Those Calls

As you may know, I make it very easy for the world to leave me a message and rather difficult to catch me live and in person. If I don’t recognize a caller i.d., I rarely answer the phone.

A woman calls me at work and leaves a message giving her name and saying that she is calling regarding C.N.A. (from whom we have purchased retirement annuities in the past). I don’t know this person, but I also don’t have a current contact at C.N.A., and perhaps they need something for one of my retirees. I call her back.

First, I talk with the receptionist, who wants my name and purpose. I give her my name and company, then tell her I am returning a call. I am transferred. I introduce myself and say, “You called me regarding C.N.A.”

“Yes!” she replies. “C.N.A. has been downsizing and I am working with a lot of their people and I know we have some candidates that….”

She is a recruiter.

Then the dance begins. I am not hiring. I do not need help. My turnover is extremely low.

We know you aren’t hiring now. We just want to meet with you to build a relationship for when you are hiring.

I have a smidgen of sympathy, because recruiters have a difficult job. Horrid HR people like me do not return their calls, so they become tricksy. But they do not take “No” for an answer, which makes me avoid engaging in the conversation. Now I have a meeting booked with some stranger trying to sell me something that I don’t need. And I resent it.

So did she win, because I agreed to a time? Even assuming that I don’t cancel, she does not win. Strike One – You basically tricked me into calling you. Strike Two – You railroaded me into a meeting. Strike Three – I do. Not. Require your services.

So then, the question is “What is a recruiter to do?” Well. Everyone is different. But in my file of 10,000 cards from recruiting firms, there are two or three that are likely to get a call if I have a recruiting need. I get the occasional e-mail or note from them, so that I know they are still around. But otherwise they leave me alone. I appreciate them.

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