A Tale of Two Recruiters

Recruiters reach out to me 2-4 times a week either via e-mail or phone.  I make it a point to respond to their e-mails or take their calls because you never know what opportunity is knocking.  Most times, the position is not of interest to me.  Sometimes the position is: a) too junior a level, b) requires significant relocation, c) not a good fit, d) not interested in the company for a variety of reasons (corporate culture or demonstrated ethics primary among them), and e) other.

If the position is not for me, I will try to refer someone who may be a better fit, or someone I know is looking for a new (or any opportunity).  I only refer people I can vouch for, because it is my reputation on the line.  Similarly, I keep any confidential information the recruiter has shared with me confidential (such as the potential employer’s name) because I believe it is unethical to do an “end around” the recruiter.  I am not a recruiter, nor do I desire to be one.  If a recruiter offers a “referral fee” I will gladly accept, but I make no demands for such an arrangement.

 As the title of this post implies, I was recently contacted by two recruiters with opportunities for me.  As the man says “the names have been changed to protect the innocent”.  Let’s call them “A” and “B”.  Recruiter A contacted me first and is in the HR department of what is a Fortune 500 company which used to be listed as one of the DJIA 30.  Recruiter “B” is the owner of a small company.  Both recruiters found me through LinkedIn.

 A sends me a message through LinkedIn:

Keith,

I came across your impressive background through LinkedIn and would be interested in talking with you about a Process Operations Technician opportunity in [REDACTED]. I would love to connect with you to see if you or anyone in your network might be interested in a position within [REDACTED]. Please let me know if you’re available to discuss; thanks for your time.

A few days later, I get a message from B:

Hi Keith,

I hope this message finds you well. I am doing a search for a Site Manager, to manage 4 people at a customer site in the greater [REDACTED] area. This will have great visibility within a multi-billion dollar organization. There will be limited travel, but work onsite with the customer to integration chemical solutions with a Fortune 100 company. This is a newly created position, due to growth in business. This is person will be the “face” to the customer and really help forge a strong relationship with them. Let me know if you OR anyone that you know would be intersted in this growth opportunity.

Regards,
[REDACTED]

Note that I have removed identifying information as to the location (local to me) and company.  It should also be noted that these opportunities were with different companies.  Both messages are quite similar in tone, and I responded to both “A” and “B” that I would be happy to discuss these opportunities with them.  Reading the messages, it sounded as if I were overqualified for either position, but since I do work with Senior level students at UB, I could give either of these recruiters more appropriate leads.

This is where the stories diverge.

It was the best of times

I received a call from B’s office; his associate is filling me in on the details.  It soon becomes clear that the position “Site Manager” is a position where what is managed is the inventory and usage of hiring company’s materials on a customer’s site.  Some technicians report to this position.  After a few minutes, I am told the proposed pay range and learn it is close to what I was making 10-15 years ago, and the position requires a BS level Chem E with 5-10 years experience.  After learning that the associate had not checked my profile, she agreed that my background and experience made me somewhat overqualified.  I offered that I could possibly refer some people, if she sent me her contact information and the position description.  I received the information and passed it on to a younger engineer whom I think would be a good fit.  I also notified the recruiter that I had forwarded the information.

It was the worst of times

I never heard back from A.  Well, not exactly.  A few days after the initial LinkedIn contact, I received an e-mail from the corporate recruiting computer:

[COMPANY LOGO REDACTED]

 Dear Keith,

Thank you for recently applying to the position of  Process Operations Technician in [REDACTED].  In order to be considered for the position further, we need to collect some additional information from you regarding your background and experience.  Please [LINK REDACTED] to return to the website to finish your profile and assessment. If you have any problems during the application process, please contact us at [REDACTED].

 We appreciate your interest in [REDACTED] as a potential employer.

 Sincerely, 

[REDACTED] Acquisition Team

This was quite a surprise to me.  I never spoke to A to gauge whether or not I was interested in the position.  Even if I were, I would not have applied through a “recruiting computer”; it is my policy to end any conversation when one of the steps is to apply through a company website.  I followed the link and had to answer a number of questions (and upload a resume – which I did not do – instead leaving a message that I did not know what I was applying for), declined to take a pre-employment physical and drug test, and made an outrageous (for them) salary demand, before I could look at the position description, which was clearly for an entry level job.

I have managed to contact A’s company; they assure they will remove my record from their database.  In addition, I have sent a strongly worded – but polite – reply to A demanding an apology.  If none is forthcoming, I may have to actually contact the company’s HR department and set up a phone conference to get satisfaction.

And maybe name names here.