Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reminder to staffing services companies - you provide staff

Happy new year! I never did finish my retrospective for 2012, but right now I have to launch right into 2013.

Sean P.O. MacCath-Moran just received an email from a recruiter. The email includes includes at least four different fonts, two colors, and odd size changes (even in the middle of a sentence).

The content itself isn't much better. Here's an excerpt (using a single font style):

Our records show that you have past or current experience with skills fitting a current opening with our Direct End Client. Please be aware that our database has searched out your resume, so please accept my apologies if this requirement does not match your current or preferred job profile or location preference.

Surprisingly, MacCath-Moran did not respond positively to the highly personalized and detailed request from the recruiter. Read his Google+ post to see his comments, including his theories about why he was approached so unprofessionally.

But I got curious and wondered what the recruiting company - Sun Technologies - said about the quality staff that it could provide to companies. I figured that would be good for a laugh. Maybe the website would say that they carefully screen all candidates; of course, we know that careful screening consists of finding every living organism within a 5,000 mile radius with a resume that matches at least one key word.

So I went to Sun Technologies' About page. And this is what I found:

Sun Technologies® has been a trusted provider of Information Technology services and resources since 1996. We built a worldwide organization that specializes in IT and engineering services. Sun Technologies® offloads the burden and costs associated with finding and cultivating the right knowledge capital for implementing IT solutions.

Yes. They said "right knowledge capital."

And Sun Technologies went on, talking about "a CMMI Level 3 conforming process" and "many flexible engagement models" (for the companies) and more stuff.

Now CMMI Level 3 processes and flexible engagement models are not problems in and of themselves.

The problem is that the entire write-up - save for the aforementioned reference to "right knowledge capital" and a subsequent reference to "talent resources" - never actually talked about the PEOPLE that were going to be loosed in your Fortune 500 company. How does Sun Technologies find its candidates? Are they qualified? Why are Sun Technologies' candidates better than candidates offered by other firms?

This got me thinking. Years and years ago, I was placed in a company by another firm - then known as Kimtech, now known as Kimco Technology Group. I contracted via Kimtech for over a year and was finally hired by the company itself - as was another person.

So what does Kimco Technology Group think about its "knowledge capital" and "talent resources"? This is what Kimco says:

Kimco recruiting specialists draw on an extensive database of experienced, tested and carefully screened candidates with specific technical qualifications. It's because of our industry-specific focus, expertise, and connections that we can offer our candidates highly desirable positions that might not otherwise be readily available. We don't just place our candidates in a position and walk away. We take the time to get to know their specific personality and goals, find positions that best match, and help them be better prepared to find the best possible position available.

Now I should note that I have not worked for Kimco in over fifteen years, and there is a chance that the company no longer meets these high standards.

But at least Kimco's focus is in the right place. Yes, they have processes - but they also pay attention to the actual people that they find and place via these processes.

Kimco is not alone. I am aware of other staffing firms that take the time to work with their candidates to make sure that they are placed in contracts that benefit both the candidate and the company.

Unfortunately, Sun Technologies also is not alone. I have heard other stories of people who were contacted by recruiters based upon the flimsiest details - one person was contacted because of a technical skill the person had last used almost a decade ago, in a different state than the state in which the job opportunity was located.
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