Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Leave Me Alone Headhunters!

Do you not know what a “headhunter” is?  Well, let me school you… A “headhunter” in the professional world is usually referred to as a recruiter.  Their job is to gather up as many contacts as possible into a network of people, and in turn, they use their network to generate leads for employers looking for employees, and vice versa.  This sounds innocent enough.  It does.  The fact is though, that the list of recruiters that I will talk to is very, very, very short. 

Over the past 8 months or so, recruiters have been getting more and more aggressive in their tactics of generating and building their networks.  That in itself can be a good thing, but most often in this industry, it is definitely a BAD thing.  This began for me as one or more annoying emails a week, asking me if I knew anyone who fit a profile for a job, or if I was looking for any new “opportunities.”  I can tell from experience, I have never really had any luck using the services of a staffing company, from either side of the coin.  I know many people do, but they are the exception in my world.

The recruiters that have been getting on my nerves have been getting desperate, and as a result, their tactics are both more resourceful and annoying.  Here are things that will automatically black list a recruiting firm from any future communications with me… Let’s call this the Sarcastic List of Recruiter Do’s:

  • Offer me a job that doesn’t really fit my skill level.  Nothing really gives me the right false sense of security then being told that I am a shoe-in for a job that I am clearly under qualified for.  It’s a great feeling to anticipate the failure to come.  Gives me goose bumps.  You know what, since I might not like that, I have been really forward to doing something boring instead.  You know, a job that I am over qualified for?  Those leave nothing to the imagination, so I can plan my Minesweeper sessions accordingly.
  • Please show up at my office uninvited, and tell me that you were in the area, and wanted to say hi.  I really enjoy it.  In fact, I have nothing better to do at my place of work, than to speak to you precisely at that moment.  I must’ve been playing Minesweeper, just praying for an interruption.  Once more, I love it even more when you tell me that you said you would drop by.  I must have forgotten that conversation, or the email clearly got gobbled up by my spam filters.
  • I love it when you call me on my personal cell phone.  Don’t worry about my minutes, I set aside a block of minutes each month just in case you decide to swipe my private cell phone number from someone else’s phone or directory.  I mean, if I made it that hard to find, it is your reward and right to call me.  Make it a long call, by all means.
  • Pretend you’re my friend.  Nothing makes me happier than when you speak to me like you’re my old pal from the school yard.  I yearn for that kind of acceptance.  I wish every stranger I meet would pretend to be my friend – and the more transparent it is, the better.  I am preparing my fake reciprocal smile for you right now.
  • Show me all of the qualified candidate that I cannot find.  I have been looking in every closet in the office, and I cannot seem to find a single person to fill our latest position.  If only there were a person who knew how to use things like CareerBuilder, Monster, Craigslist, and the local newspaper classifieds.  If such a person existed, I might be able to schedule an interview.  I simply not talented enough to figure those things out.
  • Tell me how you can correctly staff my company.  I was just sitting here a moment ago thinking, “Boy, if only I had a recruiter here right now to show me where I am going wrong with my staffing.  I just cannot seem to figure out how to run my department.”  Please stop by uninvited and walk me through it.  If you do, I will give you my cell number, so you can coach me through it at any time of the day.  Call me “buddy” or “pal” too.  I love that!

Now, that list was a sarcastic list of gripes that I have put together over time.  Take it with a grain of salt, and let the sarcasm sink in.  Any of the above can, and usually does immediately put you and your entire company on my black list for myself, my company, and the user groups I have influence over.  Just be nice.  Seriously.

There is obviously a real place for recruiters.  I am just sick and tired of the annoying ones.  There are a select few recruiters who I am willing to speak to or devote time to, and they know who they are.  If you are not sure about if it’s you, let me help, it’s NOT YOU.

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