In the last three days I’ve been contacted by three separate recruiters; two agency, and one corporate, inquiring about my interest and availability for opportunities they wanted to present. That’s pretty cool - and probably equals the number of cold calls I have received in the last several months combined.
Each call went more of less exactly the same - (Aside: I shockingly answered my phone for all three calls, which for me is some kind of record):
Recruiter : Hi Steve - this is Joe/Mary/Sue from XYZ Company - how are you today?
Steve - I am fantastic, how are you?
Recruiter - Very well. Steve, I came across your resume on (choose from the following: Monster/Careerbuilder/Dice/ ‘my files’) and I wanted to talk to you about an opportunity I am working on.
Steve - Sure.
Note - I don’t bother with the silly ‘How did you find me/get my phone number?’ questions. It is their job to find people. I am pretty easy to find. And I am sure there is a ‘Steve’ resume out there on all those sites, I bet some of them have been floating around for years.
Recruiter - So tell me, what are you doing these days? Are you working full-time? Are you contracting or consulting?
Steve - Well, I sort of do a number of things, I'm keeping very busy.
At this point I am basically stalling, because I genuinely want to know if the Recruiter really doesn’t know what I am doing, or they are using Recruiter jedi mind-trick #7 and attempting to see if what I say matches what they ought to know about me, (that's assuming that since they are calling me about an opportunity, they should know something about me).
Recruiter - Aren’t we all? Ha-Ha-Ha. So let me tell you about what I am working on, it is a contract/position/engagement at …..... Is this something you may be interested in? Can I send some more information to you about the position?
Steve - Sure, send me the information, you have my email don’t you? No? It is firstname.lastname@example.org. If it is something I am interested in, I will get back to you.
Recruiter - Great, I will and thanks. Have a nice day.
Steve - You as well.
Three recruiting cold calls, each essentially following the same script. Sort of indistinguishable from each other, with all three marked by (at least the expressed) lack of awareness by the recruiter of anything about me other than what they have learned from whatever source information or document, some certainly several years old, that they were working from. Did you take a minute to ‘Google’ me? Scope my profile on LinkedIn?
Again, I have never been a recruiter, so maybe that feigned ignorance is a standard trick to feel out a prospect, and to get them talking about themselves in hopes they will reveal some insights that will help the recruiter make a quick decision whether to engage or to cut and run and move on to the next call.
But to me, the ‘prospect’, it just seemed lazy. In a world where information - updated, real-time information at that, is everywhere; the notion that a prospect should have to update a cold-calling recruiter as to ‘What they’ve been up to’ seems almost archaic.
These days, and certainly for professionals that are candidates for the kinds of jobs I was called about, shouldn’t the recruiter have told me all about me? Are my eyes really blue?
Heck, I am the last person you should ask if you want to know what I am up to.