Letters, we get letters…
It stands to reason that with the economy struggling, cold calling among third party recruiters has picked up a bit. And within that universe of cold calls, it also stands to reason that bad, "we can handle any recruiting need you have", spam-like cold calls are up as well. It's really the aspect of the third party business that tends to push HR pros and Corporate Recruiters to dislike fielding any inquiry, which is too bad. The good third-party recruiters (TPRs) tend to get lumped in with the spammers, just like the good HR pros get lumped in with the "I'm good at administration and don't want to do anything else" HR lumps.
Still, that doesn't mean that corporate recruiters aren't getting sick of the bad, cold calls, which definitely go up in a bad economy. I received the following email from a FOT reader who serves as a corporate recruiter, and he's mad as hell and doesn't want to take it anymore. Take a read:
"From a Corporate Recruiter to ALL Agency Recruiters
I received a call today. It was from Janet at Staffing Sensations. She went to my company’s web site and found our employment listings and noticed we had several openings that she thought her firm would be able to help out with. I was so excited that she called. I don’t think she realized that we have a master list of over 220 firms and actual signed agreements with over 75 of those firms. Mind you that we have only been tracking these calls for less then 8 months. But this call was different. Staffing Sensations was different. They are the kind of company that can handle all of our needs. It doesn’t matter where the position is located or what the title is. They can fill it! I knew that this call was different. I knew that this was the call I had been waiting for. My prayers had been answered. Finally, ONE company that can fill all of our openings, no matter what or where it may be. The problem is that Janet was the third call today and it’s only 10:00 AM. I had had enough. I know that Janet did no wrong. She was just doing her job and cold calling like a madwoman.
I guess there are several issues that I want to point out. First of all, we have a great disclaimer on our employment page about how to click HERE if you are interested in becoming a vendor. Way too many companies ignore our very tasteful and well crafted disclaimer and contact our hiring managers directly or send unsolicited resumes instead of an inquiry email. That is what I call getting off on the wrong foot. Secondly we are a company that has offices in 23 different states. Why would we want one company to try and fill all our positions on a national basis? I see a lot more value in localized, niche recruiters finding us local niche candidates. I don’t think anyone in Knoxville, TN has any business recruiting for accountants in Seattle, WA. Have they ever been to Seattle? Do they know if it really rains there 330 days a year? I’m sure the local recruiters in Seattle know their market rates, candidates, business cycles, etc, better than anyone from Tennessee.
If we need outside recruiting assistance, we will go out and find the best firm to fit our needs. We look at niche. We look at geography. We look at fee.
Back to Janet. I graciously listened to how awesome your recruiters are and how your process is ISO 10,002. I let you know that I will add you to the mammoth list of potential vendors. I even agree to your follow up emails and occasional, "How ya doin?" telephone calls. The reality is that I will add your name to the list, but that is probably as far as we will get. I just spent 4 minutes talking to you and another 2 minutes updating my list.
From this corporate recruiter, I am asking that you back off and let us breathe a little. I know that without your calls and emails we would never know that you exist, but there is a fine line between cold calling and full on stalking. Why can’t corporate America try to fill the positions by just posting on our web site and see what happens (I know "post and pray"). Look, in this economy, the last thing we need is help filling the handful of positions we have. We need to justify our existence not someone else’s!
Your Corporate Recruiter
Sigh. He's right, and if TPRs pitch in and defend themselves, it's not THEM he's talking about. It's the ones who get paid a 24K base and have to cold call to try to build a book and a reputation. Seriously, any TPR who reads talent blogs is likely not part of the stereotype. Like the sales process of every other business, you have to accept the spam and recognize the value the good TPRs bring to the table.
Of course, that doesn't stop the calls…
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.