Last week I had a cool Friday afternoon experience: I was cold called by a recruiter. In six years of working at Microsoft, this is the first time that’s happened to me! I’d heard rumours of this happening when I first started at Microsoft while the tech bubble was still growing but I was still fresh out of university so no one ever called me. (Although I did get a bizarre set of phone calls from a brokerage firm straight out of Boiler Room.)
After the recruiter introduced herself, I actually started to laugh and had to tell her that this was my first ever recruiting call. She seemed to understand my enjoyment of the experience. She made her pitch for the small networking firm about to grow and asked my interest.
Of course, I blew the whole thing by asking what city we were talking about. I hadn’t noticed whether it was a forwarded call from my office or if it was a direct call to my house in Ottawa. I think the recruiter ended up being more interested in my work situation that I was in the job! I forgot to ask all sorts of interesting questions (like how much it paid).
I found two things interesting about this experience.
First, the recruiter really did her job well. Even though I wasn’t interested, she wanted to know if I could give her any referrals. I wasn’t comfortable doing that because I was a manager at Microsoft and felt I had a responsibility to not poach at work. She didn’t give up though and said she’d send me an email with details about the company that I could pass on to other people so they could contact her if they wanted. Needless to say, I still have ethical problems doing that – but the email was interesting.
Second, this was clearly a cold call. The recruiter had called me through the main switchboard and didn’t have my direct number. She seemed to know that I was a developer, but didn’t know that I was a lead or that I worked on Windows or even what my email alias was. I wonder where the heck she got my name from. Steve suggested that it may be because of this very blog. So, if you’re a recruiter reading this, please make me an incredibly lucrative offer. (I will require a corner office with a private bathroom and I don’t want to work on Fridays or Mondays…)