Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't handcuff your recruiters

The July 24, 2006 issue of Fortune, featuring ...Image via Wikipedia

This is one of those things I just don't get.

It is also one of those things that makes me go ...."WTF?"

A reader recently shared the following exchange with me about receiving an unsolicited inquiry about their possible interest in applying for a job and their follow up.

Company: Found your profile on LinkedIn and would like to learn more about your background. We are currently recruiting for the position of ____ and your qualifications appear to be a good match.

Are you interested in working for a Fortune 500, publicly traded company recognized as a global leader in our industry?

I would like to learn more. Can you please share some information about salary range and reporting structures?

Good morning, Company policy requires all candidates to apply on line before we can consider them an applicant. Please apply online at ___

Reader: But I'm not a candidate and I don't know if I want to apply. Can you please call me to speak for a couple of minutes so I can determine my level of interest?

Company: Hi. The position is posted on our website. Can you please apply on line? Thanks
What's wrong with this picture?

  1. Company approaches passive candidate with unsolicited opening, apparently based on LinkedIn profile qualifications. Seems okay so far.
  2. Passive candidate, unsure about level of interest tries to initiate a dialogue with company recruiter who apparently spent time finding them.
  3. Company recruiter, apparently trapped in bureaucracy can't pick up phone to speak to possibly interested candidate.
  4. Candidate becomes immediately confused and turned off by what is obviously a rigid organizational structure overly obsessed with rules and policy.
Why not simply answer a couple of questions, and let the candidate feel the connection that results from a dialogue?

Why not let them de-select themselves before they go into the ATS?

Why the hell even waste your time to bother contacting incredibly valuable passive candidates via LinkedIn if it is against company policy to actually talk with them?

This exchange led the reader to not apply. Employers, here's a tip: try talking to the people you want to recruit or don't bother!

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