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Please do contact me if you want to discuss...

Candidate engagement is a tricky old thing at the best of times. Sure on the surface it appears easy, I mean how hard can it be. The occasional email, a quick phone call and everyone is kept in the loop, feels loved and knows where they stand. But what if the candidate doesn't want to play. What if they don't want to talk to you, take what you say as the most relevant update and instead do everything they can to make your life difficult? Where as recruiters do draw the line and say enough is enough?

For regular readers you will know where this is going. Over the last few weeks I have had a series of emails and voicemail exchanges.  Actually being pedantic I have left voicemails as he is never there.  Let's call the 'he' in question Dave.  Unusually for me Dave isn't actually his name.  He has threatened to do so so many things in the last few days the last thing I need is for him to get even more upset by using his real name.  

Anyway back to the point... And the interactive part of today's blog... Dave sent me an email in response to a single line post I had put in the recruitment based linkedin forum The FIRM.  As is often the way with these single line posts, I didn't advertise, just said hey I've got this let me know if you are interested and I will tell you more.  First observation.  Dave thinks that an entry in a closed group forum is an advertisement.  For those of you that know your employment agencies act stuff you'll know that this is an important point.  Advertisements have to meet certain criteria, entries on closed group forums are not under the same level of scrutiny and nor should they be.

Anyway, Dave sent me his cv,  nothing wrong with that but given we are all very busy setting expectations about will happen next is important and this is where Dave and I disagree.

"Please do contact me if you want to discuss?"

Was how Dave left it with me. My first and last mistake was that I took him at his word.  You see I didn't want to discuss it.  The cv wasn't relevant for what I wanted.  I didn't contact him.

Zoom forward a few weeks and I now have a threatening email from Dave.  He said he had called, which if he had was odd as I didn't get voicemail or message.   He said he had sent a number of emails which I guess is technically correct, there was original "Please do contact me if you want to discuss?" email and another.  The other said that there must have been something wrong with my email as I hadn't responded. So was I doing what Dave wanted or just being busy and a little bit rude?

Dave's email then went on to say that he had no option but to complain about my attitude.  He demanded the name and email address of my manager.  This is my company.  I am my own manager but no matter.  I emailed him back to say sorry he felt ignored and that he should call me directly.  I thought this was a reasonable approach... Sorry and let's talk.

Dave didn't call and sent another email demanding the name of my manager again and that I should comply with this 'simple' request...

I had another go... I gave him my personal mobile number suggested that talking was the way forward and that we should talk.  I left him a voicemail.

Things are now not going well. He emailed me back saying he returned my call and been forced to leave a voicemail and then when I did call him back that I should give him the name of my client so I could bring my level of customer service to their attention.  I called him back and followed on with an email suggesting that we arrange a fixed time to talk so we didn't miss each other.  The response wasn't good.

Dave suggested my response was increasingly typical of the industry but he is always willing to address such bad examples to raise standards.  This is where we must end. Dave's additional emails which involve him threatening me with REC escalation, talking directly to my other clients to bring this travesty to their attention and a number of other things that I cannot go into as I have no doubt they will incriminate me in this sad tale of voicemail, threatening emails and a recruitment blogger who still confused about what the hell is going on.

So... What would you have done and at what point do you say enough is enough and do no more?

P.S. Dave if you are reading this... I said I was sorry for not emailing you originally.  I have tried to talk to you on several occasions, believing that talking is more appropriate than threatening emails.  I have overlooked that you have contacted my clients directly to tell them about how upset you are (even though they clearly are a little confused as it is nothing to do with them), I have nothing to hide, I am not a bad person and I was just doing what you told me to do "Please do contact me if you want to discuss?".

P.P.S. Dave's profession... What else... Recruiter.

martin