We’ve all heard the saying “what goes around comes around.” If you do a quick Google search of karma, you’ll find over 12 million results about the energy you put out into the world and what you get back as a result. Although I don’t believe in some of the psycho-babble out there, in this case, it fits, so I’m going with it.

I read a Facebook post this morning from one of the recruiter groups that I belong to. Paraphrasing, it said: “75% of IT professionals are open to opportunities. So why are so many recruiters not getting 75% response rates?”

This stat brought up a great point. Why does it seem that response rates for IT professionals continue to decline while the economy continues to improve?

Naturally, this post drew some interesting comments from recruiters. The responses ranged from absurd to interesting. One group member commented, “they don’t like recruiters (I know this sounds negative but it’s true).” Another shared, “Because they aren’t open to any bullshit opportunity you may have up your sleeve. Most IT professionals are passive, but many are open.”

This got me thinking about karma. Are the oversights of the past coming to bite recruiters in the butt? Think of the times that you didn’t have an opportunity to respond to all of the candidates who applied. What about the nightmare of the ATS black hole — candidates applied but never heard anything. Maybe you even have strung along candidates, only to send them a generic Dear John letter that the position was filled.

The possibilities are endless. Let’s face it, when times are bad and recruiters prioritize themselves first, it leaves a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth. We discuss candidate experience and even give out awards for it, but we miss those candidates that were treated poorly in the past.

The world is getting smaller and smaller for some types of roles. Now that IT candidates can go just about anywhere, they see no value in the recruiters who wouldn’t give them the time of day a few short years ago. Unfortunately, the vast majority of recruiters receive little to no training and just focus on the job fill, not the person. It’s not an easy task, but recruiters need to take it upon themselves to treat all of their candidates seriously and with the utmost respect starting on day one.

It’s time that we survey the candidate population and see what they say about our profession. My team and I have decided on taking on this challenge and report our findings in hopes that we can finally find some answers for the industry.