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Recruiter Evils: Tales from the Depths

Wrath and f-bombs in game development hiring.

Haven't been able to post in a while since I've been covering for other positions a lot lately. In fact, it's been tough just to keep on top of email. We've all been there - days when getting your inbox under 100 is an accomplishment. I love my job though and it's worth it, especially when you know the craziness is only temporary.

I try to pull back the curtain whenever I can for candidates so they know what's going on. In an effort to be transparent, I even posted on our job site that you might experience a delay while my colleague is on maternity leave, but that rest assured, I will get back to you. With hundreds of people in the running for jobs at any given moment, it can be difficult to make sure everyone has been taken care of, but one thing I refuse to compromise on is that everyone receives a response. Sometimes that very fact causes delays in response time, but it's worth it to me and I think to my candidates.  But that's not enough for one game developer, who we invited to test for a recent opening. In response to me thanking him for his patience with my busy inbox, he had this to say (redacted to adhere to the Gamasutra Guidelines):

None of this sounds good. I don't appreciate having to wait 8 days for a response to an email that requires a yes/no response. What the f--- were you doing? As I'm sure you don't like being d---ed around, neither do I.

The fact that you guys refuse to send rejection emails to people submitting their resumes disgusts me. I don't know if you remember what it was like trying to find a new job, but filling out an application (it should really be called a black hole for resumes) and never getting a response is incredibly disheartening. I was lucky enough (was I really?) to be contacted, but what about the countless applicants who will never hear back? The least you could do is send a generic rejection email. All I ask is for you to think back upon the time when you were looking for work and treat individuals how you would like to be treated.

Best,

Shall Remain Nameless

It sounds like this individual has had a really hard time. That might even be a big understatement. I'm curious to hear your thoughts, friends and colleagues. Have you ever seriously considered hitting send on an email like this? Any event, I took a deep breath, tried to see things from his point of view, and wrote back:

Hello Shall Remain Nameless,

Currently, my colleague is on maternity leave so that I am handling all US applicants for seven markets. I personally review more than 500 resumes every week and answer about 150 emails each day for about 50 job openings, all while interviewing about 10 candidates per day. I also spend time sending rejection emails to every candidate not selected for consideration, which can be hundreds weekly. Adding to that, my local office manager recently moved so that I am covering those duties as well while we replace her. Also our studio closed last week for a day for inclement weather, so that I could not access all the files I needed to proceed with any testing.

Working three roles at the same time during the busiest recruiting season of the year is difficult, but I appreciate your frustration and I apologize for your experience. I worked a 12 hour day yesterday because there were emails remaining such as yours that I had been unable to answer and I wanted to make sure everyone got a response. I hope this answers your question about what I have been doing. 

I did not reject your profile because you were found to be qualified for the first stage of our process, however every single candidate that submits an application to us who is not selected does receive a rejection from me personally. We are one of the only companies who still does that these days, despite the added workload which certainly adds to the delay you experienced. If you will visit my main site for jobs, you’ll see that it expressly states that all applicants will be reviewed by a real human being and receive an email. It also informs that my colleague is on maternity leave.

Thank you again for your interest, and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Juliette

It's not just a peek behind my curtian, it's the curtain of most recruiters. Overload is a common problem with us because it's difficult to predict how many people will respond to your jobs, making it a constant rollercoaster. But having respect for others and appreciating mutual effort is what this is actually about. I endeavor to respect my candidates and I hope that will always come across, even in times of overload. I truly feel bad when it does not, however I don't believe that is a just defense for this particular type of behavior. 

Some of you might think that recruiters are evil, soulsucking administrative trolls that live off the tears and blood of candidates stumbling blindly through a hazardous interview process with many trials of fire. Maybe there's one or two Evil Recruiters out there, but - as much as I like to think I'm special - it's mostly just people like me. We are doing our best. We appreciate you. Thank you for wanting to work with us. And, always, thank you for your patience.

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