QUESTION: In researching companies for the email recruiting you shared with us, I came across a couple positions that my most placeable candidate (MPC) would be qualified for. At some of the positions at the bottom of the job description it says no agencies please. In the past I would not call in to those companies. I suspect I am not the only one who has run into this. What is your recommendation or strategy for dealing with that type of situation?  – Bill

ANSWER: First of all, if you see a posting on somebody’s website, there is nothing wrong with this, it is kind of a lead. Simply do not disclose where you found out about the opening.  

For example, this is how I would approach it. Let us say you have a great sales representative that is the perfect MPC and there is a position for a sales representative  that is in alignment with his or her background. I am going to do a little bit of quick poking around and find out who is the VP or the Director of Sales. Let us say that is Mary Smith, I am going to leave a voicemail for her.  I am not contacting HR because that is where the no agency sign is and that is where they are holding their nose.

If you are seeing job postings and you are sending your resumes as part of an agency through whatever applicant or jobs at, please stop. You are ruining the recruiting profession by using a commodity based approach. I am not accusing you of that Bill, I just know some recruiters do that and I just think it is insane.  

The smart approach is to find out the VP of Sales is Mary Smith. I would try to get her direct dial phone number and/or her email address. My message to her would be: 

Hey Mary, 

Through networking and kind of poking around, I have been led to believe you might need somebody and I just ran across an individual who . . . 

[big accomplished salesperson, 127% over quote over the last 2 years with 83% new business development.  Again you see that it is, you have somebody for the Chicago territory, the posting is for Chicago in the Chicago area].  

Please get a hold of me at _____ to discuss further.  

Do not say, I saw it on your website.  

It is like a magician revealing his card trick.  How many times have you seen a magic trick and thought that really neat trick, but really it is a great illusion. There is no magic, it is all a great illusion.  When you discover how they did it and you are like, oh, not so impressive. Same thing with recruiters. I think one of the veils we have is these elusive networkers in the background that kind of know everything and I want to continue that.