21st century recruiting

Detrimental "Global" Recruiting Bad Practices

In the Seattle market, there is a growing restlessness and dissatisfaction among the local technical population, also known as “our passive candidate base” that has to do with high volume, globalized, recruiting practices. In the last 4-5 years, several of the major employers in the area such as Microsoft, T-Mobile, and Amazon.com have changed their agency relationships with staffing companies and vendor management practices. The outcome of these changes (coupled with OFCCP practice adoptions) has resulted in both good and bad competition trends in the local market.

A perfect example is the ad below. This was sent to me by a friend I have worked with and who is casually looking at new opportunities. The strong hints that this is sent by someone that is not from the US recruiting / management market are A) the request for a CV or resume B) the *blatant* question leading to age discrimination requesting applicants to send their age with their application. These are both signs that the person who wrote/posted the job description is either from Europe or Asia and isn’t (yet) familiar with US laws.

The biggest “imported” high volume volume faux pas I’m seeing is the templated email sent to any/all candidates pulled in a Boolean search string asking for all up-front information for consideration. Below is an example that started a fire-storm on one of my digital tech communities. The discussion ended up with the belief that this is a blatant phishing expedition (which prompted my blog on “phishing” versus “sourcing” over on Sourcecon last week.)

Hi, I Hope you are doing well. This is with reference to your resume posted on job Portal. I came across your profile and want to let you know about an opportunity we have that I think you might be interested in. We have a following contract opening with our client. Please go through the job description that has been attached below, and if available and interested, please send me your Resume in word format ASAP. (Also, do not forget to send the details that have been asked in the end). Note:- Please ignore this email if you are already working with , Inc., Our client or our Recruiters.

**Need to know the following details to expedite the process*****

What is your current location? :
Are you currently on a project, If Yes-Why you are looking for new project?
Define your job position you are looking for more clearly:
Are you willing to be flexible to work in technology or areas that you are not familiar with?
Have you had any current interview experience lately: If yes, please let me know Client name, interview date, Feedback or expected Feedback?
Are you Willing to Relocate?:
Availability (earliest date you can start)? :
Your Work Authorization?:
Current Salary and Expected Salary?:
What is the best number you can be reached at? :
Give me your employer details:
Two References Details (Must) with Name of the person, Company name, Phone

First of all, the general populace is constantly being advised about online privacy issues. We all know about borderline unethical practices by agencies that ask for references in order for sales leads. But more importantly, this sort of assault on candidates is INSULTING. It may be the norm in other cultures, but it doesn’t work in North America.

Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly giving out the information that we expect our candidates to do their homework about our companies; to be prepared for phone screens and interviews by researching the company and jobs; that we only will contact candidates that are qualified. This sort of high-volume “fish in a barrel” mentality makes us hypocrites (see my views on this here).

I asked an engagement manager I know from one of the largest and well-known local agencies (temp and FT placement) about whether or not they partner with an outsourced company that has these practices. She told me that yes, they do partner with an outsourced partner, *BUT* that they have been told explicitly that if they wish to retain their contract, they absolutely *will not* approach candidates as above; the VP has told them that if they do, they will lose the contract. They are being paid much more than the $5-$6/hour I have seen elsewhere to recruit with a personal touch. What does that mean?

First, it means *picking up the phone* to connect with your candidate, not sending them some junky template email that looks like either spam or a phishing expedition. It also means you actually *read the resume* to see if the returned result is, in fact, a fit for the position you are sourcing for.

I have seen more and more of this in Seattle. Companies that move into the area (bricks and mortar) with a globally diverse workforce are learning this lesson quickly when candidates refuse to talk to them, clients think their delivered results are shoddy, and the local recruiting community starts shunning and criticizing them. If you are going to play in the big leagues of Seattle and the Bay area, you need to learn the rules of engagement with your candidate sources.


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