Some recruitment companies go about their business development activities by working hard at developing long-lasting relationships with clients, finding problems to solve, devising solutions, offering true value-add services, and eventually forming a trusted partnership status with the client over a longer period of time.
Others take a different tack, deciding instead to make it purely a numbers game. Expecting 99% of cold calls to be rejections they adopt the logic that making 100 calls will mean winning one piece of business, which is ultimately all they care about obtaining. And if you can drive your “consultants” to make 100 calls in a week, then each will get one new bit of business, and if half are converted into placements then you should be able to run a profitable business.
No wonder hiring managers and internal recruiters get so sick of recruiters calling, especially when we all get tarred with the same brush wielded by the second group.
But this week I know how they feel…
For the past two weeks I have been literally bombarded with calls from India and the USA (which are probably also from India but made to look like they’re from the USA). The conversation started off like this:
“Hello, are you Jonathan Rice, Director of virtualRPO?”
“Erm, that is me, how can I help?” (not wanting to say the word “yes” in case this was somehow recorded and used to open a whole can of spamming whoop ass).
“I am calling you from Tradepub.com. We are releasing a Whitepaper on behalf of SuccessFactors titled “How to Source and Select the Best Hires for Small to Medium-Size Businesses”. Would you like us to send a free copy of this paper to your email address? Can I just confirm your email address?”
“Ummm, no and no, but thank you for the kind offer anyway”
Fine – I don’t really mind that – at least they are seeking permission before sending which means it’s not really spam, right?
But then they called again. And again. Sometimes two or three times a day and even once last weekend. Each time I got more forceful in my rejections they seemed to call again with increasing regularity. With forcefulness failing I reverted to bluntness, but to no avail. Indignation followed but when that failed I tried humour, which sadly was as lost on them as every other response (ok my jokes are pretty lame but still…)
My questioning around their systems they use, and whether there is any note taking at all, or record of my previous rejections, seemed to fall so far outside the scripted options for the call operators that they were startled back into starting all over again and asking if I was Jonathan Rice of…etc etc.
So, like a disgruntled, phone screening, voicemail diverting, harassed internal recruiter / line manager, I finally relented. I gave them
the job order to recruit the permission to send me the Whitepaper… Even then they called me again two hours later.
But finally, I received it. And finally, the calls have stopped. And do you know something really quite amazing?
The Whitepaper has turned out to be really rather useful indeed!
Here is a picture of me using it for a beer mat yesterday evening…
And here it is keeping the kids occupied as a piece of paper from a colouring-in book…
And probably best of all, it made a great paper aeroplane!
So thank you Tradepub.com for your perseverance and thank you SuccessFactors for your research and your whitepaper. Unfortunately I never got to actually read it, but hey ho, never mind eh?
Now I can at least empathise a bit more with internal recruiters and HR complaining of the volume of prospecting calls they need to deal with every week…
Now then, regular readers have probably noticed a “freshening-up” of the Whiteboard blog. We hope you like it. After three years we felt it was time for a change. We’ve also decided to update our Rice Consulting and virtualRPO websites and to celebrate have treated oursleves to a new domain name. So, thanks to the work of the guys at Job X, we’re proud to launch:
Enjoy. All feedback is most heartily welcomed.