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Oct 29, 2015

Just last week, I heard several mature and qualified recruiters use the word crapplicant at a technology conference.


Crapplicant is an offensive term used by recruiters to describe applicants and candidates who suck. You know the stereotype:

  • The old dude who sends his resume to your database for every job on your website.
  • The mother returning to work who has no skills but thinks she can run your marketing department.
  • The guy who moves from job to job and seems like he might go out on long-term disability once you hire him.

I want to pretend like I understand why someone might use the word crapplicant, but I don’t. That’s a horrible phrase uttered by horrible people who don’t seem to know that resumes are flawed devices.

Every applicant has a story – and a soul

By the way, there’s a human being with a story and a soul on the other side of every CV. Where’s your heart?

Crapplicants? Crapplicants?! Crapplicants?!!!

I wanted to say — check your language, buddy. If you know so much about life, why do you work in recruiting? Get back to your Diet Mountain Dew and fantasy sports league, you f**king hack!

Instead, I just walked away because nobody likes an eavesdropper. Plus, I’m not good with comebacks in the moment.

But hearing the word crapplicant made me root for monkey robots and algorithms.

Recruiters can be a nasty bunch, especially those condescending pricks who throw around disparaging terms for candidates. I am actively rooting for reliable technology platforms that erase human bias, assess candidates for their knowledge and abilities, and produce a slate of candidates who are qualified to work.

We’re close to eliminating the need for most amateur, podunk recruiters; however, we are not there yet. That’s why the CrossFit-loving bro still has a job and travels to HR Tech 2015 like he owns the place.

They aren’t crapplicants to everyone

He is still screening resumes and interviewing candidates like he knows something about human behavior and psychology, but his time is limited. He will get what’s coming to him when he enters the job market — with his old Boolean search skills and his strange love of some off-brand energy drink — and can’t land a job.

It’s coming.

And for what it’s worth, crapplicants aren’t crapplicants to everybody. They eventually get hired, and while I don’t consider myself an optimist, I trust that most crapplicants have long memories.

So keep this in mind: If you’ve ever applied for a job and dealt with a recruiter, you were probably considered a crapplicant.

If you’re in a position of power, and you’re looking to reduce your spend with recruiting firms, talk to me. I can make a few technology-related recommendations and help you hire the right people without wasting time and money on crapcruiters.

This was originally published on the Laurie Ruettimann blog.