"Hello...I Love You...Won't You Tell Me Your Name."...Jim Morrison

Since I've been in Search Marketing for a bunch of years, I'm used to receiving unsolicited contacts from recruiters. Usually, they go something like this:

Todd, I've been working on a search for a "PPC Rockstar" and your name came up as someone I could network with to help locate such a person for my client.

Attached is the job requisition for the position...if you know someone who might be a good fit for the position, please let me know.

You don't need to be Antonioni / Fellini / Kurosawa / Bergman to read between the lines and see that while they are interested in any referrals you might give them, the main reason they are contacting you is they've checked out your experience and thought you potentially might be a fit.

I always recommend acknowledging such messages, whether the position interests you or not and whether you have a referral for the recruiter or not. When you decide to enter the job market yourself (or are forced into it), being networked with relevant recruiters might just end up getting you the position you are looking for.

However, I recently had an encounter with a recruiter that had all the subtlety and grace of an anvil (with apologies to my friend whose company resembles that remark).

Now, while this contact was more direct than most, it doesn't get offensive...yet.

So, because I have a good relationship with my boss David Rodnitzky, I shared the email with him along with a light-hearted remark. His response was the following:

What's particularly interesting here is that ........ was pitching us on hiring him to help us find a FB guru and now he's trying to poach our staff!

Properly-trained recruiters divide their market of employers into two categories: Employers they recruit from and employers they recruit for. Mixing the two will immediately destroy someone's reputation and in the relatively smallish search marketing space, I know this guy will end up burning all his bridges real fast.

I asked David if I should string this guy along (for sport) but David said not to...so I responded to the recruiter:

I'm happy at my current position...but thanks for reaching out to me.

To which the recruiter responded (mighty quickly):

I understand you are happy where you are, but I think we can find you an upgrade to your current situation. My client is a large, growing, A-list company in the SEO space with exceptional benefits that pays VERY competitively. Wouldn't you like an upgrade? Can we at least talk and network?

And people think only job seekers were pushy. I might have actually talked to the guy if he weren't so thoroughly unprofessional in his communications plus the two-faced way he interacted with my company.

Recruiters...if you are trying to recruit in this industry, employees are OK with ONE direct approach. We know you're doing your job and even if we don't want to hear from you, we know that being recruited often is part of the senior level search marketing landscape. However, anything more than that tries our patience and makes you seem like a real putz.

So, I answered him:

I'm very happy at my current position and after having chosen PPC Associates after a job search where lots of employers pursued me to work for them, I'm not looking to change my situation that works well both for me and my employer.

BTW, David Rodnitzky told me to tell you "Hi".

In a nice way, I gave to give the guy a virtual "slap" for his poor deportment...most perceptive people would have gotten that...clearly, I overestimated him.

Hi Todd,

Thanks for your honesty. Might you be able to refer some quality Account Managers my way that you've worked with over the years?

Tell David Rodnitzky that I want to work with PPC Associates and fill some of those open roles for him! :)

As if my boss will utilize the professional services of a recruiter who attempted to steal his employees.

So, if you are a recruiter reading my post, please remember to respect the time and patience of both employers and employees. And, above all else, to quote a famous phrase:

"Don't sh** where you eat" :.)

Todd Mintz

Todd Mintz knows PPC...knows Social Media...knows SEO...knows Blogging...knows Domaining...and knows them all real well. He also is on the Board of Directors at SEMpdx, runs his own side gigs and tweets quite a bit.


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2 Responses to “How Not To Recruit Search Management Professionals”

  1. Shane says:

    I'm totally with you on the second part: Don't be poaching employees from a company that's working for you. It's ignorant at best and unethical at worst (not to mention just bad business).

    I would have a different reaction than you on the first part, though. To me (and it may just be me), I would appreciate the recruiter trying one more time with a little heavier, more compelling pitch. I've never had a job where I was so happy that I wouldn't have at least been intrigued by that second email. I wouldn't have felt annoyed at all.

    Again, may just be me though :)

  2. Lisa Myers says:

    Ha! their no different "across the pond", I've had a similar thing happen when a recuriter called me and asked if I had any jobs available I said "no not at the moment but thanks for your call" kind of thing then 5 min later he calls one of my employees and tried to poach him for another job. I on the other hand wasn't as kind as you, I went "apeshit" and called him up and gave him a good old "bullocking", he never called me or my employee again…

    Can't believe the "cheek" and sheer stupidity of some of these recruiters….