You Know The Interactive Advertising Industry Is Desperate For Talent When…

You know the interactive advertising industry is desperate for talent when you receive an unsolicited letter from an in-house recruiter at a major digital agency (names and details kept confidential to avoid humiliation) that addresses someone else you know and says:

Subject: Urgent Requirement: Vice President, Engineering

I found your profile on the web. I love your background! I am looking for a VP-Engineering located in xxxxxxxx. If you are interested or know someone else who might be qualified to fill this role, please contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx or simply reply back to this email.

…yada yada yada. But wait! When I responded back to the recruiter and suggested that I know this person, but she mistakenly blasted me in her LinkedIn campaign, she said:

Max——-my bad! please, please, please forgive me. you are obviously NOT xxxxxxx…any interest in this opportunity with xxxxx? if so, please fwd me a copy of your resume.

Nothing against this recruiter, I know she has a tough job. She’s in a competitive industry with a low barrier to entry, and those who succeed must be smart, witty and know how to hustle. But it startles me that just as easily as she misfired her pitch on me, she seized the confused interaction as an opportunity to fill her job vacancy — knowing very little about me, shot in the dark.

Why is this significant? This less-than-desirable interaction was an important touch point between this agency and me. It made the agency look sloppy and undiscerning, and the employees don’t value other people’s time and attention. I’ve already forgotten the recruiter’s name, but I now have this agency experience forged into my mind. I wonder how many other people like me were included in this haphazard outreach?

To be sure, no major crime was committed with this singular event. Moreover, I’m not ranting about the annoying, irrelevant recruitment pitch. But big picture, this incident doesn’t reflect well on specific interactive advertising agencies, nor the larger industry, because it occurs far too often. It looks bad for agency clients, potential clients, partners, investors, employees, prospective employees and, ahem, spam blockers.

The lesson is clear: don’t let your talent search become a negative advertising campaign about yourself. It’s ironic that the interactive advertising industry would conduct these sorts of negative campaigns, literally on behalf of itself.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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