Rather than bury this in a serious discussion thread on Katie's Dear John post i thought it might be kind of fun to make it a response to her Dear John letter.  Please understand it's for fun...sort of.


Dear Katie,

Thank you so much for your letter.  It is at least nice to know that you are well and something bad had not happened to you. I respect your position and your budget constraints.  Actually the reason for my call was three fold.  I really wanted to discuss all this with you over lunch as i value you as a person but after receiving your nice letter it seems you are very busy and being hounded by lots of recruiters so i will respond in kind.


First, i am glad that we are on the same page.  After having worked my heart out for you in the past, i want you to know how much i have appreciated your business and have been delighted that we were able to place several people with your company who are still there and in fact have been promoted.  It is always rewarding for us to know that we were able to assist in helping build a company with top people.  Which brings me to the second reason for my call.


As a recruiter who has worked with you in the past we of course signed an agreement not to recruit directly or indirectly any employees of your company.  We have been happy to honor that agreement, however we are receiving a high level of calls from current employees of your company who with the economy improving want to make a change.  Rather than engage them behind your back i wanted to discuss with you that since you no longer need our services and are doing good things with google and the SM crowd, i am sure you no longer have expectations that we not work with your employees or anyone at your company they may refer to us.  Certainly  we do not want to besmirch our reputation as honorable due to you finding new and cheaper ways to meet your goals.  We understand budgets. 


 It had also become difficult to work with your internal recruiters as they did not return calls and seemed to be sitting on resumes from recruiters while trying to fill positions that you had listed with us without having to pay a fee so were not putting our resumes throught to your hiring managers.  All understandable when money is tight but frustrating as you can imagine when we were trying to do our very best to provide top candidates and asked only that our candidates be considered along with those your recruiters received since you did list the position.  But let bygones be bygones.  The relationship had become strained from our point of view also but we are never quick to throw relationships to the wind just because things got a little difficult.  Times change and we never know what the future will bring so loyalty is never under valued from our standpoint.


The third purpose of my call was to let you know that we have been approached by one of your competitors who want to retain us to do some senior level recruiting.  As we have given you preferential treatment in the past and did not work with your direct competitors as we felt there might be even a small perception of conflict of interest i also wanted to be sure you were aware that since you no longer need us there should be no such perception and i know you will wish us well.  In line with that new relationship this client is looking for a Sr. level person with your background.  As i have worked with you in the past and found you to be an effective professional on all levels i wanted to speak with you about the position before i launced a full search. 


Based on your letter it seems however that you feel cold calls are a thing of the past and social media is the total solution.  Unfortunately this search is a confidential one so will only be discussed with potential candidates who will be called as you say, "out of the blue".  I did want to give you the option to discuss or possibly refer someone but being unable to reach you and receiving your letter i will certainly accept it as a rejection and wish you well in finding another position within your company that will meet your desire for career progression.


By all means, let's hang out some time.  Just because our past relationship was no longer of value to you does not mean there is anything wrong with either of us.  As adults we both know it's never good to burn bridges or loose opportunities over something as silly as a call not being returned.  Give me a call if things do not work out for you in the future.  If i do not have too many candidates calling as the economy starts to boom i will certainly return your call..or at least drop you a note.


Love and kisses,



P. S.  My number is oi812, if you get my voice mail please leave a message.

Views: 381

Comment by Katie McNab on April 27, 2011 at 6:59pm

LOL!  Touché!   :) 


You realise of course that my original letter was directed at companies we DON'T currently work with?  I'm a big fan of our external recruiting partners.  It's the bizarre business development tactics of some of the others that bother me.  Not the agency model itself.


But let's play along... and let me make sure I've understood.  Soooo.... despite the fact that my team are capable of filling roles with high quality candidates without using third parties, and our staffing budgets are being reduced as a result, you think I should still continue giving vacancies to third party recruiters for fear that they might start poaching some of my employees?   

Interesting.  It sounds a little bit like... blackmail? 

I jest, I jest...  It's a valid question, and one we've considered.  If we don't use third parties, we become a target for them.  That's OK.  But most of our competitors are also using or transitioning to direct models... and we do a pretty good job of looking after our people.  If they're genuinely not happy and want to leave, well that's really on us rather than you.  It's up to us to create and maintain an environment where staff can't be so easily lured away...

Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 27, 2011 at 7:32pm

LOL,  I understand what you meant.


Heavens no i would never suggest that you use a third party firm where they are not needed.  No one should ever work with anyone out of fear of having half their employees contacted by recruiters.  In fact i tell internal recruiters every day not to work with any recruiter who lets them know that they are either a buyer or a supplier.  I do think that is blackmail.


