Some of you reading this might have read my frustration in a LinkedIn Update, yesterday, where I asked a customer that is basically pestering me to please stop. Ironically, this morning, I received a newsletter to help us all understand the difference between persistence and stalking: Persistence Versus Stalking
A few years ago, I had an issue with a potential customer who sent out their recruiters to basically constantly pester those of us who dared have a LinkedIn profile mentioning the skills that they needed. I think I got 10-20 contacts within just a day or two (some were just repeats and I didn’t stop to sort that out to get a better count). Meanwhile, I had a pretty hefty load of chargeable work and the usual duties to manage in my own office.
In that particular case, I did contact the customer, explained the situation, and asked them to have their recruiters stop doing that. And, to their credit, they did. That’s what makes this story unusual.
We’re All Busy
Here’s the issue – we’re all busy. I have a single person to do everything that has to be done in my office. Bigger companies assume I don’t have a lot to do because I’m so small and how much could there be to managing such a small business but when you’re the only one doing it, it’s still time-consuming. And it’s now tax season, so I’m just saying it’s not better now than any other part of the year, here in my office.
Also, there’s no way anyone can know how busy someone else is. BUT and I feel really strongly about this BUT no customer should have so many recruiters calling each of us. You need to coordinate these people or have fewer of them. They should be sharing information if they are all working on your project, not independently gathering these lists and contacting every single one of us.
On top of that, when I say “no” to them, and I do usually try to do it, politely, they keep asking me about it. When I say I’m too busy and don’t want to move to Delaware or Texas or California, I’m serious. I mean it. Don’t keep me on the phone. Don’t keep e-mailing me. That is extremely rude and I know it’s not directed at me, personally, but all the resources out there. It’s rude to all of us!
The Customer is At Fault
If we all think about the contacts we get throughout the year, we probably all get the occasional recruiter contacting us for one reason or another. If you were to think about the description they give of the project or job they’re calling about, most of the time, you get a single call about it.
It’s not that all of these get filled, either. There are times where we hear that that customer is having a hard time filling the spot but we still don’t get spammed with e-mail and phone calls.
It’s just a few projects that are doing this. It’s just a few customers that are acting this way. Whether or not the customer actually knows about it isn’t the issue – it’s their responsibility. They need to care about how they treat people.They need to know that, basically, most of us know who they are and aren’t going to refer people we know to anyone who acts this way.
After all, when you get on the project or take the job, it’s not going to get any better. It’s during the recruitment process that people show their best face. If it’s a terrible face during recruitment, it’s going to be a nightmare later on.