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Some complaints about recruiters are justified: Rossi

When Toronto legal recruiter and lawyer Joanne Rossi reads online complaints about her industry, she doesn’t get defensive, she gets determined.

"I actually find it helpful," says Rossi, CEO of JTF Recruitment Consultants and Employment MadeEZ.

She tells AdvocateDaily.com that she uses the feedback to help manage expectations of clients and prospective candidates.

“After reading so many of these complaints, I have become much clearer with my clients, so I’m not wasting anybody’s time.”

Rossi says much of the criticism she finds on social media is justified. In fact, she says “probably three-quarters of it is right on the money.”  

She says the top complaint comes from candidates who expect feedback throughout the process — particularly after they’ve submitted a resume and once they’ve gone to an interview.

“When someone sends in a resume, they have to realize that it’s one of hundreds of resumes and emails I receive in a week. My inbox is inundated and everybody wants a personal response. Sometimes, it’s just not possible,” says Rossi.

But, further into the process, expecting a response is completely understandable, she adds.

“If we’ve met and talked, and I’ve vetted you for a specific job, it is completely reasonable to expect me to tell you why you’re not getting an interview or why you didn’t get the job after an interview,” she says.

“They should demand that. I would.”

Part of the problem, Rossi explains, is that sometimes her client — the firm that’s hiring — isn’t always forthcoming with feedback.

“I think that’s unfortunate,” she says. “These interviews can be very detailed and lengthy. When you get to the point where the firm is working with you one-on-one, I think you deserve feedback about why you didn’t get the job.”

Plus, that information can be helpful with the next job possibility, she says.

“But recruiters are limited by the feedback that our clients give us,” says Rossi.

Another justified complaint she often sees is that recruiters send out resumes without a candidate’s permission. She’s even heard of recruiters creating resumes from information they find using online professional networks and submitting it for job openings.

“Ethically, it’s so disturbing that it makes me cringe to know that’s it’s happening,” says Rossi. “But it does happen. I’ve seen it.”

While it would be impossible to prevent unethical recruiters from gathering information that’s online and submitting it, she advises candidates to tell recruiters when they submit their resumes, not to pass it along without their permission.

Rossi says she makes a point of requiring a candidate’s written permission before submitting a resume.

“Another big complaint is that the candidate is being asked to divulge their current salary,” says Rossi.

Or, they may get through the entire application process, only to find out that the salary offered is well below what they would have considered.

Rossi says asking someone their salary can be a touchy subject — not to mention unnecessary. She says she doesn’t have to know how much a candidate is making — only what they’re looking for in a new job.

She says both sides can avoid surprises if candidates stipulate minimum expectations for salary and benefits. That way, a recruiter can match them with suitable job openings.

"Everyone needs to know and state their value up front," she says. "The clients should have a range for the job and a candidate should know what their value is and be clear with the recruiter right away about what their salary expectations are."

Rossi says if both sides were forthcoming about their expectations at the outset, there would likely be fewer disappointments at the end of the process and perhaps fewer complaints posted online. 

To Read More JTF Recruitment Consultants, Employment MadeEZ Posts Click Here
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