There are loads of good recruiters out there. But here’s a story of the type of recruiter you don’t want to work with — the deceptive, slimy kind who annoys the employers they’re hoping to pitch candidates to.
Here’s the background: On the employer side of things, often when you have an open position you’ll get contacted by staffing firms who want you to hire them to help you fill the role. I almost always turn these down because I do my own hiring. (And also because the few times I’ve said yes, the candidates sent to me were never as strong as the ones I found on my own … and on top of that, their fees are really high when you’re hiring for nonprofits.)
So I was doing some hiring a couple of months ago, and I get an email from a recruiter, who says this:
I noticed your ___ opening. We are representing an exceptional candidate who you may want to review. If you’re interested, simply reply to this email or call me, and we will contact our candidate regarding the opening right away. You will be able to review their resume, interview them, and see if there is a fit before any fee is charged.
I think to myself, “Well, what the hell, I’m not interested in opening up a search with a firm, but I’ll take a look at this person they’re talking about. If the candidate is fantastic, we might be willing to pay the fee.” So I say:
Sure, I’d be happy to take a look at the candidate’s resume.
Now, please note: She approached me alleging one particular candidate — “an exceptional candidate.” Right?
But it turns out that there’s no candidate in mind at all. This is just a slimy come-on to draw me into using their services. The next email I get is from a different guy at their firm and says this:
Your exchange with Joan was forwarded to me. I’ve got a great portfolio of candidates that may fit your needs. Give me a call so we can discuss a few details. I will be happy to forward to you a few suitable candidates and look forward to working with you to complete this important search.
We actually don’t generally use search firms because we have a thorough search process on our own side, and we’re not seeking to use a firm for this search. I’d be happy to take a look at the specific candidate Joan reached out about and tell you if he/she is a viable candidate, but please don’t launch a broader search.
He writes back:
Always wise to have a strong process internally. Our service is ideally suited to extend your visibility and not leave any stones unturned searching for your best candidate. It is also a plus that there is no fee to you unless a candidate is found and justifies our fee.
Joan forwarded to me as she knew I had these other similar searches in the area. The more you can tell me…beyond your job description…the closer I can match my candidate. I am very confident I have a strong one for you.
Agggh. My reply:
I think we’ve miscommunicated — Joan said that she had one specific candidate in mind who she wanted me to look at, which I’d be happy to do, but again, please don’t launch a broader search.
I don’t hear back. Because, obviously, there was never a specific candidate they had in mind; it was just a deceptive sales tactic to try to get in the door.
Then, a full month later, I get this from the same guy:
Did you fill this position yet? I’m still looking at possible fits for this role and discussing a few details will help me filter and select the “best” candidate(s) for you, as we both opt for quality over quantity. If you could give me a call when you have a 10 minutes, that’d be a great help.
If you’re a job-seeker using a recruiter, try to find out a bit about how they operate. You don’t want the ones who are out there pissing off employers while they represent you.