Wednesday, March 25, 2009

OT: The Job Hunt

I have uncountably many stories from different job hunts over the years---I'm sure everyone does---but sometimes I am so dumbstruck that I have to share. After applying for a specific position through a staffing firm's website and hearing nothing in reply, I finally received the following note:

Hello Joseph,
As we all know, times are tough right now and we are constantly striving to build new and viable contract relationships with different companies. Our records show you recently submitted an application to us through our database. As we look for opportunities that fit your skill set, could you please provide us with any companies where you have applied recently? This will aid us in finding more opportunities to better serve you. If you have found an opportunity, please let us know any human resource contact information to help us with new sales leads.

Thank you.

What could I do? Well, reply, of course:

Hi, [Name]-

In these competitive times, I am certainly trying to ensure my capabilities are widely represented to potentially interested companies and organizations. Duplication of that effort is, naturally, counter-productive and potentially an affront to hiring agents. Toward that end, would you mind providing me with all of [Staffing Firm]'s existing contracts and contacts so that I can better enable my own search by focusing elsewhere?

I appreciate your help. Best regards!

I know that every contact is potentially an opportunity, potentially a test, and potentially anything else; however, we all must, in the end, cut through the nonsense and respond only as ourselves without being entangled by the dance. Assume that I've either offended the fellow or that I've demonstrated my savvy in deflecting his request and showing my understanding of the value of proprietary information---who knows?

If there is a reply, I'll let you know!

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