An Inexcusable Mistake

PandoDaily recently reported that a HootSuite talent acquisition specialist sent a recruiting email to the CEO of a major competitor.

In the article by Cale Guthrie Weissman, indicates that the LinkedIn InMail read:

Hi Ragy… I was reviewing your profile and you look like someone that we would love to have on our team… Your experience in engineering at Sprinklr is exactly what we are looking for to help us grow our organization... We are looking to add a CTO.

Mistakes happen, and I’ve made plenty of my own, but in my mind, this is inexcusable; and it speaks volumes about the recruiter’s competency—or lack thereof.  

First at issue is recruiting a senior level executive with InMail. I recognize this is now common practice among third-party and in-house recruiters alike, but executive recruiting is about building relationships and assessment. Email or InMail recruiting facilitates neither.

Second, that the recruiter didn’t know the CEO of a main competitor indicates a significant lack of market acumen. Third, displaying a confounding dearth of common sense, the recruiter apparently doesn’t recognize that recruiting from a competitor warrants extra caution (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that they knew the target company was a competitor).

Fourth, the “specialist” is recruiting a CEO for a CTO position (see my blog about not insulting your audience). This begs so many questions: Does the recruiter not understand organization charts? Does the recruiter not understand the difference between a CEO and a CTO? Does the recruiter not understand the spec against which they are recruiting? Does the recruiter not recognize that moving from a CEO to a CTO position would almost always be a backwards career move? Does the recruiter not recognize that inviting an executive to take a step backwards is insulting? Or, was the recruiter simply too lazy to assess profiles before spamming InMails? None of these excuses affords a modicum of grace towards the recruiter’s competency.

Recruiters like this, whether in-house or third-party, pollute the profession. Folks, give a hoot about the profession, your employer (and client) brand, and your own: wise up and don’t pollute.

I see this so often that

I see this so often that nothing surprises me. The desire for I hose teams to avoid paying for retained external search at the executive level, often leads to inexperienced recruiters dealing withy these roles with this sort of outcome.

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