Thursday, January 3, 2013

Quick Rant: IT Recruiters

Typically, I try to be positive.......focus on the opportunity......look to the silver lining. So when I wanted to sit and do a rant on this topic I told myself, "Now Scott, you should do something positive! Talk about the Top 10 Ideas for Great Recruiting Practices!"


Here is my rant: I've known technology recruiters as long as there have been technology recruiters. I've hired from them. I've asked them to find me a job. I've helped them get into my employer to place consultants. I've networked with them, done them favors, asked them for favors and even become friends with many of them over the past 17 years. I actually placed consultants on-site with clients for a brief period. Here are my thoughts, if you are an IT Recruiter, on how to not be a creep.

(By the way, I'll use the term "Recruiter" for both IT Staffing Company Sales People as well as Recruiters that source talent.)

1. Bring value before you ask for something. You don't know me. You've never done anything for me. You should read Ricky Steele's book.

2. If I help you get into my company....don 't embarrass me or drop off the face of the earth.

3. Quit telling all of us how GREAT your company is only to call us a month later to tell us that you are with a new great company. Whatever. I don't actually care about your company. People do business with individuals. People buy from YOU, not from your company. At least they do if you're doing it right. Then they will buy from you wherever you go. So I don't care about whatever company you happen to be working at right now. That's just my opinion. 

4. Don't build a relationship with me and then introduce me to some new kid that is going to "take good care of me" while you are now focusing on large accounts or whatever. I'm not interested in working with Skip or Josh or whatever his name is. This is still a relationship business. What business is a relationship business you ask? Any business is a relationship business. 

5. If you're going to turn your nose up at the rates we pay for resources, that's fine. But quit humping my leg like a horny chihuahua asking me to help you out with just the good reqs. You can't always cherry-pick the good positions if you want to get in with a huge, global company. They aren't going to just give you the top searches to work on. Get over yourself. 

Then, there's the other side of things when you are trying to get me to go to work for you or your clients. 

6. YOU cold-called ME. Good for you. It takes a lot of guts to call me at my desk, or on my cell, and say, "Hey, you interested in talking to me about a position I need to fill with my client?" You get big points with me for reaching out to me as a passive candidate. But.....then, when you start in on the grilling me like I was 22 years old and I was trying to pull a fast one on you you lose me quick. Here's an actual conversation I had yesterday:

Recruiter: "Hi Scott, I'm with Whatever Staffing and I'm looking for a CTO for one of my clients in Atlanta. Would you be willing to talk about this position?"

Me: "Sure, what you got?"

Recruiter: "Well, first let me ask you a few questions. What is your total experience with web technology." (Seriously, "web technology", that's not even proper grammar.)

Me: "You want me to explain to you everything I have done related to web technologies?" 

Recruiter: "Yes, please. Have you worked with web technology?" (Obviously, he's reading off a 3x5 card)

Me: "Let me talk to your supervisor."

I've been a web developer, database administrator, project manager, technology director and business analyst for 17 years. You want to know my total experience with web technolog(ies) on this phone call? Beat it. 

7. When I help you. When you ask me what you can do for me. When I tell you, 'I like Bass Pro Shops gift cards." I'm serious. If I help your company get placements with my employer I may actually want more than just a Christmas card. Ha  Heck, even if you don't place anyone for some assorted reason it's still courteous to remember those that made the effort. (so that they make the effort again the next year)

8. When you place me somewhere, and that place screws me over, it's okay. I don't expect that you knew they would do that I you shouldn't expect that I'm going to be real happy about talking to you. Ever. It's cool. This is why I don't do business with friends anymore. Friendships are harder to come by than jobs and should be protected. 

9. Final one, I promise. You are so hot and heavy to get me to come work for you it's pitiful. Your client (or employer) interviews me 4 times and then either drops off the face of the earth never to be heard of again or (maybe) gives me some lame excuse like, "We decided to hire an internal candidate." or "You're more qualified to be the Online Marketing Director than the VP of Operations. We'll let you know when we need an Online Marketing Director." Then....I see you post a position for an Online Marketing Director two months later and you don't call me I know you were full of it. It's all just ridiculous. You know why.....? Because you're going to call me in 3 months wanting me to help you out. Let's go back to #1 above. Ugh.......

Now, I know a lot of good recruiters. Some of them are reading this now. I also know some recruiters that are new in their career and that are learning bad habits already from bad supervisors and mentors. I also know some crappy recruiters that I secretly hope will find this post and call me out so we can just get mad at  each other and get it over with on the phone or in person. Any way you slice it, there are good and bad people in any profession. Heck, I'm sure somebody out there is doing a post like this and ranting about bad Project Managers, listing out annoying stuff I've done in my role. You know what....? I should get better or not be offended when I'm called out. 

Goodbye. : )