An Experience With a Bad Recruiter

I received a cold call on my office line the other day from a recruiter who identified himself as Chad. He told me he had heard great things about me and was referred to me from someone named Jamie Richardson. This caught me off guard & I couldn’t think of who Jamie Richardson was so I asked what this was regarding. Chad told me he had a great opportunity and loved my background for it & we should talk.
I told him I'm not in the market for a new position, but could know some people who are so I asked him to tell me about the opportunity.
To make a long story short he didn't seem to know much about the position. So I asked him where the position was; he didn't know the exact location either. So I then asked if this was a recruiter position, account management position or business development position. He told me it was a combination of the three.
“How so?” I asked.
“It's kind of full desk, you manage the accounts you bring in and recruit for them” he said.
“So it's a business development full desk role?” I asked.
“Not necessarily” he answered.
“Well are there established accounts this person would recruit for? Do they want this person to work with their established accounts to find and place candidates?” I inquired.
“I'm not sure about that. Why don't I just get you on the phone with the client and you can discuss the role with them; we’re working directly with the CIO” he responded.
I reminded him that I wasn't in the market; and it sounded like this wasn't an opportunity anyone I know would be interested in (since I didn’t even know what he was looking for).
'What about my background do you like?' I asked him.
This was a point of ackward silence to where he fumbled & stuttered about my recruiting and sales experience.
"Business development is not my area of expertise” I told him.
In a final desperation attempt he throws out the client’s name; which was a company I wasn't familiar with. After Googling them later I found their address, found out they sell ERP solutions and found out they were looking for a B2B sales person with experience selling high level ERP solutions. There was no mention of recruiting the resources to conduct the ERP work.
After finding these things out, and thinking about my experience with Chad, I came to these conclusions:
- I can't think of anyone I know named 'Jamie Richardson' and that has to be a fake name to try to underhandedly get my guard down by saying he heard great things about me to get me interested in his opportunity.
- Chad had no idea what this company was looking for and his style was to throw mud against the wall and see what sticks. He had to have found me from LinkedIn and cold called my office main line.
- How would the client possibly want to speak with candidates with no ERP sales experience that don’t know what they’re interviewing for?
- There’s no way Chad has closed many deals.

This takes me back to recruiting fundamentals – know your client, know what they want, know what they don’t want, know the culture & environment, talk to candidates from a position of authority/knowledge, expect the questions candidates are going to ask and if it’s not a fit for them – who do they know who it would be a fit for? It doesn’t matter if the person they know isn’t in the market; I want to network with them.
Step it up Chad! You’re making us all look bad.

Views: 136

Comment by Bill Ward on December 11, 2009 at 4:44pm

Thanks for sharing. There's not much too add. You've covered it in spades. Rather stepping it up, Chad should step on a land mine.
Comment by Harold Ensley on December 11, 2009 at 8:44pm
Greg, interesting tale and perspective on being on the receiving end of a bad call. I ended up feeling pity for Chad; clearly he's not getting good advice or guidance. Such is the often "sink or swim" mentality of recruiting. On the flip side, you also have to wonder about the client-company in question - do they really leave their top talent recruiting to a bunch of amateurs? Scary.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on December 11, 2009 at 11:15pm
Greg, this probably happens more than we realize. The irony is this process delivers bad outcomes for all participants.


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