Here’s the recruiting scenario:

An executive search firm principal (let’s call him Jack) searches for and sources potential prospects via LinkedIn

Jack finds and contacts a potential prospect (let’s call her Jenny) through inMail

In his inMail message Jack introduces himself, his search firm, and briefly describes his client’s opportunity to Jenny

Jenny politely replies to Jack that she would be open to discussing the opportunity and provides her contact info and availability for a call

Jack calls Jenny the next day and leaves a voicemail and also emails her the official job description

Jenny is unable to return the call by end of day (for Jack’s time zone – 3 hours ahead), so she emails Jack to thank him for the additional information and let him know her availability for a call the next day

The following day, Jack replies to Jenny’s email and requests her resume

Jenny thinks Jack is a JackHole

Jenny’s recap (recruiter rant) of the scenario:

Resume THIS you typical jerkface recruiter! You found me on LinkedIn, liked what you saw enough to contact me, presumably to speak with me, so why do you suddenly need a resume in order to do that?

Don’t jack me around Jack! 

(BTW: Jenny's LI profile is comprehensive, so her resume would be redundant at this stage)

Views: 1677

Comment by PAUL FOREL on July 28, 2014 at 3:39pm

Sandra is correct-

"The outcome of this example might have been totally different if mr. Jack Mehoff had taken the opportunity to speak on the phone for 10 minutes with a candidate he was trying to recruit..."

This is not a complicated conversation or situation- "Jack" simply jumped the gun.

Get their trust, then get the resume.

Often, I get the resume while we are having our first conversation where the recruit gets a feel for what I'm about and then volunteers to send it while we are speaking.

In this day and age where 'recruiters' are characterized as 'grabby' and 'hustlers', giving thought to timing [in requesting a resume] is often key to a trusting relationship.

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on July 28, 2014 at 7:37pm

I guess that the recruiter doesn't have a right to find it unprofessional of the candidate not to be available at the appointed time, and not to respond immediately to voice-mail for an appointment she had already set up? Not one person has mentioned this fact of the matter, yet.  Brush the candidate's conduct under the table and blame the recruiter?  I'm really surprised that no one has pointed out yet that the incident was caused by a failure of the candidate to follow through on her commitment to be available at a certain time. 

Don't get me wrong, I believe in treating candidates well, but it's not my job to babysit someone who misses the appointment she set up...  if she gets angry as a result of being held accountable for her error, that's another sign of an irresponsible candidate.  You can easily look at either side of this argument and find positives and negatives.  Also, the way the situation was described still leaves open a lot of variables, but, as described the case is pretty clearly not entirely (if at all) the recruiter's fault.  Even if it was, the candidate should simply request a conversation again, and probably strive to make up for the fact that she let the recruiter down.  

The reality is anyone can think anyone else a jerk based on one event if they want to.  I don't want to work with candidates like that.  I want a successful level-headed candidate who keeps his/her word and is intelligent enough to ask for what he/she needs, rather than jumping to a level of inappropriate anger.

The day that candidates start signing my paycheck, I'll get more interested in catering to their whims.  Otherwise, I have work to do, and there are plenty of other candidates who will be available to speak with me at the time they stated.  Notwithstanding that, the recruiter could still be a jerk, but this candidate sounds like a jerk, too.  How hard could it possibly be to say "let's try again to talk, first"?  Use some common sense.

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on July 28, 2014 at 8:08pm

Not very long ago, a candidate published an article in LinkedIn about Co-dependency between candidates and recruiters.  I think that this is actually a major element of the conversation above, which is hiding between the lines.  One of the key traits of a co-dependent recruiter is always wanting to bend over backwards to take the candidate's side on things... always wanting to be the helper.  I think recruiters would do better for themselves (and be better recruiters) if they watched out more carefully for this type of problem in their work.  

http://www.livinghealthy360.com/index.php/codependency-in-helping-p...

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on July 29, 2014 at 8:04am

Yeah, asking for a resume was definitely a mistake.

Are you sure Jack is in executive search?  He sounds more like an agency recruiter to me.

Comment by Alejandro Guzman Acha on July 29, 2014 at 10:06am

Asking for the resume was a mistake by the only measure that counts, effectiveness. Personal styles aside, in the story related, Jack ruined his chances with the candidate by putting the cart in front of the horse. 

Sometimes that will happen sometimes it won't.

With all that being said, did it still warrant the response(s) it has garnered? IMHO no.

