The great and influential recruitment blogger, Jonathan Rice, wrote a great post last week on recruitment company surveys and their general worthlessness. It’s a good read.
Just recently I’ve been talking to a lot of different HR service providers about different tools I am keen to possibly use in our business. What I have noticed is that no sooner have I had an initial discussion with someone, I suddenly find myself bombarded with emails from said company. “Join our free webinar” and “download our complimentary white paper” are the gist of what you get.
Now I have no problem with that if they are something that adds value. This morning I received an email from someone I spoke to just last week offering me a fantastic white paper on the subject of trust. Being a trusting chap, I clicked the link. Oh the irony. I know I was asking for it but the subject did sound interesting.
“Download your “complimentary” white paper” it screamed at me. Except it isn’t free is it? There is always a cost. The cost to me is that I give away all the information they need to aggressively target me as a client – name, email, phone number, job title, country, city, industry we are in, number of employees, inside leg measurement etc. OK, so I made the last one up but no matter what I did, whenever I clicked on “submit for your “free” download” it would not accept the submission without all of the information provided.
I now feel abused, like I’ve been sucked into the vortex of their global client database destined forever to spend all my waking hours on webinars and reading white papers.
And what did I get? Two pages of waffle that tells me nothing I didn’t know. But then you knew that didn’t you?
If they really wanted my business, they wiould have taken the time to have a conversation with me and I probably would have told them all that information for nothing, free, gratis without expecting anything in return. Sometimes technology really isn’t the enabler we all think it is. Face to face is still best.
7 thoughts on “Whiter than white”
Nice post Richard although your opening gambit is slightly off the mark. Too kind, nevertheless.
Here are some alternative uses for whitepapers that I explored back in July: http://rice.co.nz/thewhiteboard/alternative-uses-of-whitepapers-and-launching-www-rice-co-nz/
I agree – I imagine will put many off clicking links as this seems quite pervasive with some of the suppliers. The quality of some of the research also seems to be quite self-serving in many cases. The client we deal with have seem to have very good ideas of what is being paid within their industry and geographic sectors and don’t seem particularly interested in such general comparisons.
That said there are some quite interesting studies on psychological and behavioural aspects of recruitment that come up, particularly overseas. To me that is where more value can be added. Like your blog.
Isn’t the challenge for suppliers the ability to get the face to face? I find white pages useful to keep myself up to date on the market. Yes most often there is a lot of waffle however I normally get something out of reading them. My passion is “loyalty / engagement marketing” and at present this is what the digital age, consumer purchasing and society is all about ….. I wouldn’t say I agree with it …. However only way to avoid a becoming marketed too via a data warehousing CRM system is to become a conspiracy theorist and live off the grid 🙂
Thanks for your comments all. I would love to see some stats on how many people actually download these things if anyone has anything like that? Nikki – off the grid? Yeah, right 🙂
You’ve just described the sales model of most of the UK recruitment training industry.
Yes, moving with the times then!