have mentioned taking a leave of absence — anticipating a backfill opportunity.

c) There is no formal job req yet, but they took notes from a spotlight call, and decide to proactively send a resume or two that speaks to a perceived client need or skills gap.

While I understand the rationale for these moves, unfortunately, it rarely leads to anything tangible.


5. “Please submit a 1-3 references. I’ll need this prior to submitting your resume for consideration”.

a) When is the appropriate time to submit references? When you have a verbal offer in place.

b) Rarely have I spoke to one of my references who was not “sales pitched” after a few basic questions about me.

Be very protective of your references. Most of them will not be fond of being solicited by staffing agencies, especially for jobs that you did not even make it into the interview stage with. 

c) The one caveat here is if you had mention being fired or having some type of adverse experience that could come up in a background check, the recruiter may be more comfortable speaking to some references beforehand.


The Bottom Line

There you have it! “The Top 5 Lies of Every Agency Recruiter!”

What are some other “doozies” recruiters have told you that were completely void of truth?” Tell us in the comments section.


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