I’m tired – a rant

Bear with me folks…I feel like a little rant on a couple of topics ranging from Recruiting to Blogs to Books. Sorry for the long post.

I’m tired of receiving 50 emails & phone calls from 50 different ‘recruiting’ companies for the same position.

Example – A local company is looking for a Project Manager in Plano TX…and they’ve been looking for one for at least 6 months…and I’ve been contacted at least 50 times for this position over the last six months.

Note to organizations: Use a real recruiter that understands how to find those people that fit into your organization. Stop using ‘body shops’ to find your employees/contractors. A few good examples of great recruiters are Max Pons, some Technisource recruiters, Genesis10, and Tridenta.

I’m tired of the half-truths and untruths told by recruiters and organizations.

Example – Another local tech company has a job posting for a “Technical Solutions Project Manager” that they’ve had listed for over a year. According to a friend of mine who works at the company, this posting is a way for the company to capture resumes for their resume database for later use…they have no intention of ever hiring for this position.

Example – I received a phone call from a ‘recruiter’ who wanted to talk to me about an ‘exclusive job’ that they were recruiting for. After speaking with him, I realized the job was the same PepsiCo job that I’d heard about from 50 other recruiters.

Note to organizations: Keep lying to employees and potential employees and you will be out of business. Being less than honest will be easily spotted and the good employees will leave and the not-so-good employees will stay.

I’m tired of receiving multiple emails and/or phone calls from the same ‘recruiter’ about the same job.

Example – I received 12 phone calls over the course of 3 days from the same ‘recruiter’ who wanted to talk to me about a contract position. Over the course of these 3 days, he left a voicemail every time. When I got back from my vacation, I called him to talk with him about the position…turns out he couldn’t find my resume and didn’t know what job he wanted to talk with me about.

Note to organizations: If you farm out recruiting, at least farm it out to knowledgeable people (much like those mentioned above).

I’m tired of reading the same blog post on 10 different blogs.

Example – Gizmodo and Engadget…most of the content on these 2 blogs cover the same topics/technology/products.

Example – Just about every blog that focuses on business, leadership, management, project management or technology. I’m afraid that my own blog is included in this example.

Note to bloggers (myself included): Write some original content. Don’t just rewrite something you found on another blog. If you do take a blog post from another author, spin it in a different direction than the original author did to make it your own story (with appropriate reference to the original author of course).

Some examples of very good blogs with what appears to be original content are Seth Godin, Charles Green’s “Trust Matters”, David Maister’s Passion, People and Principles, Levitt & Dubner’s Freakonomcis Blog, Jim Stroup’s Managing Leadership and Dean Bubley’s Distruptive Wireless. Mike Schaffner’s Beyond Blinking Lights and Acronyms is another very good blog. There are a few others, but these are the ones that pop into my head as having original content and/or making me think about topics in a different way.

I’m tired of reading ‘the greatest business/strategy/management/leadership book ever written’ and it being nothing more than a lot of words thrown into paragraphs that do very little to shed any new insight onto the subject.

Example – The Strategy Paradox. Is it just me or is this book one of the most boring every written? At the outset, I was extremely interested in the concept of the book since it talks about complexity and paradoxes, but after reading the first few chapters, I can’t bring myself to finish it. I constantly found myself thinking “OK…so what…that’s common sense” (e.g., the behaviors that position a company for success also maximizes its probability of failure). I still think the concept of the book is great, but the writing leaves a lot to be desired and the so-called ‘case studies’ aren’t really that supportive of the main argument of the book.

Example – Rich Dad Poor Dad. This book (and most of the other books in the series) is nothing more than a rehashing of common sense topics. There may be a few nuggets of information in the book(s) but not enough to warrant paying full retail price for.

Note to Authors and Publishers: How about some original content? Something like Guy Kawasaki’s “Art of the Start” or Ricardo Semler’s books “Maverick” and “Seven Day Weekend”.

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7 responses to “I’m tired – a rant”

  1. A.T. Meister Avatar
    A.T. Meister

    Mr. Brown

    Re: The Strategy Paradox
    Sometimes new ideas take a little work to understand. Something truly innnovative may at times appear simple- as you say – and at other times difficult to comprehend.
    “The Emperor wears no clothes” can be illuminating though simply stated – but the complex psychological that allows a man to be hood winked to that extent is quite another story. There are some very bright minds that believe ‘paradox’ is an exceptional work – and I agree. Perhaps it would be fair for you to finish the work and be more specific about your criticisms if you’re going to single it out.

    here’s hoping you will soon be less fatigued.

  2. Michael Schaffner Avatar


    Thanks for the reference. I agree there is not much point in commenting if you can not say something original or add to the conversation. Which by the way is a reason I enjoy your blog.


  3. Karl Lingenfelder Avatar

    A Good Rant !

    Yes, at times, Tired, but necessary.

    Part of the baggage of being smart, successful and insightful.

    Your’e wanted !

    There are many in this position that have human assistants to filter eMail.

    Nice, healthy rant.

  4. Jon Griffith Avatar

    I’m tired too.

    I’m tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their own actions. I’m tired of working with individuals who rely on someone else to hand-hold them through very basic, common functions, like sending e-mail.

    If there’s a button, don’t waste my time asking me if you need it to be there…that’s a stupid question. It’s there because someone else decided to add value to your experience, namely, the ability to actually send a message.

    This is a big fat thanks to all of those OEM distributors who put icons on new computer users’ desktops that serve no purpose beyond confusing the new user. Hey, new users, if there’s a button, click it. Double click icons, single click buttons.

    I’d still be standing on the corner waiting for the walk sign had I not pushed the little button for the walk signal. I never did ask anyone whether or not I needed it, I just figured it was put there for some reason and I wasn’t going to let the day pass without finding out what it did.

    RTFM…and if you don’t want to RTFM, don’t ask me to RTFM for you, I read it for myself. I won’t even bill you to read it, because I’d rather get paid half as much to learn more than repeat the same task over and over again because you didn’t take the time to RTFM…got it?

    There! I feel better.

  5. Eric Brown Avatar

    Jon – Glad you feel better! 🙂

  6. Michael Massey Avatar

    I totally understand your frustration. I attempt (but it's very hard) to rate and rank executive search firms for a living, and yes, unfortunately the quality has greatly diminished lately. There are so many search firms out there doing exactly what you said about doing false job postings just to collect resumes. Not only is that sad, it's very wrong. I always knock down the scores big times of firms that do this when I hear about it, but of course, it's impossible unfortunately to know just how widespread this problem is.