So,this is recruiting now and we are ok with it?

Oh, did this did just happen to me?

Recently I was called by a recruiting agency recruiter.  The person, from Manpower, called me about a position that he was looking to fill for an engineering/technical recruiter.  I am not shocked by this as that is what we do for a living.  However what did shock me was the pedantic way in which the person went about it while leaving a message.  It was almost robotic in its very essence.  The person was more than likely young and reading from a script given to them written 20 years ago but still, there was no passion.  NO reason for me to even want to return the call even if was somewhat interested.

So what did I do?  I called the person back.  I figured why not?  I know some people that are looking that could be qualified for a technical recruiting role.  So I called back at the number they left.  (it was different then the caller ID).   I left a message for them and like so many candidates I waited to hear back and check on the exchange.  Nothing.  I waited the normal 24 hours and called again. I left a message again. Nothing.  I called a third time yet this time I did not leave a message.  I came to the conclusion it was a waste of time.  My question though was WHY CALL me in the first place if you never intended to speak with me?  Why leave the message? 

The answer:  This recruiter was given a call sheet and told to call and leave messages.  I wonder what would have happened if picked up the phone when it rang I thought to myself.  The person would have been utterly terrified.  Either that or I would have had the same apathetic attitude of a meat grinding recruiter just talking to add another number to the excel call sheet.  Sadly knowing this calling a recruiter with years of experience meant nothing to this person or the agency.  What does this reflect on if I were a programmer or senior manager?  What does this say about us as a collective group of people building a SEO or brand that must fight against this type of lazy recruiting that so many candidates AND us complain about.

We as a community need to point this out to not only ourselves but to the customers we support.  Whether you are a corporate, agency, or independent recruiter your customer deserves better and most assuredly is paying you to be better.  Once we as a group strive towards this we will all be better off in my opinion.   Shame on Manpower, shame on the person managing this recruiter, and shame on us for not calling them out by name more often.

Views: 1549

Comment by Darryl Dioso on April 19, 2013 at 11:08am
Great post D but this one experience can't paint our entire profession,

This is sales. I am sure you have encountered some great sales people in your life, perhaps buying your car, but you have also dealt with some sales duds.
Comment by Derdiver on April 19, 2013 at 12:15pm
I agree but I feel that to many agencies are trying this method and it is driving candidates further from us.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 19, 2013 at 12:43pm
The robotic calls from all kinds of vendors have increased to the point that I don't think anybody is doing anything but hammering the phones mindlessly. Some are actually robo calls, are you kidding me, I am not going to press one to buy something.

One of my clients got one of those recruiting messages this week. A fast pitch about a candidate for a tax position with a wonderful candidate whom any idiot would have known was not a fit for the company or the position they had posted. His comment was, "why would I ever call anybody back who is so stupid that they would pitch a candidate like that to us, he might as well have left me the message that he didn't know squat about my company or what a tax analyst does.". "he just said, I'm an idiot please call me back so I can waste your time."

The same applies with stupid recruiters calling CFO's leaving them a message about a staff accounting position. If you don't know what you are talking about don't tell the world how big an idiot you are, they won't forget it any time soon. Teach your people something Robert Half before you put them on the phone.
Comment by Derdiver on April 19, 2013 at 12:46pm

Sandra, RH is one of the tops when it comes to mindless recruiting!  I seriously have to wonder HOW they stay in business doing this.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on April 19, 2013 at 1:38pm

So true. Many of the "bigger" agencies seem to think they're pharma sales companies and hire a bunch of cute young things to peddle resumes instead of Viagra. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go yell at some kids to get off my lawn. :)

Comment by Dane Anar on April 19, 2013 at 1:49pm

@Amy Ala - have you hit that age where your worries for the day are the neighbor kids leaving foot prints on the lawn vs what purse is going to get utilized for this weekends outfit?  You must old or something.  :p jk!

Bigger agencies (and sadly smaller ones like the I left) have turned to metrics and thinking that more phone calls are going to get more results - which to a point is true.  The more calls you make, more chances of success you have, but when you set the bar at a level so high that you burn your recruiter out and now they're just dialing for numbers to keep their job, do you really expect to have a company, let alone an employee that's going to back you when someone posts an article like this calling your company out?  

I for one love cold calling, but I do it when I know that it's going to beneficial and not just to make my manager happy.  Making placements is what makes my manager happy and cold calling is just one way of making that happen. 

Now, off to Starbucks to show someone why we're better than where they work at.  :) 

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on April 19, 2013 at 1:54pm

LOL Dane I pick my purses based on how much kid crap I can fit in them these days... hand sanitizer, wet naps, probably a Gameboy so it doesn't get lost. :) Yep. I'm old.

Cold calling is a necessary evil for sure, but the bigger crime here IMO is that Derek never got a call back. Really????

Comment by David Wells on April 19, 2013 at 1:55pm

"I agree but I feel that to many agencies are trying this method and it is driving candidates further from us."

For what its worth I disagree.  What actuallly happens is calls like this (and we are talking about a call but this could be an interview, a phone screen, an email etc) differentiate good from the bad.  And when professionals leave messages or make calls armed with relevant information it actually draws the candidates in relatively quickly as they can recognize the good from the bad. 

I honestly loves it when competition provides cannon fodder :)

Comment by Mitch Sullivan on April 19, 2013 at 1:57pm

Maybe they didn't call you back because they already filled the job.

Comment by Dane Anar on April 19, 2013 at 1:58pm

Oh, I feel his pain.  I just LOVE it when a recruiter who's working with another recruiter SUCKS at being a recruiter. You said you'd call at 4?  It's 4:03, why haven't I at least gotten an e-mail saying why you haven't called yet and that you'll call me ASAP?  


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