I haven’t had many run-ins with recruiters and the staffing industry. Much like Kinzy, I was unaware it even existed until a few years ago. But on a few choice occasions, recruiters have contacted me as a candidate for whatever placement they need to fill. Today was one of those occasions. And, boy oh boy, was this guy AWFUL.
Admittedly, one recruiter who reached out to me in the past was pretty decent. He was honest, straight-forward, and at least tried to show that he cared about me, not just a commission. But this guy today – well, let’s just say he wasn’t any of those things.
8:42am: The recruiter sends me an email. It has poor spelling/grammar/punctuation and is vague, but I gather contextually that it promises a full-time local position. All I have to do is send him an updated copy of my résumé. Maybe I’ll think about it later when I’m home from work.
8:44am: I get a call from an unknown number from another state, so I don’t pick up. They don’t leave a voicemail. (It was the recruiter.)
8:47am: The recruiter calls again, and I figure this must be an emergency from someone I know because who the hell calls, doesn’t leave a voicemail, and tries right back again?! So I pick up, realize it’s a recruiter, and string him along to glean information for this very post. Because, as you’ll see, it’s comedy gold.
R: Hello, um, Trevor.
Me: Uhhhh, hello …
R: Yes, well, if you are still looking for new career opportunities I might have one for you in Minneapolis.
Me: Umm … OK. What is it?
R: Well it’s a six-month contract position with ________. Are you familiar with them?
Me: No, I’m not, actually. What’s the position and is this full-time?
R: It is full-time, yes, 40 hours per week. And the job is social media specialist.
Me: Umm … OK.
R: So will you take it?
Me: Well I’d have to know more about the job, the company, and things like pay and benefits. But if after that it seems like a good fit, yeah, I might be interested.
R: Well how much would you need on an hourly basis for you to take it?
Me: Umm … well I’ve been paid by yearly salary for many years now, so I’m not sure.
R: Well I think it would be between $15 and $20 per hour. So will you take it?
Me: Uhh … I don’t know. Did you say it’s short-term? Is this temp-to-perm or what?
R: Well no, they’re looking for someone to permanently do this, so it would be a long-term position.
Me: Oh, OK.
R: So what have you been up to since 2012? Since you left ______ (my last job)?
Me: Well, I’ve been working at my new full-time job. I’m there right now.
R: Oh, so you have a job right now?
R now proceeds to ask every piece of information that would already appear on my résumé or LinkedIn (education, skills, relevant experience, etc.). And then … So will you take it?
Me: I’m not sure. I might. Like I said, I’d have to consider all the variables, but if the offer seems good I might.
R: Well, what if we offer $25 an hour? I need a guarantee that if you get this offer you’ll take it.
Me: Well I can’t give you that. But I guarantee that I’ll consider it …
R: Umm … OK … well, can you access your email right now?
Me: Well I’m at work. So it depends. What do you need?
R: I’m going to send you some things and I need you to give me an updated version of your résumé. And can you do that in Word?
Me: Well if I have time during breaks I can look things over, but I won’t be able to send you any materials until I’m home. And my résumé is a PDF because I designed it using elements that Word doesn’t have, if that’s okay …
R: Alright, well just watch your email. I’ll send you information after I submit you for the job.
9:01am: I get an email from him. It has no new information, just confirmation that he submitted my information to the employer. (What information? I have no idea …)
9:27am: The recruiter calls again, but I refuse to answer because he’s wasted enough of my workday. He doesn’t leave a voicemail.
9:34am: He called AGAIN. I refuse to answer. No voicemail.
10:50am: He called AGAIN! This time he leaves a voicemail. In which he hung up.
10:53am: He emails me again. He wants to know if I can refer someone else for this position. I don’t respond.
To Recap …
1) This guy at no point said he was a recruiter or was from a staffing agency (though I found out later he was from one of the big boys). Is this standard practice, or are recruiters straightforward about saying who they are and what they do?
2) This guy had no clue that I have a job right now, and assumed I’ve been unemployed since leaving my previous job last year. Who in their right mind fails to check LinkedIn or even Google search my name?!
3) This guy never told me how he found me or what little information he did have about me. I can only assume he’s working off an ancient résumé.
4) This guy originally said it was a six-month contract. Then, when I expressed concern about the security of that situation, he said it was a long-term position. Ahem …
5) He demanded that I answer emails from him right away, despite the fact that I’m at work.
6) When I didn’t send him my résumé, he still submitted application materials to the employer. I found out later that this guy submitted my résumé in Word form, meaning he created MY résumé himself!
7) This guy asked me to refer someone else to the position. If I actually wanted the job, why in my right mind would I want to add competition? And, even worse, competition with someone I know and presumably like?
8) This guy asked for a guarantee that I quit my current job if they offered me the job. I understand that he doesn’t want to waste his time, but how can he possibly expect that guarantee when I admitted to knowing almost nothing about the company or position?
9) Called 5 times and emailed 3 times in the span of roughly two hours.
If it wasn’t for Staffing Talk, which has given me the chance to talk to several excellent staffers, I’d have a pretty bleak opinion of this industry because of people like this. Please, oh please, tell me in the comments below that he’s in the minority and there’s not a lot of these jerks out there pulling crap like this.