Ok. I'll admit it. I too got pulled into believing that as a newly independent IT Recruiter I could jump-start my desk with Bounty Jobs by getting right into the recruiting as the job orders are already there, (due to non-compete agreements, I had no JO's initially.) Also there are big companies involved and the playing field is somewhat leveled with big firms. Their model clearly has potential.
It was as simple as coming up with a clever quip and clicking the engage button after which the potential client for your new business is provided a seven day window to determine whether they are ready to hire someone. The cost to the recruiter is 25% of the bounty. I thought "well it's certainly not ideal but after a couple quick shots in the arm, future engagements with Bounty Jobs will be as a supplement to my desk and not a primary source of income which continues to be my approach.
Well after my last two experiences with Bounty Jobs, I have determined that "this is for the birds." The fundamental flaw with the entire Bounty Jobs concept is the jobs are all submitted by the HR departments, forcing you to deal with a department that simply isn't equipped to deal with IT positions effectively and efficiently, (in my humble opinion). I liken it to taking my car in for repair at the local subway sandwich shop. "I'm here for car repair Mr Subway-samich-guy!" and leave my car (hoopdie as the kids say). Now he can look at it, scratch his head and even tinker but in the end you’re going to a car guy! Let me say that I am not anti-HR, (or anti-shade tree mechanic) but I have found in the case of HR, their department is generally a pain to work with. Let me provide you just one example.
Let me preface my example by telling you that I stated clearly in my profile with Bounty Jobs that I require one-on-one phone time with the hiring manager to speak to the position beyond the typical job description, (Not those exact words but you get the point). In HR's defense many times they are simply cutting and pasting the IT Hiring Managers words. (On a side note I don't believe that Hiring Managers are necessarily good at written job descriptions).
I got engaged on what I thought to be a great opportunity, a lead applications developer. I had a limited amount of time with the hiring manager (by conference call with HR! HA!) but felt I had the necessary information to conduct a good search. It's interesting that while on that conference call the HR individual said several times "thats a good question." as did the hiring manager which told me that they found me to be credible, In their eyes I deserve a spot at the table so to speak. At the end of the talk he agreed that I had a grip on what he was looking for and offered his cell number, (good stuff.) I found a couple great candidates, managed a send-out with one (logistics issues), and really looking forward to the next send-out (great candidate, salary, location, ability, attitude etc).
Then things started going south. First off, the HR, talent acquisition 20 something year old could not break herself of the 10-15 minute "phone screen" with my candidates! What!?! In the words of Ken Starr "I'm not a potted plant here!" My candidate, phone screened? If it must be so, then let the hiring manager do it, (the car guy!). Skip your completely unnecessary, counterproductive, senseless phone screen when all you ask is "Do you happen to have any experience in things that I know absolutely nothing about?" "What are your salary requirements?" Someone please help me here! The very fact that I have introduced him is enough for an on-site interview with the hiring manager, period.
I prepped my candidate before this phone screen reminding him that this isn't a money discussion and thought I had covered that ground pretty well with the HR Chickie. Obviously not! What does she do? She asks (according to my candidate verbatim) "What would you like to have as a starting salary?" My candidate feeling compelled to answer, answered as he did with me initially "115K." to which HR Chickie replied "OH!" ("OH!" being 5K north of target on the position). In retrospect, based on the generality of the question I'm equally surprised he didn't say 3 million!
The candidate during my follow-up explained that he would've rather not been asked that as he hasn't spoke to the hiring manager to further discuss the responsibilities of the position and struggled to add that with HR, fearing that he may come off cute or sarcastic.
In my conversation during the initial interview, the candidate gave me the same answer of 115K, after which I asked the candidate, what if I presented you with the "right opportunity", the work, the people, the culture, the commute, growth, opportunity, upward-mobility etc, etc, etc. What kind of pay-cut would you take? His response was 90K! (20K below their max pay).
So here we are. I received an email from HR Chickie, "At this time, we are not going to be moving forward with Bob or Bob."
I felt like saying "Hey, 20 something yr old Subway-samich-HRchickie your making a big mistake, shouldn't we consult with.... you know the car guy" I didn't of course!
When I once did attempt direct communication with "Car Guy" through email (& cc) earlier on I received a smack on the hands from HR-Chickie "I would appreciate it if you would direct all communication about the candidates and process through me." Really!
Well, that’s where I'm at. My concern with Bounty Jobs is their model should close the gap between the needs of recruiters and those of HR and I'm sure they try to do so. After all, Bounty Jobs relies on placements to make dollars (as do we all.) Honestly, the companies that use Bounty Jobs are stuck in their same way of doing things and the HR departments are stuck in their processes. Someone should come up with a model that works as certain aspects of the Bounty Jobs model appeal to me. As I said earlier the ability to get your foot in the door with larger organizations and being placed somewhat on a level playing field with the big agencies is cool. My thinking is -- make placements, build relationships, Bounty Jobs offering me that leg up.
The bottom line is that one on one interaction with the hiring manager is necessary as he/she can offer insights to the work, skills, culture, soft skills, expectations etc. that cannot be gleaned from the five sentence paragraph that describes the $120K job!
Gut punches come with the territory in this profession and I don’t claim to have all the answers. I continue
Certainly I’ve learned over the years to let the car guys be car guys, the sandwich guys to be sandwich guys.
(At times I do shade-tree mechanic & fix sandwiches.)
HR, if your company has agreed to a fee, it’s likely that it’s due at least in part to your inability to fill the position efficiently through traditional means. Your company feels that paying me thousands of dollars for a few weeks work puts them further ahead than leaving it to your department.
I guess what I’m getting at is, stop dropping subway sandwich lettuce under the hood. I know what I’m doing and I’ll have this puppy purring like a well oiled machine.
Disclaimer: This is Travis’ second blog post (resubmitted) that hopefully will not alienate more than a few thousand people. Travis understands fully the necessity in forging lasting, mutually beneficial business relationships with Human Resources Departments and continues to move in that direction and he’s just getting started. Also Travis would like to admit to the entire community that he has gotten a little out of hand with the pictures but wishes to point out that it makes up for the complete lack of them in his first post. :)