I make it no secret that I am not the biggest fan of headhunter and recruiters, simply for the fact that I have had horrible experiences with them in the past. They call, pitch you this line that “We have hundred of job openings in your field right now!”, bring you in for an interview and afterwards say “Well we don’t have anything right now, but we’ll make sure we stay in touch to keep everything up to date.” It’s the most frustrating type of one night stand you could every get because not only do you not have sex, but you don’t ever get any type of closure.
I’ve had to sit through dozens of these interviews where I promised the sun and the moon, and then after talking with Jimmy or Donna for an hour, they get that look on their face: “This guy’s not interested in data processing, what the heck am I supposed to do now”, even though the invite CLEARLY states “after reviewing your resume…” Yeah? Didja?! Didja really?! Nah, I didn’t think so! You would not believe the hilarity of phone calls and interviews I have had from recruiters that were “looking for someone just like me.” Case in point:
I once got a phone call from a gentleman who was looking for someone to fill a sales position and claimed I would be perfect for this position. I asked him how a web/graphic designer would be perfect for a sales job. After about 15 seconds of UMs, ERRs and UHs, I was forced to end the call in the most aggressively polite way I possibly could.
I got another phone call from a woman who didn’t even know what the position was that she was telling me about. Since she couldn’t even describe or go into detail about the position that was available, I had to decline. She actually got angry at me for not being interested. I told her if she wasn’t able to sell it, why would I even consider it?
I’ve had countless interviews and face time with some of these yahoos who claim they will not rest until they find the perfect position for you, and I’ve never heard back from them… EVER! So naturally, you can see why I’m not a huge fan of the stereotypical recruiter. They claim to have your best interests in mind, but tend to fall short when you need them to be at their best.
NOw I’m not saying that ALL recruiters are bad, that would be seriously unfair and narrow-minded of me. In fact, the gentleman who assisted me with the position I have today is a very dedicated and hard working individual and I talk to him on a regular basis about how thing are and how my position is working out. But that is one needle in a haystack the size of Mount Everest, and I would still prefer to work on my own, but assistance has always been welcome.
Let’s talk about today shall we. I am VERY critical about who I let into my inner circle. I don’t have many CLOSE friends because I tend to have trust issues, but let’s look beyond that. If you are going to pitch a possible employment opportunity at me, you best bring your A-Game to the plate. I received the following letter today from a recruiter who was looking to fill a position with one of their clients, and my name came up in a search for qualified individuals that might make a good fit.
Let’s run through this shall we? The crack about the weather and the sudden “But… on to more serious matters” is a cheap move at best. If you are a professional, let’s keep this professional, do not waste my time with small talk about the weather or The Packers. I have S%#$ to get dome today.
“We ran across your name/background in some research we have been doing and it look like you may be a creative graphic Web Designer.”
Some research we have been doing. Did you actually perform high level research spanning over several libraries stretching across the globe that took you months, maybe even years? Or did you just use Google and toss in some buzz marketing words to make yourself sound more important than you are?
Looks like you may be a creative graphic Web Designer. May be? MAY BE? Are you seriously questioning the fact that you don’t know exactly who you are asking, y’know with all that RESEARCH you have been doing. You can’t pinpoint certain individuals that are specifically geared to tackle the kind of work you are looking to have done? Or are you simply questioning the fact that, even though my professional resume is JAM PACKED with web design position after web design position that you still don’t believe that I may be who I say I am?
I stopped reading the letter at that point. If it were on paper, it would have been torn up, burned spat upon and used as toilet paper. I might even print this out just so I can do that.
I noticed some of the other buzzwords or buzz phrases that were used it just looked more and more comical with every added instance: “help them to infuse”, “in the form of”, “absolutely perfect”, “push the creative boundaries”, “innovate”, “it may sound cliché”, “best of both worlds”…
I swear, this person is using every overused phrase in the recruiting handbook!
The other thing that angered me about this letter, is that it came to my work email address. My WORK EMAIL ADDRESS! Not the email address I have listed on every resume, portfolio and web account I have posted on the public internet, but my private, work email that only my current employer knows. So what gives? Someone gave this firm my email address, and I am NOT happy about it.
Needless to say, I will not be contacting these people back. The letter was cheap, hollow and insulting. If you really want my services, then you’ll do me the common courtesy of not wasting my time with semantics!
The winning record of recruiters still is about 1 and 200, and it’s not looking like they will be advancing to the playoffs. Now, I can’t tell recruiters how to do their jobs, but I sure as hell aren’t going to put up with any that decide they want to play it save and act from a script, or use jargon that portrays them as being plastic and inhuman. I was always under the impression that headhunters and recruiters were there to help people find jobs, not help companies fill positions. How can you even do it that way? Take stock in the people you interview, take notice of their personality and skill sets. Find out what they are truly good at and THEN research the companies. What kind of work environment is it? What kind of history does this company have? What do others that work there say about working there?
If you do your job right, the only difficulty you should ever have is which one of my dozens of clients would fit the position the best.