Thursday, July 24, 2008

I either need to hit something or take a shower

Putting up with bullshit is part of dealing with recruiters. Generally it doesn't bug me, because they're so bad at it that getting upset would be like getting mad at a toddler who insists he's allowed to stay up til 2AM. It's a lie, but it's not like he's put you in jeopardy. So I tolerate when they ask me what kind of day I'm having, even though they seem remarkably uninterested in the answer (Pet peeve: recruiters who take a long time to get around to telling me they're a recruiter, at which point I tell them I'm unavailable, and they say thanksforyourtimebye and hang up before I've even processed it. If you value your time that much, maybe you should get to the point faster).

This guy, on the other hand, is vile. Reading him feels like reading those articles where the writer goes undercover as a used car salesman. Just for an example:
You must never tell the person about the job, even the actual title, until you have conducted a quick work history review. Start the conversation by asking your prospect if she’d be open to discuss an opportunity if it were clearly superior to what she’s doing now. Most people will say yes, then immediately say “Great. Could you please give me a quick overview of your background, and I’ll then give you a quick overview of the job. If it seems mutually interesting we can schedule some time to talk in-depth.” You have applicant control when the person says yes. You lose it if your job is less appealing than the one the person has now. By having the candidate talk first, you can look for potential areas where your job is bigger. If not, you’ll have developed a relationship with the candidate that will allow you to ask for referrals.

Words cannot begin to describe much I want to kick him in the nuts. And the worst thing is that his techniques won't work substantially better than cold-calling, but take a lot longer; if you read carefully, he's focusing on meeting an in-house quota for contacts, not actually placing people in jobs, much less finding good candidates for his client companies. I can't imagine they'll be thrilled to know he's head-hunting using techniques guaranteed to select the stupid and weak-willed.

Bonus evil: You can see his bullshitting in action. Ask a Manger left a comment with some very good objections ("If you call me out of the blue and demand that I give you an overview of my current job before you tell me about the position you’re calling about, I’d be really annoyed"). And he responds by trying to redefine the word "demand" and then implying that the recruitee is somehow imposing on the recruiter (oops, I mean a "highly-regarded executive recruiter who handled multiple executive-level positions"). A tip: the person making cold calls is never the one with the power. That means it's up to you, Mr. highly regarded executive recruiter, to prove why I shouldn't hang up right now.

1 comment:

Ask a Manager said...

Ha! I want to kick him in the nuts too. Maybe we can do it simultaneously, or at least in quick succession.

You made me feel better.