What has me a bit concerned / shocked is the entrenched mindsets and extremism displayed by some this far. That's the point I was trying to make, something I felt the candidate was guilty of as well, overreaction to a perceived gaffe.

So many of these things are situation dependent, it's hard to speculate or convey how any one thing shoulda, coulda, or woulda, been done. In the story Jack blew it - too bad so sad. Hopefully Jack learns from it, but at the same time, did the candidate blow it with an inappropriate response? Jack might not be the only game in town, but it seems odd to me to blow a  burgeoning opportunity with brash behavior.

Why so extreme on every side of the isle? Why get so riled up? What I have learned from my time on the planet, insignificant as that might be to some, is that you save the nuclear option for when its truly needed. 

I'm no doormat, by any means, but I like to think I am comfortable enough with my mastery of my own situation to not need a tuff-guy response. Especially to perceived slights.

Life's a lot easier that way.

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on July 29, 2014 at 7:19pm

Well said, Alejandro.

Comment by Keith Halperin on July 29, 2014 at 8:35pm

I think that if you approach someone professionally and in good faith, in a way you'd feel comfortable being approached if you were a candidate, you shouldn't be concerned. If some ****-stain happens to "get downright *medieval on you a**" for doing that, well then: **** 'em.

Cheers,

Keith

*No offense meant, Medieval Recruiter...

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on July 29, 2014 at 10:46pm

I meant to comment sooner, but Sandra covered what I would have added (AND THEN SOME!!!)

Anyway, thanks everyone for creating an interesting discussion around this. I think it's fascinating that there are are extreme opinions on both sides related to the candidate's and recruiter's perspective.

To elaborate a bit more on where Jenny might be coming from: Let's imagine that Jack is the 17th recruiter to contact her this month. She initially replied similarly to the prior 16. Some resulted in actual conversations and others went no further than "her" reply to the original inMail to the other Jacks.

Of those 16 recent interactions Jenny invested time to handle the contact professionally "just in case" but became increasingly frustrated with the level (or lack) of professionalism, preparedness, and cluelessness displayed by the recruiters contacting her. 

As originally shared at the end of the above post, Jenny's LI profile is complete and comprehensive, so her resume would only serve as a more compact and convenient version of the same information. As Sandra and several others eluded to, the problem isn't the request for the resume, it's the premature timing of that request based on the context of this particular scenario. 

Perhaps she doesn't have an updated resume readily available. Or, perhaps she has several variations and would prefer to provide the most relevant resume version based on the opportunity. Or, maybe she knows what appears on paper (job description and/or resume) doesn't always tell the full story and she thinks the only way to be sure there is mutual understanding is to discuss it. 

While it may seem shocking to some, Jenny's reaction here isn't at all unusual and most certainly doesn't mean she is volatile, hostile, arrogant or mentally ill. I think what this points out is that recruiters should step back from their own isolated world once in a while and consider how their (or their peers) actions and behaviors are coming across to their prospects.

This isn't a matter of someone actively looking for work or not, it's a matter of realizing that the recruiting profession has a long way to go to being viewed favorably due to the unfortunate habits of the inconsiderate and unprofessional people using the recruiter (executive search) title.

The "regular" people out there like Jenny, don't know the difference between the good ones and the bad ones, but if they happen to get contacted more often by JackHoles than quality recruiters then this situation is probably happening A LOT more often than it gets blogged about. 

Thanks again for all of the comments ~KB @TalentTalks 

 

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on July 29, 2014 at 11:20pm

It could be that having an ex-girlfriend who is a software engineer who has borderline personality and sociopathic traits (which she freely admitted), who just happened to be named "Jennifer", might have shaped my thinking on this.  Nonetheless, I've never had anyone get angry at me for asking for a resume, that I can recall, and no one in my office could think of an example either... average years of experience at my firm is about 25 years, and we have multiple recruiters who have closed deals with fees well in excess of $100,000.  So, while I agree that it's quite an interesting discussion, I think I have to agree to disagree about the conclusion.  This is the kind of topic everyone gets interested in, though.  Well done!

Comment by Keith Halperin on July 30, 2014 at 3:10pm

Nicholas: Hmmm....a SWE with "borderline personality and sociopathic traits"? T Thiose traits are wasted on a SWE. She should consider becoming:

1) a CEO or

2) a "Self-proclaimed Recruiting Thought Leader" (of course, no existing S-PRTLs have anything but perfect personalities...)

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