I received an email via LinkedIn to see if I had time to talk with a friend of a connection about a project and I said I could make time the following day at 10a.m or 1p.m. as I was at my son’s baseball practice. A few minutes later the staffing guy calls me, after 6 pm, when I clearly told him the next day would be best.
During the conversation, I stopped the staffing guy shortly into the conversation to say that I wouldn’t consider the project for less than $XXX per hour. He said that wouldn’t be a problem and continued on his sales pitch for the project. It was a typical Sarbanes-Oxley (SOx) testing engagement, where an employee moved into another role and the employer now needed someone to step in and do the internal controls testing for a few months.
The staffing guy then proceeded to ask me questions that were part of the project description from the employer, but of which he had little understanding. He started listing some business processes off – revenue, cash, inventory – and I stopped him. He clearly had no clue about my background or the real requirements of the project. I said that I have run projects from beginning to end since the first days of SOx and continue to lead several of these projects.
He asked me if we could meet the following day (typical staffing industry screening process) to see if I looked the part, and, undoubtedly, to coach me on what I need to be prepared to say to the employer to get the project. I said that I couldn’t meet until the following week and he requested my resume, even though he found me on Linkedin, so that he could start his process.
The next morning he called and left a message, and also an email introducing me to his business partner that would also be screening me. ENOUGH ALREADY! Leave me alone! I emailed him to say I was not interested in the project and thanked him for his time. What a mess!
I felt like I needed a shower just from talking with the guy. I decided overnight, and he confirmed that, again, I wouldn’t work with a staffing firm again.
The best part is, if they decide you’re not a fit for the project, they go completely cold on you – won’t respond to calls or emails. In, fact it’s been a few weeks and I still have not heard from the staffing guy – no courtesy call or email, no thank you, no networking, nothing. But, it is what I expect.
It’s not much better if the contractor gets the project either. The staffing firm expects a certain number of billable hours. I’ve actually been nagged about getting my 40 hours in because “we have budgets to meet”.
It’s all about meeting the staffing firm revenue goals. It’s not about the contractor,
the hiring client or the candidate you are paying them to find.
You wonder why it’s hard to find good talent? Because those trying to find it for you are;
- Have little knowledge of the industry they are hiring for
- Lack the knowledge to effectively find the right candidate
- Completely disrespect contractors along the way, because they “own” the opportunities
- The contractor isn’t paid fairly because the staffing firm is taking 50-70% of what the employer is paying
- Staffing firms are putting their revenue goals before the things that really matter such as the contractor’s efficiency, performance or existence as a human, and their client’s (employer’s) needs as well
It’s time for a change. Try VouchedIn it’s completely free and you will get better, happier talent, reduce turnover and see high-quality performance on your project.