Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Aflac Recruiter Is A Quack

Generally, when you get contacted by one of those multi-level marketing recruiters off of a job search site, it's a sure bet that those financial predators are just playing a numbers game. They harvest your information off of the job search site, e-mail you a form letter and direct you to sign up for an "interview" via an online calendar app or some other website. Very rarely do they engage with you directly, as that would cut into their time making sales, pushing their underlings' noses to the grindstone and getting more warm bodies to cover their high turnover. Every so often, though, you can dangle the carrot and get a recruiter to engage.

Clovis has set about looking for a job and gets a number of multi-level marketing interview requests every day. He recently had the following exchange with an Aflac ponzi scheme pusher:

Hello, My name is [REDACTED] and I am the [POSITION] at Aflac Chicago. I am reaching out to you to consider Aflac as a career. We have a huge need to satisfy the demand for our product so we are hiring for the Associate position. Fully trained on by Aflac, an Associate is hired to educate the marketplace on what we do as a company. Right now is a great time to become part of our team because the opportunity is HUGE. Due to healthcare reform, out-of-pocket expenses are increasing while employee benefits are decreasing. Aflac helps deal with this shift. Due to increasing demands for our services, Aflac HQ is investing in city markets to increase penetration during a time when people need Aflac the most. There is explosive growth in Chicago right now and we need more Associates to take on the opportunity.

If this sounds like a career for you, please attend an open house to start the interviewing process. Respond back to confirm for our next session on Wednesday, 4/20 at 10am or Thursday, 4/21 at noon. Please include a contact number and I look forward to hearing from you soon! Please note- We keep track of candidates electronically so please respond to this email to confirm your attendance to an open house.

Sincerely,
[NAME]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

I wasn't sure what Clovis' endgame should be on this, so, in order to see if the recruiter actually reads the emails being sent, he responded that he would be unable to attend the upcoming open house but would like to attend a subsequent one.

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the upcoming open house sessions due to upcoming dental surgery on April 20. I do not expect to be fully recovered enough to attend on April 21. However, I do remain interested in attending at some point. Perhaps alternate arrangements can be made.

Warm Retards,
Clovis

The recruiter responded with an alternate date.

Clovis, Thanks for letting me know and I wish you good luck on your surgery! I have a few open houses scheduled for next week and the week of May 2nd so please let me know which one would work best with and I will write you back with some times. Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon!

Best,

[NAME]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]
Clovis responded in the affirmative that he'd be able to attend. I had wondered if, when the open house date came and went, the recruiter would notice that Clovis hadn't shown up. I was going to let that thread hang for a while and see if there would be a response. However, before that happened, Clovis got another copy of the same form mail from the same recruiter.
Hello, My name is [REDACTED] and I am the [POSITION] at Aflac Chicago. I am reaching out to you to consider Aflac as a career. We have a huge need to satisfy the demand for our product so we are hiring for the Associate position. Fully trained on by Aflac, an Associate is hired to educate the marketplace on what we do as a company. Right now is a great time to become part of our team because the opportunity is HUGE. Due to healthcare reform, out-of-pocket expenses are increasing while employee benefits are decreasing. Aflac helps deal with this shift. Due to increasing demands for our services, Aflac HQ is investing in city markets to increase penetration during a time when people need Aflac the most. There is explosive growth in Chicago right now and we need more Associates to take on the opportunity.

If this sounds like a career for you, please attend an open house to start the interviewing process. Respond back to confirm for our next session on Wednesday, 4/20 at 10am or Thursday, 4/21 at noon. Please include a contact number and I look forward to hearing from you soon! Please note- We keep track of candidates electronically so please respond to this email to confirm your attendance to an open house.

Sincerely,
[NAME]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]

Any recruiter worth their salt should be keeping track of who they already contacted. This was a pretty obvious screwup and Clovis had to respond to it:
I believe we had already discussed a potential open house and I responded to you indicating that I would not be available for the dates in April. Yet, here I find this morning that you sent out two additional e-mails to me regarding said open house. I'm sure it's an error in your form mail.

As a sales professional, I shouldn't need to tell you that Personalized Service is one of the Beatitudes of Salesmanship. As outlined in my recently published e-book, The Beatitudes of Salesmanship, "Blessed are the Personalizers, for they shall reap the rewards the sales". I then go on to explain that, even though prospects often expect to be subjected to mail-merge or form mail, one should always take care not to make it obvious that one is using such tools on prospects. It makes people feel like a number. As I further explain in the chapter, "Don't make people feel like a number". So, I guess my question is: How many contacts did you scrape from Monster this week and what number am I? 
Best Witches,
Clovis
A more sensible recruiter would have known something was up and wouldn't have bothered to further engage. This one decided to double down.
Clovis,
I apologize you received multiple emails from us about an open house. I do not expect you to understand our systems for recruiting but I urge you to be careful to jump to conclusions about our business. The open house is a general group session that gives out information on our company and the position. This position isn't for everyone and we know that fact. That is why we are providing job seekers the option to come in and learn about the opportunity at our office. From there, if there is interest from the candidate, we will take the time to meet extensively on a 1-on-1 basis to make sure this is a mutual fit to move forward.

Again, I apologize you received multiple emails from our office. I will take your feedback into consideration as I move forward. I just wanted to make sure you knew we don't treat our candidates as numbers. We treat them respectfully as people. Best wishes to you in your career search.

Sincerely,
[NAME]
[CONTACT INFORMATION]
Now, this is an interesting bit of information. Notice how, in the initial contact form-letter, the Open House isn't really described. It's just referred to as a means to start the "interviewing process". In the subsequent e-mail, the Aflac recruiter outlines the open house a bit better so that it's more obvious that it's a presentation. No doubt it's something akin to a hard-sell timeshare presentation. Clovis took the opportunity to respond with a little more snark.
I believe I understand your systems quite well. Even if I didn't, the system is not in error here. You are. I arranged a date in May with you for an open house. A day later, you sent me yet another form mail asking about a date in April. Surely you can see where the breakdown in communications occurred. As I explained in my e-book, 100 Do's and 100 Don'ts In Salesmanship, "DO take ownership of mistakes". You made a mistake. Own it. Save the lectures about jumping to conclusions for the "Jump To Conclusions Mat" (Patent Pending).

Upon further consideration, I am afraid that I cannot accept your invitation for an open house. As I indicated (and as you forgot) in the earlier e-mail, I'm having dental surgery on April 20th. The prospect of a dentist slowly drilling into my tooth and pulling out nerves sounds far more interesting than anything Aflac has to offer. That is, unless you can put me in contact with that talking duck. He's quite the charmer. I bet he could sell caligae to a decurio.
The recruiter seemed to get the hint at this point and tossed off a quick "Thanks for your feedback and I wish you the best of luck in your career search!" e-mail. Yet, the very next day, Clovis got the same form mail yet again. And, when he changed his resume two days later, he got another one!

My point in this whole exercise is to show that these sort of companies are only interested in numbers. They want to put warm bodies in the seats so that they can get them cold calling and selling as soon as possible. These are commission-only based positions with high turnover and few successes. These are "jobs" only in the strictest technical sense. And they're certainly not careers. Even if you're desperate, you should be sending all these sorts of e-mails straight to your trash folder.


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