Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beware the recruiters who don't believe in you

Recently an Aspie friend of mine contacted a major recruiting firm to ask about potential openings. He has some accounting and some technical skills and certifications in his background. He had been working at doing web site design on his own but, being an Aspie, networking was difficult and he needed to find soemthing stable. His skills and experience are a good mix and even in a down market should get some interest. This one said that he would not find a job since he had been 'out of work' for three years and vaguely wonder why he was wasting the recruiters time.

I have a couple of issues with this. The first is the tone of the response. Seriously? That is the best you can do? Not looking for a lot of repeat customers are you. I would write it off as the individual recruiter's style but actually this entire firm is well known for their attitude. They are just as bad when you are the hiring manager as when you are the potential employee. Their entire business model seems to be 'we don't give a bleep about future business; we place bodies'. How it works for them is a mystery to me.

Secondly, running your own business for three years is not the same as 'out of work'... not by a damn site. Many employers look for entrepreneurial types as they show initiative and problem solving ability not casually found in your standard employee. Holding having your own business against you is a sad way to handle a very strong benefit.

So my main point is that even if you do fit the narrow view of employable to some of these meat grinder shops you may want to stay away from them. If the recruiting firm cannot care enough about you to be polite and consider you a potential future customer then their placement is suspect. They are simply looking for bodies to fill out the cannon fodder of the world they see. Not all of them will go to the ends of the earth for you (though I have found a few) but general respect should be a bare minimum. And if they cannot see value in your skills then find someone who can. They should be placing *all* of you in the job; not just one skill they find useful.

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