How To Deal With Unfair Demands Of Recruiters?

Last updated 25 Nov 2016 . 4 min read

It’s a matter of pride for me, to put up an envious list of achievements and awards on my resume. Nobody thinks of it as a roadblock in furthering their career, but Nabomita Majumdar has a different story to tell.

A highly experienced HR professional, winner of 100 women achievers award by the ministry of women and child development, ranked 2nd among the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media by SHRM India 2015, these are just a few mentions, among her long list of recognitions.


We’ve all been in the place where we are looking for jobs and things don’t pan out the way we want to. Similarly, Nabomita also slogged out in numerous interviews and was rejected by hiring managers, without any feedback. It was puzzling and she turned to a senior HR professional for advice, unaware that she was in for a rude shock. The said person asked her to tone down her achievements, recognition and even her work ex in the resume, in order to land a job.

The discussion #FromTheCommunity has shone light on the downright, unethical demands directed toward a seasoned and vibrant HR professional. Presuming that it’s a one-off incident, it still unsettles me to my very core. So what would you do if faced with such a dilemma?

We tried understanding this muck by getting perspective on this matter from the seasoned HR guru, Harlina Sodhi.

Harlina agrees that there is an implicit pressure on women to present themselves in a certain manner on professional front.

Yes this does happen, however very covertly. It’s subtle hints and nudges which women get to tone down their recognition, assertiveness and drive”

She further added that a certain amount of intimidation sweeps in when women take over the mantle at higher management positions.

So far, the playground at the top has only had men, who knew the rules of the game, are apt at boardroom manoeuvres and understand men psychology well. Now with women also rising to higher management levels, some of them find themselves grappling with not knowing how to deal with and leverage gender diversity. So yes, they are intimidated, as they are now in uncharted waters!”

Harlina goes on to add that  recruitment agencies have to evolve, to understand the shifting positions of women in the work realm,

“Recruitment agencies have to obviously balance their gender diversity ratios, align themselves with few women oriented initiatives/bodies so they real-time hear of challenges and opportunities and get senior women in the industry to mentor some of their key folks.”

SHEROES founder and CEO, Sairee Chahal says, “Never let anyone dull your shine.”

We are not living in the Stone Age, therefore, giving into such outrageous demands is unethical to say the least. When looking for jobs be clear to not undersell yourself. Landing a job by giving into the hiring managers’ whims and fancies is just as fraudulent.

Don’t be afraid to call a spade a spade

In order to look “professional’ and not ruffle too many feathers, as the higher positions in the management hierarchy are largely filled in by men. Giving into such demands might be tempting, but won’t sustain in the long run. Also, calling out the unfair treatment, won’t make us anti-establishment or anti-men. It will surely restore my belief to not settle for anything less than what I deserve.

Money plays a crucial role

Settling for lower income jobs is not advisable. This will reflect on your resume and create an image of cheap manpower (or in our case womanpower.) Acquiring experience is one part of your work, money is another and quite evidently a deciding factor. It can make or break a deal, so never settle for anything, especially in terms of pay.

Nabomita didn’t “settle” for a job, so that she can stay in the race, rather waited out for the right job and as of now she’s an Evangelist at the SHEROES.



Lola Jutta
An unapologetic writer, budding travel enthusiast and a default optimist! Life is what you make out of it.

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