Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Adventures In Recruiting: Insulted By A Millennial Father

I got a phone call last week from a stranger.  It was shocking but not surprising.  I thought it worth commentary.

To put this conversation in perspective, I firmly believe that if someone is looking for a job, no matter how young they are, they need to call me themselves.  This shows both interest and strength.

I have written several times about millennial parents, but this discussion took first prize.  The conversation went like this:

Millennial Parent:  My daughter has a Master’s degree in advertising and I am told you are the person who can help her get a job in the business.  She has four years of working experience prior to getting her Masters.

Me:  Was her working experience in advertising?

MP:  No. But she was very successful.

Me:  Unfortunately, I don’t handle entry level positions.  Also…

MP (interrupting):  She isn’t entry level.  She has experience.

Me: If it is not advertising experience, she would be considered entry level, no matter       what her degree.  How old is she now?

MP:  27

Me:  She is entry level since she has no experience in advertising.  After all, she is not going to be hired as a vice president.  I cannot help her. And, honestly, she is old enough to call me herself.

MP:  I was told you were the man.  She is extraordinary; if you talk to her, you will work with her.

Me:  I Have been recruiting in advertising for many years.  She is entry level, despite her experience.  Companies do not pay recruiters to find people with no experience – they can do that on their own. They hire us to find people with very specific background, in this case that background is advertising. But, if there is any chance for me to help her, she first has to call me herself.  I am not trying to be difficult, but she has to do her own bidding. She is too old and experienced for a parent to do her work.

MP: You are being ridiculous.  If you are such a good recruiter, you should see her. And I am not doing anything for her that you wouldn’t do for your own kids, if you have any.

Me: I appreciate your passion for your daughter.  But I cannot help her.

MP: Your loss.  Fuck you (hangs up).

I have previously written about not doing the bidding for your kids, if they are adults.  But, honestly, I was shocked by this father’s reaction to my asking him to have his daughter call me; it almost never gets to the point where the parent is so determined to handle the job hunt for their kids. Usually, they tell me they will have their son or daughter call and sometimes they do and most of the time they don't.  And their failure to call me tells me that they were not so interested in the first place.

The business has changed in the last decade.  Once upon a time, my firm would get an assignment for at least one entry level person a year, usually from smaller companies; that is no longer the case.  In fact, in looking through our computers, the last such assignment we had was in 2007.  If someone has an extraordinary background and track record we will see them just so we know them for the future. An extraordinary background includes an education in a fine college, preferably one with a good advertising/marketing department and, for advertising, internships at the name agencies where they have actually had some responsibility.
On top of that, they have to be self-assured enough to call me themselves!


  1. Nice note and well handled. The parent is a piece of work. I talk with 5-6 young graduates a month looking to get in the business. I tell them it is not easy regardless of their talent and pedigree. Self-driven passion and action, ingenuity, and network, network, network. My judgement says your friend's daughter will not have a career in advertising (at least a
    successful one).

    1. Thanks for your comment, Tom. He was certainly no friend. He was a complete stranger, but was somehow in the business at a small agency in South Jersey. I agree that his daughter cannot be successful with a father like that.

  2. Fuck you still Paul! That’s the last you’ll hear from me!
    Hey, I just remembered, my younger daughter is looking for VP job at a major agency and am letting you make amends for your prior nastiness.

    Caveat: she has a degree from Trump Univeirsity and is looking for a an entry level/senior role on account that’s consistent with the Lord’s teaching and grace.

  3. To commentator Matthew Greene … Instead of blasting Paul over whatever ax you have to grind with him, you might call Trump and try to get your daughter’s (your) tuition money back. A “degree” from Trump University? I don’t think so.

    1. Bill, Matthew is a friend for 30 years. It was a joke.

    2. Paul ... My regrets to you and Matthew. Who knew? You guys sure have an interesting sense of humor. Bill


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