15 September 2013
We’d like to introduce you to someone we are calling “Shotgun Sam”. Actually, you have probably already come across him. A lot! He’s the recruiter with no shame.
Shotgun Sam is the recruiter who calls you with an “amazing opportunity”, one that is “just perfect” for you. He then calls your next-door neighbor about the same opportunity, then the person next to her, then the person next to him, and so on until every lawyer in your office has been made aware of this “perfect” job, the one he said was made “just for you.” Once he has spoken with everyone at your firm, he moves on to lawyers at the next firm. And then to the firm after that. Or to the Commission. Or the OFT. Or wherever. It doesn’t matter. He may not know your name or anything about you, but he knows your telephone number and that you are a lawyer. That’s all he needs.
Shotgun Sam is the recruiter who calls you saying that he’s heard that Smith & Jones (your firm) is in trouble and that Jones & Smith would be a much better place for you; he then calls your friend saying that he’s heard bad things about Jones & Smith (her firm) and insisting that Smith & Jones would be a much better place for her. It’s called “churning the market” and it's a despicable practice.
Shotgun Sam is the recruiter who calls you to say that his client has asked him to approach you specifically, but refuses to reveal who the client is. If you make the mistake of expressing any interest whatsoever, he then calls a number of firms to say that you have instructed him to make an approach on your behalf.
Shotgun Sam is the recruiter who sends your details, often without your knowledge or permission, to dozens of firms. Only after the damage is done do you discover that he has effectively torpedoed your career.
Shotgun Sam is the recruiter for whom recruitment is a volume business, rather than a personalized service. He knows that if he sends enough CVs into the market he will make a placement (it’s the throw-enough-mud-at-the-wall-and-eventually-something-will-stick approach to recruitment). Whether it is you or one of the dozens and dozens of other candidates he shotguns into the market who ultimately gets the job makes no difference. You’re nothing more than an interchangeable commodity to him. A fee.
Shotgun Sam is the recruiter whose interest in you is directly proportional to the amount of money he can make off of you. He has no interest in what you want, in what may be a smart career move, in what may be right for you. His interest is limited to the fee he can collect. Period. Smith & Jones? Jones & Smith? Doesn’t matter! All he cares about is which firm will pay him a fee.
We will be using the name “Shotgun Sam” in our blog posts as shorthand for those recruiters who engage in these and other types of reprehensible practices. Sad to say, we will be back to regale you with further adventures of Shotgun Sam because, frankly, he never ceases to provide stories. Or to surprise. Or shock. Or dismay.