E-mail exchange...some portions have been paraphrased to protect involved parties...regardless of whether they are innnocent...

From: Recruiting Director at a well-known company

To: Microsoft Heather with a Trump Obsession

Heather, I recently found your blog and I love what you are doing. We should touch base. Please give me a call...here's my number.


From: Microsoft Heather with a Trump Obsession

to: Vague Recruiting Director

Hi Vague,

Nice to hear from you. <Insert some small-talk stuff here>.

Let me know what you'd like to discuss. I'm always happy to network.


From: Vague

To: Heather

We'd like to see if you would be interested in joining our Staffing team. Blah, blah, blah.  Please give me a call.


From: Heather

To: Vague

Thanks Vague. I'm not looking at the moment, but I network quite a bit with other recruiters. So let's do connect so I can share your job specs with my network.


And, I never heard from him again. Recruiting and networking should not be mutually exclusive activities. What went wrong here?

1) You know how I feel about people that want to "touch base". Absent some WIIFM or even some WIIFY, it's really easy to ignore this kind of mail. I answer mail all the time from people just asking me for advice. The key is they just come right out and ask for it and that it totally OK.

2) The "who do you know?" approach always works better. If people are interested themselves, they will let you know. But to assume they are interested is a bit much. And don't try to engage them with the vague "touch base" tactic. Anyone that is good has other demands on their time. I don't block off my calendar for "touch base". Sorry if that sounds bad, that's just how it is.

3) People who don't know how to leverage connectors have no game. I try to remember that not everyone is a candidate, not everyone is a prospect. Some are simply connectors. And frankly, these the the most valuable people in my network. Obviously, not everyone feels that way. People out there in the industry (marketing, finance, tech) should think about this too. Many recruiters are great connectors...be nice and they could hook you up with their recruiter buddies at other companies (professionally speaking, of course).

4) If you don't get what you want out of the contact, at least be polite. So this person does not want to leverage my network (whatever). Some kind of polite response to close out the conversation would have been appropriate.

5) If you are going to try and recruit people that work in recruiting, you have to be good. At least as good as your targets are. Otherwise, they will not want to work at your company (the first thing they are thinking is: do I want to work with this person?). Now, how do you suppose I feel about the recruiters at this particular company?

Anyway, if this mail sounds like it came from you (actually there are more than one of you out there...naughty!), let's just consider this feedback from one colleague to another. Nothing personal. But as recruiting professionals, I think we can do better.