If you work in the high-tech field like I do, and especially if you’re in management, you probably get regular cold calls from recruiters looking to either (a) hire someone into your company, (b) convince you to let them find you a new job, or (c) sweet-talk you into giving them the names and phone numbers of other people at your company for them to call as their next victims.
If I were looking for a job myself, I wouldn’t use any of these people. I decided years ago that the way you find a good recruiter to work with is through word of mouth and networking, not through cold calls from pushy, often dishonest people who don’t actually care about you or your career.
If I were looking to hire someone to work at my company, I wouldn’t use any of these people, both for the reasons given above, and because we have in-house recruiters and it is very difficult to convince senior management that a job is sufficiently difficult to fill that external recruiting expertise is needed. Even if I were going to use an external recruiter to fill a position, it would be handled by my HR department, not by me.
Nevertheless, I get several of these calls per week. It’s gotten so bad that I don’t answer my desk phone when the caller ID doesn’t show a number I recognize. If it’s someone I actually need to speak with, they’ll leave a voicemail message.
Today’s annoying recruiter incident was sufficiently egregious that I felt it appropriate to post about it on my blog to warn others off from the perpetrator, Oxford International.
The Oxford International recruiter called not once, not twice, but three times, and the third call was after I actually spoke to him and told him to leave me alone.
- Recruiter calls. Caller ID shows no number, so I let it go to voicemail. No message is left.
- Recruiter calls again. Two calls in a row is almost always a sign that someone I know really needs to reach me, so I answer the phone. As they so often do, the recruiter introduces himself vaguely using a tone of voice which suggests that we’re old friends. When I ascertain that he is a recruiter, I inform him that I’m not currently hiring and that if I were he would have to talk to my HR department, thank him for calling, and hang up, all before he can waste any more of my time by saying anything.
- Recruiter calls a third time — I do not answer — and again leaves no message.
Interestingly, I am not the only person who has written on-line about bad experiences with Oxford International.
The other recruiting firm mentioned in the title of this blog entry, High Tech Ventures, found me a job in 1997. However, I was so bothered by the way they worked that, after thanking them for finding me the job, I told them to please never contact me again. What bothered me about them was:
- It was clear that were more interested in earning a commission than in placing me in a position that was a good fit for both me and the company that hired me.
- A couple years after they place you in a position, they call you up and try to convince you that it’ll be good for your career for you to leave. Yes, that’s right, they actively try to steal employees they’ve placed from the companies with which they’ve placed them.
As I said, I asked High Tech Ventures back in 1997 never to contact me again. Nevertheless, I continue to get phone calls and email messages from them, both at home and at work, on a regular basis. I have repeatedly asked them to stop contacting me, and it does no good.
If you do find it necessary to work with recruiting firms, I suggest you take a pass on Oxford International and High Tech Ventures.