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Recruiting No No’s # number 2 and little a taste of humble pie for me

Ok so here is my second article in as many days on recruiting no no’s. like the last it is essentially a redacted email interaction from an unsolicited recruitment email in a non related industry.  It seems like the initial email was sent from what I assume is a sourcer and then someone else picked it up from there. Unlike the last one I will do it in reverse order to make it easier to read. I the response and there were some valid points made. But again, I truly believe the approach is flawed regardless of intentions and I hopefully explained why in a clear way, and provided a helpful approach that will meet what I hope is the recruiter’s true goal. – Side subject, I think I have now officially written as many blog post regarding HR, as in the entire time I was actually in HR. At least under my own name and blog…  Ok on to the exchange – bottom to top

Hello Corey,
Your resume was handed to me by a colleague of mine, and I wanted to reach out to you to discuss a fantastic opportunity here in Maryland!
I represent the [Redacted], and I am searching for an energetic, goal driven, outgoing candidate to fill the role of a multi-line insurance agent. This person will be responsible for the procuring new clients, sales and service of new life, disability, property and casualty insurance policies. This is ultimately a self-employed position with the opportunity to create your own enterprise. We provide training and income to get started!
I can be reached via email or cell at [redacted] should you be interested in discussing further.
I look forward to hearing from you!
[redacted]
My response – yes too snarky, not to excuse it, but I am in the middle of a website buildout and have received so many spam like recruiting emails lately, I responded. See below
Just out of curiosity I’m curious why if “someone gave” you my resume, what would make you think I would be a good fit for this position. You might be interested an an article I just wrote on recruiting. Hope it helps you find appropriate candidates.

They responded with some very good points so I did get a bit of humble pie for my snarkyness. That said, I still say they are doing it wrong. They were even generous enough to, I think, pay my writing a compliment. Their response below
Corey,While I can absolutely appreciate your ill feelings towards spam emails, I assure you we do take our jobs seriously and care about those we are able to build relationships with.  You pointed out many reasons why companies do what they do. However, I ask you not to categorize everyone. Don’t forget that we are trying to have a mutually beneficial working relationships in the workplace. We provide opportunity, and they help us grow. While you may view this process or this job as beneath you, I speak with people every day who are down on their luck…from being fired, divorce, some hate their current job, and some flat out just want to find a better life for their families. We try to provide them an opportunity to do that. Sometimes the process can come across as robotic and non-personal however I assure you that I (a former middle school teacher and college professor) find pleasure in helping others through this process.I know not everyone is like me, and I’m sure you don’t want to be classified into categories by strangers either. However, I’m going to do that now.  I will say that you did evoke emotion from your article (I took some things maybe too personal), so I will classify you as a good writer, and I wish you nothing but the best with your book and future endeavors.

Best wishes.

[redacted]

So I responded but I forgot to include that I in no way feel this or any job is beneath me. Quite frankly if it meant feeding and sheltering my family, I’d muck stalls, work retail in holiday season with all of those wonderful self-righteous, and overly entitled customers, and/or pretty much whatever I had to do that was an honest living. 

Below my rushed response, hopefully with out to much of a know it all” heavy handed response. 

I really appreciate your getting back to me and I thank you for the complement.  I also agree that no one likes to be classified especially with little information. If you are interested in a couple recruiting suggestion from someone who has spent a very long time doing it, why not try a more honest approach. It has always worked better for me. Recruiting is sales and it is much easier to sells something that you believe. So one suggestion would be to not start off with an opening like “Your resume was handed to me by a colleague of mine”. See you have already lost me in your opening sentence. Now maybe it is technically true. You could have a sourcer you are friends with that handed you my resume. But it is clearly meant to sound like this was a connection made through networking and/or possible mutual interconnections, when more likely it was scraped or sourced through a resume bank or Linkedin. Now you sound sincere in your response, and actually passionate about helping people. Trust me I know plenty of people that fall into the categories you described. Heck I myself just quit a 20 year career in HR because I hated it. In fact it was the third time I have quit. One of which was to teach. Now I taught HS English lit, but in Grad school I did teach a semester of middle school, so you get extra points in my book for surveying that age group. The problem is, as you know you want to build trust in your candidates. This is especially true in an industry like yours where the salary is likely 100% commission based or at best a draw against commission. Which having worked in the world of placement recruiting I know from personal experience can be quite a scary thing, especially if you are used to a salaried, exempt paycheck. So in your case trust is even more vital. You are probably loosing far more candidates then your realize because most people smart and savvy enough to make a good fit for your position are likely to realize you most probabbly stretched the truth in your first sentence. I would probably use something like (and please understand I am shooting front the hip here and would finesse it) – I came across your resume and see you have a lot of skills that would be transferable to my industry. If you are unhappy in your current position and want to take more control over your financial future, I have an opportunity that could be a great fit. I would love the opportunity to talk to you more about it. – Now if I am truly not interested, you haven’t turned me off, since I feel like you are being honest with me. Maybe even your email will stick with me because of that and I would be more open to future possibilities. Also if I do happen to be in one of the positions your described, you have already started the most important part in the relationship building required for recruiting, building trust. This has always been my approach to recruiting and I have spent years training recruiters and hiring managers the same thing.

