I Had a Client…
By Admin

March 5, 2010

They are a Weatherhead 100 company (like mine), but they have yet to understand how to treat a vendor. (Can’t be a Great Workplace 2.0)

First, they think that they know hiring. Their HR person came from a BIG company, where the air was rarefied and the idea of hiring had no real link to reality. The HR person acts like a CPA, not a customer service person. Stand-offish and structured. Their Business Development guy makes his Linkedin profile look like he is a graduate of the top 2 universities in the USA. (He didn’t go to either University. He attended seminars.) He even makes it look like he belongs to the Alum groups of these universities. He graduated from local universities. Good ones. Why try to make it look like it is something else? Oh, it probably has to do with his physical stature. Yes, you guessed it.

When the EVP interviews people for hard to fill jobs, he spends 10 minutes on the phone with them, makes a snap judgment, then blows the person off. He doesn’t realize that every time he does that the applicant tells 15 people NOT to work there. The EVP is a boor, highly judgmental and egotistical. And those, of course, are his good qualities.He could care less. He is WAY too important to worry about his company’s reputation (so far). After all, they are Weatherhead 100 many years. They will NEVER get to be North Coast 99 (we have been) and certainly not a Great Workplace 2.0. Never. Not in 100 lifetimes. Top companies make their vendors feel important, not like the lawn service. His behavior reflects on me as a recruiter. He could care less.

They are SOOO good, so cool and such a great place that they can’t pay their bills for 60 or more days. AND when you ask when the payment will be sent, they lie. Not a little, but hopelessly big. “Going out next Tuesday, just checked with A/P”. Call and email the day it is supposed to be there, no return call. Dunn both the EVP and HR and all of a sudden: “It is going out today”. We’ll see. Guarantee is void now anyhow. Surprise!

The EVP wants to negotiate future deals because he doesn’t feel he got the full value of the first (the guy is still there), even though his company hasn’t paid their bill yet. Ego has its benefits. It substitutes for heavy hollucinogens.

Here is the moral: Their company does very well. They are in a field with few competitors. It is “high tech” and they sell a service that other people perform. In fairly short order, they will have burned enough bridges with local talent and services that their real reputation will get out and they will not be able to support their growth with good employees. But they will have some trophies, the HR Chief will have a system and awards on the resume, and the EVP will be looking for another job along with his sidekick Sales Manager. The company President will wonder why they have stalled. It is a simple mistake: believe you are invulnerable and that success means you treat the peasants, well, like peasants. Start with your vendors and your applicants for employment: they are disposable and there are always more. Act like you are a Fortune 100 company when you have 40 employees. Unfortunately, the EVP does not stay around long in associations. People figure him out too quickly and get tired of his ego and brash attitude. But hell he gets the job done and gets growth.

The REAL mistake is thinking that your vendor doesn’t talk to about 500 influential people per month and doesn’t sit on boards and doesn’t influence the talent community. Oh, and he consults with some of your target customers. The ones in your own back yard he could have gotten you into.

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