Chatting with a recruitment agency

What NOT to Do When Chatting Online with a Recruitment Agency

I’m absolutely astounded by some of the behavior I’ve seen using people2people’s live chat system! If you’re communicating online with a recruitment agency, it’s critical you keep in mind that you are, in fact, chatting with a live person and that your interactions could heavily affect your job search. In this post, originally published on the people2people blog, I shared some of my biggest live chat pet peeves. Don’t make the same mistakes! Read more below, or check it out on the Wayback Machine.

The people2people website has a live chat feature that allows job seekers, hiring managers and anyone else to speak in real time to a representative from people2people, usually one of our recruitment consultants and always someone within one of the people2people offices. We’ve had great results from this service and have received fantastic feedback, but sometimes our chat can be a major source of frustration as well! We come across some of the oddest behaviour when chatting. Here are some of our biggest pet peeves.

Ask for a job…any old job

A shocking number of people we talk to via chat are there because they’re looking for a job. Okay, great, that’s what we’re here for! But, please, can you help us out a bit? This conversation isn’t going to do anyone any favours:

Chatter: hi i need job
p2p: Okay, great! What type of job are you looking for?
Chatter: anything
p2p: What experience do you have?
Chatter: i just need job

Similarly, if we ask you where you prefer to work and you answer, ‘Anywhere,’ really? I have a feeling you’re not actually open to commuting 90 minutes each way for work.

Assume we know who you are

If you’ve signed into chat anonymously (without first providing your name and email) and you ask us to look into your timesheet or application, give us some clue who you are, please! Our technology is pretty cool, but it’s not psychic.

Fail to tell us the job you’re interested in

We usually have hundreds of jobs open at any given time, so telling us, ‘Hi I’m interested in the job,’ isn’t helping! ‘Which job is that?’ we ask. ‘The accounting one,’ you respond. Can you please be more specific?

Write like a twelve year old

As recruiters, we’re a professional resource, and part of our evaluation of your suitability for roles is how professional you’re capable of being. So don’t write to us like you’re drunk texting your buddies! You’d be surprised by how many people write things like, ‘hi how r u,’ or, ‘thx thats gr8.’ I wish I were exaggerating.

Quit your job via LiveChat

If we’ve represented you for a role and you’re planning to quit this job that you’ve committed to, at least have the decency to call your consultant to explain what’s happened. Telling a people2people stranger this news over chat is the equivalent of breaking up with your significant other via SMS, and, last I checked, that’s not okay. It may sound like common sense, but it’s really happened to us!

Get impatient when it takes us a minute to reply

If thirty seconds have passed and you haven’t heard from us, there’s really no need to follow up with, ‘u there?????’ We do make an effort to respond as quickly as possible, but if we weren’t busy, it would be awfully hard to find you work.

Refuse to give a consultant a call

Because a representative from each team cannot be on chat at any given time, we often provide job seekers with the phone number of the best consultant to speak to regarding the type of work they’re looking for. Sometimes these job seekers either tell us they don’t want to speak to anyone by phone or refuse to leave a voicemail if the consultant is away from his or her desk. If you’re unwilling to speak to a recruiter over the phone, it is going to be hard to assist you.

Fail to take no for an answer

If we give you a response, take our word for it. The most common example of chatters not taking no for an answer is when candidates who are overseas ask if we can find a work visa for them. When we tell them that, unfortunately, we are unable to help until they have a visa, often they refuse to accept it and instead try to bargain with us. We cannot make up immigration law as we go along – the Australian Department of Immigration would not be too impressed.

Take your anger out on the person you’re chatting with

You may be upset by something one of our consultants has done, e.g. rejecting your application for a role, but unless you’re speaking with that specific consultant over chat, it will do you no good to get upset with the person to whom you’re talking! We will usually say something along the lines of, ‘Apologies for the situation. Please give [consultant’s name] a call so she can help resolve it,’ so speak to that consultant. Also keep in mind that being rude to a recruiter is not going to encourage them to help you with your job search in the future!

Ask if we’re a computer

Yes, we are real human beings. No, you don’t need to ask if we’re sure of that when we tell you we are not a computer.

Get a bit too friendly

This is not the time or place to tell us how beautiful we are. But thanks anyway. We’ll take the ego boost.

Troll us

Perhaps you’re bored and think it would be great fun to ‘anonymously’ troll us via chat by sending us bizarre messages or asking us inappropriate questions, but we have access to your IP address. One person decided to have a bit of fun with us once, and it took us about thirty seconds to determine at which company he was temping for us. The internet is never anonymous.

We’re here to help, but if you’re ever chatting with us, please keep these in mind! We look forward to chatting with you soon!

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