I would never suggest a robotic approach. Recruiting is about relationships and relationships are built on trust. Speak from the heart, speak honestly. When you get the bites and the conversation, talk about your experiences, helping people transition from careers they hate, to ones where they had more control over their own destiny. And of course the people you have helped that have been unemployed, going through a divorce or recently divorced, and how you are passionate about helping people turn their lives around. Personally insurance is not for me, but that approach would have caught my attention. I hated HR, I wanted to take control of my life. So an opening like that would have gotten my attention. Even if I knew it wasn’t for me, an open, honest approach like that, would have stuck with me. I would likely have added you to my linkedin connections and when I had someone come to me for career help, which is all to often in today’s day an age, there is a good chance I would have remembered you and sent them your way if I thought it was a fit. Then in their case, instead of saying this amorphous, most likely nonexistent person, sent me your resume. You could say Corey Feldman passed me your resume and thought it would be a good idea for us to connect and see if we can find a mutually beneficial position for you…
My approach to recruiting has always been very successful. The reason is simple,  I was always honest. I sold the real positions, warts and all. Before taking a job my candidates (throughout my career) knew all the positives and the negatives of the job.  Consequently my retention rate was always very high. One of the recruiting accomplishments I am most proud of was very early in my HR career. I was the Recruiter/Employee Relations person, and would even help out as an operations manager. It was a chain with about 250 employees on site. When I took over HR, they were 70% staffed with a turnover rate twice the industry standard. Within 14-15 months the staff levels were never below 95% and the turnover rate was 1/2 the industry standard.  Now early on I got challenged if positions didn’t fill as fast as they had before and I had to educate the powers that be, and thankfully even at a young age I had the confidence to do so (and my only responsibilities were to myself and cat). But in a pretty quick period of time, when it was obvious my methods worked, by the fact the fill rate went from a 70% average to above a 95% average and turnover dropped by an insane percentage, there was no more defending my actions. Yes, I took longer to make a placement, but those placements mostly stayed. So soon when we were well staffed no one cared if I spent an extra week filling a position since we were in such better shape to handle it. This not only helped staffing, but now we had staff that was there for long enough to be true assets to the company. It positively impacted sales, and literally helped put a new face on this location.
Now I don’t know how you are compensated, but I would guess its some sort of piece of the commission based on sales of your placements. You target the right people and make sure they know the good and bad so they can make that informed choice to take the offer.  These are the the ones that stick around and produce, especially if they stay past the average learning curve. Your income increases as well, and you get to help more people and truly help them by find them a position that actually fits them. If that’s not how your compensated, and you try my way, show them the numbers. The production rates of your hires compared to others, the turnover rates, and the reduced cost of training. Even if you are in some sort of salaried position or flat rate compensation approach, if you can demonstrate the positive impact you are having on the companies growth, sales, and profits, so negotiating bonuses and raises becomes a whole lot easier.
My two cents, for whatever it is worth to you.
Corey Feldman
There response 

Hey Corey,

I honestly enjoyed reading your email, and I’ll take your points into much consideration. I wish I had more time on my hands to continue this conversation as I honestly do find it interesting. However, in order to make a proper response I would need MUCH more time than I feel comfortable giving while on the clock.

I wish you nothing but the best, and if you ever change your mind (Which I highly doubt). Or if you find someone who is interested in selling insurance, I’d be happy to talk to them.

My office line is [Redacted] and my cell phone is [Redacted].

Best wishes with the book,

[Redacted]

And my final response 

I just sent you a linkedin connection and I hope you take me up on it. I believe you when you say you’re passionate about helping people. While I think your approach is dead wrong, and you could do much better with mine. I liked your response enough to connect and trust you want to help people so I will send you people I think might be a fit for your industry. In my linkedin request I mentioned that I plan on blogging our conversation. I will of course redact any identifying information. If you do have time later and want to explain why you feel your approach is the right want to start a relationship, I will update the post. And again, I will be happy to refer people to you. Obviously they need to have a comfort with sales and commission based living, strong people skills, but if you have any other traits your are really looking for (since I am putting faith in you that you do care about people and are not a fill a hole at any cost recruiter) let me know what they are and I will keep that in mind.

Corey.



Posted from Potomac, Maryland, United States.

Comments

  1. says

    When I see ”Stryker” on a resume, I don’t want to even talk to the person. In my mind, they’re somewhat “ruined.” They’ve been able to make very big money, and they will always think that’s what they’re worth, in any job. In reality, they aren’t worth that unless they can continue to work at that particular pace, selling that particular product, dealing with that particular nasty little customer–surgeons.
    Christa K. Mcintyre recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

  2. Toby says

    GOMI. Are you having some sort of mental break? Do you really think the recruiter gives a fuck what you think? STFU loser.

    • Corey Feldman says

      I don’t typically pos these but your email bounced and the trolling for NC is tiresome already.

      You know I do think they care since the recruiter responded and all. I think we are linkedin now actually. So I am curious, are you just a piss poor HR Pro/Recruiter or do you just have anger issues driving you to troll? Not that the two are mutually exclusive by any means. Or per chance, by your very traceable (not that I would bothered) North Carolina IP address, which you didn’t even attempt to mask, is this by chance the self described failed HR PRO herself or perhaps one of her minions? North Carolina is a big state so maybe this just a coincidence. I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt. I mean, she is not the nicest person I know, but I would at least give her enough credit to try and mask her IP… My apologizes for the assumption if I am way off base, I just find it more than a little coincidental that in my many years of blogging I have so very rarely been trolled until the cat lady and I had that falling out and oddly so many more since and so many of them from her state…

      I hope you had a very merry Christmas, Chanukah, secular humanist day (or whatever floats your boat) and I wish you all the best and maybe a tad less a anger for the New Year. But here is a little holiday gift from me to you, Cat lady, Minion, or just an angry troll. If you really want to Troll, learn to mask your IP. Google VPNs and TOR. Both have their weaknesses, but a smart cookie like yourself, can figure them out I’m sure.

      Happy Holidays,

      Corey

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