9/12/2008

Head Hunter Marketing?

I have been told Head Hunters are a great tool to use when trying to market yourself for a new employment opportunity. They basically are your personal sales team. The commodity on sale is you, the potential employee.

So, with a positive attitude in check, I set out to investigate and find one that would be a good match for my career goals. Hence, I picked one that is in the category, Executive Search. This area made me feel certain it would be a classy organization. When I viewed their website, I was met with images of potential candidates that had landed positions, professional looking business head shots. All the content on the site made me confidant I had made the right choice.

The dialogue began with email exchanges between the administration contact and myself. I had asked if, after viewing my resume attachment, they could contact me if I was a potential candidate for them. The response came in the next day, via email and was brief but stated that I was indeed a good prospect. The manager of this office location wanted to interview me and solicit for opportunities in my behalf. A date was suggested to meet but I responded to her that I was already committed on that date. I gave this contact several alternative times and dates.

The next time I heard from this woman was literally weeks later. So much time had passed that her email actually began with an apology for the passage of time. It also freely admitted that I had been forgotten. She wanted to appease her boss and set up a new appointment for us to meet. I gave her optional days of the following week that I could meet and time slots as well. I got back an email confirmation that began, “It was a pleasure to talk with you this afternoon on the telephone” followed by an appointment confirmation that I would be seen on this particular day of the week at 1 p.m. I did indeed think it was odd she was referencing a conversation that had never taken place. We had never spoken!

When I arrived at my scheduled appointment time, the front desk personnel looked quite unsettled as to why I was there. I told him that I had an appointment at 1:00 p.m. I noticed immediately the large oversized clock in the center of the wall stated 12:00 p.m. He told me I must have missed my appointment time, it must have been an hour earlier. The gentleman I was to speak with was already in discussion with someone else. I then asked if the clock was not working, thinking perhaps they were confused as to the time it was. He simply stated that it works but is on the wrong time. This comment made no sense and my red flag immediately went up!

By this time, the slight noise in the otherwise quiet office led to a woman quickly appearing asking why I was there. Again I repeated my earlier statement and was met with an apologetic look and a patronizing tone of “You missed your slotted appointment time. ” Then, as if I was invisible, the two individuals conversed about how unfortunate it was that I had missed my appointment time. I interceded by pulling out the printed email with my confirmation on it and stated, while pointing at her email, that clearly states 1 p.m. and that is the current time.

She quickly ushered me in to her office and said she would just have to reschedule me due to this misunderstanding. I think she was careful that the man in the other office, with his door open, did not hear what was transpiring. At this point, I felt that he probably should have been made aware of it though.

Her office was as beautiful as the outer office, definitely decorated upscale with the utmost class. She whispered to me than that there were several good shops around the area if I could perhaps hang around them for about 2 hours and thus, return for the interview. I felt over dressed in my business suit to be out window shopping and felt this was becoming a complete waste of my time. I reclined her offer and told her point blank this needs to be rescheduled. An appointment was made for the following week and shortly thereafter, she popped up her head, all smiles saying “Hey, guess what, we had you down for next week for your appointment. You must have read the date I sent you wrong.” I then referred again to her printed email that she did not want to view up close and personal and told her that her confirmation did not include a date. The email had clearly been sent last week and had a time stamp on it. One would think that an interview was the very following week unless stated otherwise. She did not respond to this other than wishing me well and telling me she would see me next week.

I doubt that, that she will see me next week, or the week after, or even the one after that! My reputation is not going to be handed over to an agency that lacks the professionalism to admit when they made a mistake. I don’t trust the follow up to be there when their own large-scale clock is ticking on the wrong time. I wonder how many corporations or organizations are sold on the fact they deliver quality candidates here? No I don’t think I will trust an agency that does not keep track of appointment times to sell my ability to be punctual and thorough. I can market myself better than that. Thank you very much for the confidence boost in my skill sets!
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