Would you believe there are over 5,000 messages exchanged each day between employers and headhunters on BountyJobs? Believe it.
With all that back and forth, we’re constantly hearing what both parties like about each other and, even more, what they don’t like. Our staff have heard mostly great interactions and mutual respect.
We’ve also heard a few cringe-worthy accounts of interactions between employers and headhunters, mostly from before they used BountyJobs to connect and communicate.
This week, we’ll put the spotlight on what most bugs employers about recruiting agencies. Never fear agencies… you won’t be left out: next week we’ll focus on what most bothers headhunters when working with employers.
So what do employers hate? Well, a few things. Candidates that don’t hit the mark. Headhunters that don’t read the job description. Agencies that promise expertise on the phone, but who quickly fizzle after getting engaged on the job. Above everything else, there is one thing that every employer seems to have a spectacular horror story about.
From Employers: “Agency Cold Calls are the Worst”
Oh, the everyday, never-ending stream of cold calls. Some employers admit to spending hours a week fielding cold calls, and have the not-so-pretty stories to prove it.
Here are some of the most egregious stories we’ve heard from clients before they used BountyJobs, some of them all-too-common, accompanied by the fabulous names our team has come up with in honor of them.
- “If I Ignore Them, They’ll Go Away”: One manager told us his recruiters fielded 10 cold calls a day, which is unusually high even for recruiting. His team was 10 recruiters, so that’s 100 cold calls per day that they were getting bogged down with.
It got to the point that some wouldn’t answer their phones at all, unless it was a recognizable number or expected call. The risk, of course, was that some of those calls were candidates missed, or that the strategy would lead to…
- “The Whack-A-Mole”: The downside of HR having a successful “cold call lock down” strategy, is that agencies simply pop up somewhere else, cold calling hiring managers.
The stories that make us grimace the most? Agencies escalating to the CEO, agencies playing hiring managers and recruiters off each other, and highly visible roles being filled (and candidates starting the job) without HR knowing the job was even posted. Yep, we all know it happens.
- “The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”: In another common move, one agency tried calling a hiring manager while directly posing as a web developer candidate. The agency specialized in placing web developers and was searching for open web developer positions.
If he found there were open positions, he shifted gears into “I’m not a good fit, but I can recommend some people I’ve worked with before…” or, if re-directed back to a recruiter, he could say “the Hiring Manager said I should send you candidates for web developer roles”.
- “The Houston, We Have a Problem”: One company used “Just in Time” recruiting: when they landed a large client they ramped up recruiting rapidly. When that happened, recruiters often had to source for unfamiliar roles without “go-to” firms to help.
They actually encouraged cold-calls, with every agency telling them they were the best EVER! When the cold call system didn’t pan out, because of long procurement on-boarding times and poor agency performance, disaster struck. Revenue generating positions went unfilled. The situation slowly developed into a larger issue, and when the VP of Talent got to the bottom of it, she determined that the root issue was costing them $1m a year. Ouch!
- The “Creepy but True”: This story actually came from an agency applying for the BountyJobs marketplace. He said would often call his target and leave a few messages.
After no replies, he would send an email with read receipt. If the recipient didn’t realize they had auto reply to read receipts, the agency would get the receipt when they opened the email, and immediately call the target to say, “I love playing hide and seek, I can see you, call me or I will keep chasing you.” WHAT!?!?! Shocking, but true. That agency didn’t make it onto our marketplace.
If you are a headhunter, don’t be the protagonist in any of these stories. Business development is crucial, but with BountyJobs there are much easier ways to engage on great jobs based on your merits and track record across the network.
Being the lead in “Creepy but True” or “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” isn’t going to get you very far. Luckily, our clients on BountyJobs have tamed the cold call beast by using a VMS to vet agency experience without incessant calls.
Seriously, it is a dream come true for employers who are on their last straw with cold calls.
Headhunters, it is your turn. Have you got some things that make your blood boil about employers? Anything particularly related to cold calls? Add them in the comments and we’ll discuss in next week’s blog!