Question of the day: Have you ever misrepresented yourself to the gatekeeper to connect with your contact?

Follow up to today's RBC Daily as we continue our ode to the recruiter's best friend- the phone.

Question of the day: Have you ever misrepresented yourself to the gatekeeper to connect with your contact?

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Once, the first week I was on the phone as a recruiter – person I called got on phone and ripped me up one side and down the other because I lied to get through. I never lied again.


Now, I always say my name, company name and then who I want to talk to.  As in:  Good morning, this is Cora Lengeman of Norwood Network.  I'd like to speak with Bob Smith.

If they ask what is it in regard to - I tell them either:

I'm a recruiter and I'm conducting a search for a XXX and believe he can identify some people I should talk to.  


I'm a recruiter and would like to set up a meeting to meet with him regarding hiring needs for your company.

90% of the time I get through.  The 10% that I don't get through I find someone to introduce us if it's a marketing call.  If it's a recruiting call and I am looking for candidates, I just move on.  Eventually someone will refer me to him and then I call back using that referrer's name and get to talk to who I want anyways.

I am always friendly to the gatekeeper and try to make them an ally.

I have never lied to get through, but I will admit that I didn't correct someone.  ONCE.  Like Cora Mae, I was ripped up one side down the other, even though I tried to say I didn't lie.  Never again will I do that!  Definitely learned my lesson on that one!

This is such a fun question.  I have been in this business for almost 25 years, long before the internet and e-mail were the norm.  I started as a recruiter for an IT consulting company and we were always looking for candidates.  We ran employment adds in the paper every week, but we never had enough candidates.  We had to try to lure technical people away from present jobs, but we first had to find out who these people were and what tech skills they had. There were 4 recruiters at this company, we met once a week to device a story and script to get names and hopefully to talk to the technical people in local companies.  The first hurdle was to get past the company phone operator or receptionist.  We would call in, use a made up name and title, and tell them that we were calling from the local Jr. College, or one of the larger universities.  We proceded to tell the receptionist that we were offering a free tech seminar on a new technology and we would like to invite all the techies from that particular company.  Most of the time the receptionist would very willingly supply us with names or mail us a company employee list to insure that all would be invited to the seminar.  Then we would openly call and recruit.  Every week we targeted a different company, changing  the story, names and technology.  We kept very accurate records of what worked and what didn't work.  We also knew what gatekeepers were smart enough to recognize a ruse and which ones were gullible.  It worked like a charm for several years. 


As Sinatra  said:

've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, A poet, a pawn and a king....

I hate that lying shit.  The only time i misrepresent is if i am calling an active candidate that i have to reach.  If his secretary answers or a receptionist i ask for him.  If they ask who is calling i use a sexy voice and say, "Just tell him it is Candy, he knows who i am."  He already knows that if somebody named Candy calls, it's me and i'm not going to leave my real name and nobody thinks recruiters are terribly sexy so his secret is safe.  Even if i don't leave a message some gal will track him down and tell him somebody named Candy called but wouldn't leave a message.


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