The bizarro pound the phones tactic bothers me probably more than it does you.  because it gives all of us a bad rap.


I have seen the pendulum swing before to direct recruiting models and fewer 3rd party firms.  It works well when there are not that many jobs and a lot of candidates.  What you might consider is to ask the thrid party firms to outplace employees who are struggling rather than have to terminate them.  It is sometime much less expensive to pay an outplacement fee than it is to severance an employee who is not bad enough to fire but may be on the edge.


If you are working yourself out of a recruiting budget by being successful it will be tough to go back to the well and ask for a recruiting budget if the supply and demand changes or the internals who are good move on.  Some pretty savvy internal HR and recruiting managers are using TPR's for hard to fill jobs so they can not only fill them but keep their TPR's in the loop and maintain some wiggle room in the budget if they need it.


And it really might be worth a return call to some of those who sound sharp and professional, they really might have that dream job.  :)

Comment by Barbara Goldman on April 27, 2011 at 8:28pm

Could it be that there are two types of recruiters?

I always considered recruiting to be a pro-active sport. Katie, If I call you about someone I think worthy of your time, it is because this person is a rare find. 

You wonder why I call to tell you about candidates that you don't want. Why don't I wait for you to contact me? I am a proactive recruiter.  There are many reasons to work proactively, perhaps mergers or acquisitions have caused key people to rethink, failed financing, reduced bond ratings, changes in corporate structure, etc.

I contact prospective clients and offer ideas that could have an impact on the organization. I don't care if there is an opening or not. I'm not interested in a job order. 

All I know is that I may have a scientist for you who created a blockbuster for your competitor. That one patent caused your company to lose market share. He is disgruntled, and open to opportunity. The reason I won't ever call you, Katie, is because I'm not looking for job orders.

I call the person who is hurting because your company lost market share. I call the person who might know this scientist by name. I am not trying to 'go around' you. I respect your job. But, you are not in a position to create a job for this scientist.

The confusion began when everyone started calling themselves recruiters. I am a recruiter. But, pro-active recruiting is a large part of our business.

Human Resources is reactive. Inside recruiters are reactive.

Katie, you are in a reactive situation. You fill job orders. If recruiters are calling you with candidates that you don't want, of course you might be hostile. You don't understand what they are trying to do.

If I call you with a pro-active situation, and you are hostile because your job is a reactive one, then I am a fool, not you. You have every right to be sending dear john letters to me. I wasted your time and mine.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 27, 2011 at 10:06pm

And the other situation that often happens is some of those rare find candidates will ask, no demand that their CV not be sent through HR or entered into an ATS nor will they respond to an internal recruiter because they know the exposure will put them at risk of too many eyes being aware they might be on the market. And or HR or internal recruiting will hit the "kill switch" and their CV will never get to anyone who would recognize their value.  HR or internal recruiting may never know about them until the CEO and the board have already hired them.  It's not disrespect, it' simply reality and we all know it.


If HR would listen and understand that here is an opportunity to engage that rare bird then communicate that information to the highest office in the land based on the word of a headhunter HR would soon have that seat at the table that they covet so much.  Some do, they use the intel they get from recruiters/headhunters whatever you want to call them to know the secrets they would otherwise never know.  If they don't we take it somewhere to someone who will listen and have the savvy to make a hero out of themselves, us and snag a candidate that a lot of folks will wonder how they ever got them. 


That is the reason that good recruiters take calls and listen to candidates when we may not have an open job for them right that minute and why we turn around and offer a top candidate unsolicited to someone within a company who is more concerned about an opportunity to engage with that candidate than they are about protecting their process and their budget or the fact that we may not be on the "golden list".  We may take the opportunity to meet you at some networking event but we aren't going to play sucky little games on social media to try and be your friend to get some lower level job order that any kid can fill.  That's not what headhunters do.

Comment by Barbara Goldman on April 28, 2011 at 9:18am
Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on April 28, 2011 at 12:15pm
Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 28, 2011 at 12:24pm
Do you have a question C.B. or did your finger get stuck on the keyboard?
Comment by Thomas on April 28, 2011 at 1:33pm
Very well done!
Comment by Edwin Ostrand on April 28, 2011 at 1:40pm
The way I see it, either they are a client or a taget, so I am going to work with them oneway or another! lol
Comment by Edwin Ostrand on April 28, 2011 at 1:44pm
"That is the reason that good recruiters take calls and listen to candidates when we may not have an open job for them right that minute..."

Well said Sandra!



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