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Attention, recruiters: please don't lie to us.

This is an expansion on the 140 characters I spoke about on Twitter a little while ago. This is as much of the conversation as I can remember.

I just received a call from an "IT recruiter" (I don't remember who, and it doesn't matter who, really), who started off the conversation by breathlessly exclaiming:

"I need to speak to someone about a network problem."

Um, who is this?

"Is this the IT department? I need to speak to the IT manager."

Um, that would be me. Who are you trying to reach? Who are you?

"I'm so-and-so, this is the number that they forwarded me to."

Um, there is no "they", we have an auto-attendant. Who is this again?

"I got your number from J. Random Otherperson."
I don't know them, but OK. Who are you?

"I'm so-and-so, and I'm with an IT recruiting firm, and I wanted to know if blah blah you had any projects blah blah" (Yeah, I figured this out by now, but I wanted to let it play out.)

Hi, well, why did you give me this whole story instead of just coming out and saying it? I don't like being told stories to. To tell you the truth, we're not inclined to want to work with people who lie to us. I certainly don't like being told a whole cock-and-bull story to get my attention. Thank you very much. Good-bye. <click>

I certainly would have listened and been polite and told the recruiter at the outset that no, we're not interested in talking to recruiters right now (and I know it's a very tough market for them, I really do not belittle their pain) but sleazy sales tactics in a field where success is defined a whole lot by trust just doesn't seem like a good plan--I suppose if you're using the "spammer" mentality of "try 100,000 and if 0.01% gets through, that's 10 sales" it might work, if you only had a short-term goal. But the good recruiters I've dealt with (and I've dealt with quite a few) spent time to cultivate a relationship of trust with clients, both on the buy and sell sides (i.e. employers and potential employees).

I hope it's not the same way in every sales arena.


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