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Monday, April 24, 2006

My date with a headhunter

Say uncle takes on headhunters:

[R]ecruiters and headhunters are almost completely useless human beings. Of the several interviews I’ve been on, only one was arranged by a headhunter. And these recruiting firms make shit up. They post jobs they don’t have in an effort to get you to send them your résumé. I’ve even confirmed this with a headhunter friend of mine. I have basically written off one local firm because they have nothing but made up jobs. Seriously. I contact a local firm and tell them I saw a particular ad they had in the paper and express my interest. Should be no problem setting me up since they have my info. But they don’t have a job. I ask about the ad and they tell me it’s already been filled. Really? You filled it in 20 fucking minutes? I should have figured that out since they probably wouldn’t run ads if they already have candidates who were qualified.

My experience with headhunters confirms this. I was contacted by a consultant who specializes in libraries (bad sign)about a plum director's job. I knew the job existed, and I knew why the job was vacant--because the Board of Trustees contained certifiable lunatics. When a library board hires a consultant, they are looking for the Magic Candidate, who doesn't exist. Still, I was flattered.

At the consultant's request I sent in a resume. I started to get phone calls from the consultant, calls that went from pertinent to impertinent. Then I was imperiously summoned for an interview--by the consultant. After the interview, more questions, long fishing expeditions. She practically asked me if I had an innie or an outie. It became quite clear that the consultant did not know what she was doing and was trying to earn her fee by grilling me, and possibly other candidates as well.
I told her that it was time to meet with the Board. They knew all about me, but I didn't know what the board was seeking to accomplish. Now it was time for some information from them. That was the last I heard from her.

They spent a lot of money on this consultant, but never hired anyone. They ended up asking the previous director to come back from retirement, which she did. Now I believe the job is vacant once again.

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