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Recruiters’ Frustration Level with HR is THIS High

by | Oct 15, 2015 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Recruiters have been battling the Human Resources department at clients since the beginning of time. (Okay, not THAT long, but you get the point.)

Even for those recruiters who have a good working relationship with the HR departments of their clients, friction inevitably arises during searches. But how much friction?

To help get the answer, we conducted a poll of Top Echelon Network members. Below is the poll question that we posed:

On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest), what has been your frustration level with HR this year?


The choice of answers that were provided is listed below, along with the percentage of Network recruiters that selected each one:

  • 1 — 12.9%
  • 2 — 17.6%
  • 3 — 23.5%
  • 4 — 32.9%
  • 5 — 7.1%
  • I respectfully submit a level above 5. — 5.9%


It’s interesting that the most popular answer for those recruiters participating in the poll were “4” at 32.9% and “3” at 23.5%. That means over 56% of recruiters are experience an above-average amount of frustration, at the very least. In fact, a more accurate way to describe it might be “excessively moderate level to high level” of frustration.

Speaking of high levels of frustration, 7.1% of respondents chose “5” as their answer and another 5.9% indicated that they “respectfully submit a level above 5.” That’s a full 13% of recruiters who are basically “fed up” with HR.

Lagging behind were “2” at 17.6% and “1” at 12.9%. While it’s good that these recruiters are experiencing relatively low levels of frustration with HR, their experiences are certainly the exception and not the rule.


What do these results mean? Well, they could mean any number of things, including the following:

  • HR personnel are becoming more combative in their dealings with third-party recruiters.
  • Recruiters are becoming less patient with HR personnel.
  • There is a growing lack of communication between all parties involved, including the hiring managers, HR personnel, and recruiters.
  • Hiring managers and HR personnel are not adequately educated about current market conditions, especially in regards to the availability of top talent.
  • Companies are creating more “red tape” during the hiring process, inevitably drawing it out (and quite possibly, making it less effective).

In some cases, it could be a combination of one or more or ALL of these things. What’s been your experience? What has been your frustration level with HR this year?

Do you have little to no trouble? Or are you officially “fed up”?

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