A completely unscientific poll indicates that amongst Zones recruiters I’m one of the more accessible. I tweet. I blog. I put my business cards in every fishbowl I can find (although I still haven’t won a free lunch). It probably comes as no surprise that somehow I ended up being the lucky internal recruiter who gets most, if not all of the agency cold calls. I wrote some time ago about why I wouldn’t return your voicemail. Oddly enough, I’m still pretty likely to take you up on a free cup of coffee, and it has a lot to do with your approach.
Here’s an example – young kid with a technical recruiting firm leaves me a few messages. They are… uninspiring. In his most recent message he tells me they’re working with a very large local company (who by the way, steals a lot of people from us - and every agency in town has a contract with) and would like to work with us too. I’m still not calling back. Then he sends me a LinkedIn message. Mmkay, I’ll at least read it. It wasn’t terrible. He of course wants to work with my company (of course!), but made a couple of references to my background (indicating he at least took 3 minutes to read my LI profile) and hoping to ask for my professional advice. Here’s the line that got me – “I'm also hoping you would be open to sharing some of your past experience as to what worked well for you when you were in my shoes.”
Oh flattery… I admit it – I’m a sucker for it. So I meet with him. He seems like a nice kid. Never does ask me about myself or words of wisdom I might have to share, but I knew it was a line anyway. About ten minutes into our meeting I get a phone call that a VP I’ve been trying to meet (he’s hardly ever in town) is available RIGHT NOW and I should come straight to his office. I apologize for cutting our meeting short and get to the point with my new BFF the agency guy. Here’s a hard to fill job we have, 1 agency is working on it but we haven’t seen any resumes yet. Maybe they don’t like us anymore, I don’t know. It’s a long shot but if you’ve got anybody on the bench let me know. We talk fees, I thank him for coming, tell him to email me any other questions. Now personally I would take my job order and run with it. Not this kid. He whips out a checklist and asks if he can go through it with me. Um… I have a VP waiting... but sure. We get through his questions and THEN he says…
“A few things about ABC Staffing…” and proceeds to tell me about his company.
1. I have a VP waiting and stuff to do. Plus I finished my coffee.
2. I’ve already given you the job order, go fill it.
3. I don’t care.
I get it. If you work for one of the typical firms you have a quota to fill. You need to show your boss you’re getting a certain number of client meetings. You’re going to expense that coffee or lunch anyway, plus it’s always smart to network (I might need a job someday – it behooves me to be nice to you now). Here’s a hint – if I give you a job order and promise to answer your questions later the same day… GO. Before I change my mind.