Re: Recruiting dilemma

Subject: Re: Recruiting dilemma
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2013 01:26:21 -0500

Since I am in the fire on this stuff all the time, here's my two cents on what happens today. Things are a bit different today than even five years ago.

Today, many "recruiting companies" are small shops, with one to five people maybe. A good web page, stock pictures, and they can appear just as big as anyone. A large number today are Indian. I am not sure if they are actually in India or if they are on-shore, although every one of them will have a stateside address. The stateside address could be a storefront or could be real. One issue I have noticed is many seem unaware or uncaring about US labor laws as indicated by the contracts they send.

So for Chris, review any paperwork they send very, very carefully. Cross out or change the stuff you don't like or is illegal. As someone told me once on a question of the legality of a clause, "I bet it is if you sign it."

Companies tend to send out requirements to a few selected shops, however, from the emails and phone calls that come in, either someone is intercepting and shotgunning these out to everyone they can find, or the "selected" shops list has gained many more than you'd think. I often get a dozen emails on any job coming up, and over half will have Indian names, especially in anything related to healthcare or finance.

Companies are fed up with wading through multiple submissions. This is one reason they went to selected shops only, and it still isn't working, so some have initiated a computer filtering system for the recruiter to use. Shop ABC submits you and three days later Shop LMN tries but the computer bounces your name. This is getting more common.

So in Chris' case, once submitted by this first one, any end-runs won't work unless you somehow get the resume in paper to the boss, and then it will still pop back through the first recruiter for pay, commission, and so on. The lesson is to never submit with the first person to call. Always tell them you want to think about it. There typically will be a few more calling/emailing you soon.

However, if you get information on the company from the recruiter, then taking that proprietary information and using it yourself or with another recruiter will get you marked quickly and recruiters will not trust you or bother with you.

Unless the email starts "Hello, Chris" or something similar, understand you are just one of many in that broadcasted email. Even if you get one with "Hello, Chris", the recruiter probably sent that out to every person that popped in the keyword search as the results came to her. She will hesitate enough to pop your information on the screen so she can act like she knows you. She didn't seek you out as the BEST candidate; she sought you as A candidate.

Recruiters are most likely young and inexperienced. Long ago, recruiters were people in the industry who had decided to step away from the work and recruit. They were typically good at providing the company a great product because they could sift the wheat from the chaff before the company ever saw the resumes. If a candidate showed up at a company, they were a qualified candidate.

Today, it is a path right out of college for a business major or sales major. After all, they are just selling a product - you. As such, they shift wheat and chaff by buzz words and key word searches on resumes. With the right resume, I could have most of them submitting me for chief brain surgeon at any hospital. I wouldn't get through five minutes of interview with a real doctor, but I could blow most recruiters away.

However, they are young and energetic. They can run your resume all over, but the lack of experience means they often can't tell you are the perfect candidate and the other eight they have to submit are piling it on higher and deeper. They also don't have the knowledge to tell a client when they are wrong, what they need, or how to fix their requirements. For example, 20 years ago, a company wanting to hire a tech writer at $12 per hour would have been told by the recruiter this is a very unrealistic price and the client will not be happy with anyone who willingly works at that low price. Today, they blindly pass on that $20 is the tops to potential candidates and too bad if they need more. They will find someone and the company will end up being unhappy.

So should you bail on this recruiter? Too late if she has submitted you.

Should you jump to another? Only to find other opportunities, as this job is tied to the first recruiter.

Should you expect faster results? Yes, and no. Yes, because she probably called you and acted like the job needed to be filled yesterday. No, because she knows when things really happen and that may still be a week away.

Will you hear anything back? Only if you get the job. You have something like a 5% chance of getting a call saying you were rejected.

In the long run, you may be beat out by lesser candidates because they:

1. required less money
2. are closer
3. are younger (yes, illegal, but it still happens)
4. got in before you, and:
a. the company got tired of reading resumes
b. the company decided that one had enough to keep them happy
c. the other recruiter was taking less of a cut.

While a job is very personal to us, as it is what keeps us fed, these job searches need to be handled in a cold and impersonal way, because the companies don't care about you. They are looking for a meatsack to fill their spot, and that is about all there is to it.

Good luck on the job, though. Hope you get it.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Chris Morton" <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:08 PM
Subject: Recruiting dilemma

Having been with my present employer 4-1/2 years, I'm a senior techwriter
who received an unsolicited email from a young recruiter last Friday. The
salutation read, *"Hi there..."*. Having been jerked around by too many of
these types over the course of my career, I was initially put off by this
impersonal/unprofessional approach but decided to reply. It turns out that
the job *is* of interest for these reasons: salary, location and security.
I can guess that the health insurance coverage is better, too. The employer
is a major player in this state.

Over the weekend I invested several hours customizing my resume and
drafting a purposeful (T-form) cover letter. Along with a third doc
representing professional endorsements that relate to the open position,
these I sent to the recruiter on Sunday afternoon. I then phoned her
yesterday morning and, when inquiring about receipt confirmation, was told,
"Oh.... I have a ton of emails and haven't gotten to yours yet." I also had
to remind her who I was and the position for which she had initially
solicited *me* (no big deal here, although I could just envision her being
more concerned about the length of her nails than about my inquiry.) In
viewing her LinkedIn profile, it's clear that this gal is very young; I'm
guessing that her recruiting career aspirations don't command her attention

This morning I went to the website of the hiring party and saw that the
position is advertised there, along with a method to apply directly. I'm
really tempted to try an end-run here, as I've not heard boo from the

Your thoughts?


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