In the October 4, 2016 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a guy minding his own business meets a dog from another city.
Would you be a stupid recruiter? Let’s see how you perform. Try this exercise.
I’m going to give you $50 and tell you to buy and bring me a dog within 60 minutes — any kind of dog, and you can obtain it anywhere you like. (But you can’t keep the change. If there’s any change, we donate it to an animal shelter.) The sooner you appear with a dog, the bigger the bonus you’ll earn — up to $1,000.
You can start from one of two locations, and I’ll take you to either place you choose, but you have to make your own way back to me with the dog. One location is Grand Central Station in New York City. The other is an animal shelter in Princeton, New Jersey.
I’ll be waiting for you at the train station in Princeton. Ready? This will reveal what kind of recruiter you’d be.
According to the federal government, to news media, to human resources experts and employers, there’s a massive skills and talent shortage. That’s why companies can’t fill jobs. It’s akin to the startling shortage of dogs in Grand Central Station. So armies of recruiters are being deployed daily to find the right talent. Most of them are stupid.
What kind of recruiter would you be? (Hey, that could be a new interview question.) Would you chose to start looking for a dog at an animal shelter? Every day, platoons of stupid recruiters look for dogs in Grand Central Station and the Grand Canyon, by waving a “dog wanted” sign on the New Jersey Turnpike, and in dark caves.
Reader Stephen Liss sent in this e-mail exchange he had with a stupid recruiter who solicited him for a job. Liss didn’t even have a question for me. He was just tired of being mistaken for a dog.
From a recruiter
We noticed your information on the job boards or in our database and thought you may have an interest in an opportunity with a large F500 client in the Rochester, NY area. Here are the details:
We are looking for a Technical Writer in Rochester, NY to work with one of our major clients. Please go over the details and let me know your interest.
Technical Writer with PM Skills in Rochester, NY[truncated… I mean, who wants to read the rest?]
Pay Rate: $36/hr on W2 / $40/hr on C2C
Key Skills: Technical Writing, Some Project Management Background/Skills
Stephen Liss replies
You want me to relocate from the west coast for $36/hr? Please take me off your list.
The recruiter’s response
We get these opportunities everywhere. Unfortunately our software doesn’t work by location only by skill set.
First of all, these recruiters “notice” you “everywhere” — on job boards, in databases, by sniffing telephone poles… Sheesh. Does this dog even hunt or does it just snap at whatever comes along?
The recruiter’s software organizes jobs and people by skill set only. Not by location. It doesn’t matter where the dogs are. Or where the dog has to be shipped, or how much shipping costs. The software will shout into the Grand Canyon, then move on to the Turnpike. So will most recruiters. They’re like Energizer bunnies — they will bump into anything, turn, and keep going until they find a dog.
And they will pay only $36.
The U. S. Department of Labor
In an interview about the “talent shortage,” Tom Perez, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, tried to explain why employers can’t find the people they need to fill jobs:
“I speak to a lot of business leaders who are trying to hire. They want to hire. And the most frequent thing I hear from them is too many people coming through the door don’t have the skills necessary to do the job I need to do.”
Did you get that? The business leaders Perez talks to are counting people “coming through the door.” Thomas Perez thinks he’s hanging around with business leaders?
Hey, schmuck! Nobody walks up and hands you what you want. You have to go look for the people you need where they hang out! Be the leader of your pack! Figure it out! Stop hanging around Grand Central Station peeing on poles to attract talent. Go hunt, because a pooch isn’t going to walk up with a perfect resume in its mouth. Woof.
(Many thanks to Stephen Liss for sharing that roadkill of a recruiter solicitation.)
What proportion of recruiter requests match you and the work you do? How many are just dogs? I’m looking for Stupid Recruiter Story #2.