You've been Headhunted ! - Er, No you havent...

You see you have mail. Its from an Internal Recruiter for a big brand name.

We want you....!


Me? Seriously?

This is not the story of how I fell for it - its more that I found myself part of a mass mail out, based on no more than "keyword" searching, from the kind of organisation which should have the resources, the profile, the calibre of recruiters to do so much better, whilst making out to be the bastion of headhunting.  

I get the occasional tap on the shoulder - I'm sure we all do. I'm happy with who I work for, I may not get invited to the races (in-house joke), but loving what I do. But we all like to open such e-mails just to see....

Call me old fashioned - but headhunting is approaching individuals identified by the client or stakeholder, usually in confidence.

"Russ - we want you to approach XYZ at our biggest rivals..." = Headhunting.

Getting a spec from a client or stake holder and identifying candidates is not headhunting - its recruiting.

"Hi Russ, I'm with (Insert Jazzy Snappy name) - I have a client looking for a recruiter - I saw your CV, are you looking?" =  Recruiting.

I don’t mind - they are doing a job, I've done it - but don’t call it "headhunting". Its this type of recruiting approach I get the most. Its not me they want - its a "bum on a seat". (not a drunk vagrant BTW). Again I dont mind - doing their job.

Usually its a newbie, just trying to get ahead, or just a little misguided or yet to figure the world dont turn becouse of recruiters. I tend not to give the a hard time. I sat there once.

Just dont pretend / state you are headhunting little old rusty. I have headhunted, I have been headhunted successfully.

An old boss of mine gave the "target" the time it took him / her to visit the toilets to decide before the offer was withdrawn - Old School London Style.

So when this e-mail arrived - it stood out. It wasn’t to my work address either, as is common. I said big brand name - it was the type of company, if true you would just jump at I'm sure.

I'm a confidant Chap - and yes being English a little arrogant, whilst like a lot of Limeys reserved, my humour dry as a Saudi Oil Well. Unlike some English, I know where I fit in the grand scheme of things. My true first thoughts - really..? Moi..?

Who..? you are crying out to know ( if your still with us).

Well think of a name we all know, associated with tropical rain forests that are being cut down as we type. Not only that, but a division that intends to replace the printed medium, and is the same as something you would put on a fire to get it going - which is a little ironic.

Seeing why I got a little more curious than usual...?

It also addressed me as Russell - an occurrence that only last happened 20 years ago. I still love her dearly.


My curious thoughts soon turned to ones of disappointed laughter.

"Hi Russell I came across your resume online and was wondering if you'd perhaps be interested to confidentially explore opportunities with us here at (Insert said guessed at names)....?"

Ok - Resume - not UK then. Hmmmm - but a direct aproach.... oh no, here we go.

"We are currently looking for a Pro-E/Windchill/Creo/CAD Specialist with experience working with various Product Design/Engineering Groups.".

Sorry, let me read that again - you want an engineer? You have read my resume online (which I have never published BTW) and you think I am interested in an engineering role...?

Pro-E/Windchill/Creo/CAD..? Well that’s what I recruit for, on behalf of a company that supplies the software in the UK. Its all over my Linky D profile, my personal web page and any other web based medium.

My Linky D title states - "Employment Advisor @ XXX" My personal website is "Russ Recruits".

Enough clues methinks....

It went on.....

"Should you be interested, please feel free to forward your updated resume XXXX. In the event that you are happily employed but know of anyone who might be a fit, please pass my information along."

Oh P.. Ler.. Ease (please). Are you serious...? Seriously.. You represent a company with $billions T.O and you have identified me as a potential engineer, willing to go to the states...?

If I was an Engineer with Pro E - I would snap your hand off as we say - "Show me the Green Card!".


Oh, you also want me to tell my mates...? Though with me its the very people I am recruiting for my company....?

You also want me to send you an updated resume - but you say you saw my resume online?

Cheesus Crisp - this is embarrassing.

Even more so when I check this person out via Linky D - and they are no newbie. They have been in the sector a while, brand names on the highway of life.

Let me guess - you have run some software through a Boolean related keyword search type of software that’s spammed dozens of potential, worldwide, targets without looking at any of the results and hence you got me.

Instead, you could have spent five minutes tidying up your poor Boolean / tag search to find suitable candidates within the very country that actually produces the very software they need to use.

You could have used your own big name, web dominating, partner company and all their resources - which i myself do - Boolean aint sexy - but I stroke it like it was CSS.

Instead, you have spammed a internal recruiter for a partner company to the developer, as well as asking him to help you out.

Embarrassing - for all of us.

External, Internal alike. Technology replacing the person, and showing why the peroson wont be replaced for a while yet, even if they have resources beyond what most dream off and dont know how to use. 

This brand name company, stumbling and spamming like a newbie with a 2 hour deadline. You yourself attended the kind of educational establishment that smacks of slacks, roll necks and wall street as well - your not a chancer, a show pony. You have "The Apprentice" type of profile - though probably out in week 2 when Sir Allan or Trumpy figure you are being lazy. 

You could just advertise – your not headhunting – your recruiting – your brand name alone will attract the right people – as well as the unsuitable – but that’s your job, you wade through the dung to find the diamond.


I laughed sadly more than anything...

I did reply – politely pointing out what I do – but leaving the door open, I could do a great job as long as its not design engineering.

Several time zone delayed hours later my "headhunter uber"  - replied...

"I meant to send it to the guy next on the list but clicked send too fast and realized it too late. I apologize for the inconvenience"

Oh thats rescued it then, really turned that around, Bravo - you had a chance to fess up, and instead made your original shizer grande aproach even worse.

You knew you made a mistake? But then did nothing....


You meant the next guy, on what list - oh you mean you typed "Pro E"  into Linky D, saw my personal e-mail and spammed me.

If you are aproaching me, are you aproaching my companies staff? You mean its worse - you meant to aproach our staff and included me, and hoped I wouldnt mind....?

Jeesus Crisp O'meaty....

I await the reply to those questions, and a few more. I'll let you know.

And if I dont get a reply - yes I will name and shame once the companies legals vet its ok. 




Views: 1286

Comment by Sandra McCartt on July 12, 2012 at 2:25pm
Why not just send out mass marketing mail addressed to occupant. This is not recruiting.


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